Cruise Ship Adrift: Carnival Triumph Passengers Make Contact Via Text Message, Report Worsening Conditions Aboard Stranded Vessel [PHOTO]

on February 12 2013 9:54 AM
Carnival Triumph
In an about-face, Carnival Corp. announced Monday it would repay the U.S. government for the cost of aiding Carnival Triumph. Reuters

While the Carnival Triumph is still stranded in the Gulf of Mexico, passengers aboard the cruise ship are reporting worsening conditions, including scarce-running water, no air conditioning and long lines for food.

Original plans to tug the ship to Progreso, Mexico, have been scrapped due to strong currents moving the vessel about 90 miles north of its previous location. Reports indicated that the Triumph will now be towed to Mobile, Ala., and should arrive by Thursday.

Among the 4,200 people on board the ship, a select few have reached out to ABC News via text message in an effort to provide an update on current conditions aboard the stranded ship.

"Conditions are getting worse by the hour," passenger Debra Rightmire told ABC News in a text message. "Cabin carpets are wet with urine and water. Toilets are overflowing inside cabins. We are having to sleep in the hallways. Onion and cucumber sandwich last night."

Earlier reports said that passengers had limited access to bathrooms, food and hot coffee.

Passenger Shelly Crosby told ABC News in a text message that many people are sleeping in tents set up on the ship's deck because of a lack of power and refrigeration has given way to an intense stink on board the vessel.

"We stood in line for four hours to get a hamburger," Crosby texted.

"All of our guests are safe, and we're doing everything we can to make them as comfortable as possible," Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, said in a statement on Monday night.

A tug boat reached the Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday night, but it has been tied up to the ship while it awaits the arrival of a second tug before towing the cruise ship to port.

Weighing in at a little more than 100,000 tons, the Carnival Triumph set sail from Galveston, Texas, on Thursday, and was due back on Feb. 11. According to a statement issued by Carnival, a fire which took place in the morning, had been extinguished, but ultimately caused the ship to lose propulsion. The ship has since been operating on emergency generator power, the company said.

As cellphone reception on the ship is limited, ABC News reported that passengers are forced to take advantage of signals that appear only when another Carnival ship pulls alongside to drop off supplies.

Brent Nutt told the news network that his wife, Bethany, who is on board, called him to say the plumbing wasn't working on the ship.

"She said there's no running water. They just really got food there to them tonight, and there's no power whatsoever, other than the emergency flasher lights that are on," he said on Monday. "She was crying and hysterical."

Sunday's fire was extinguished by an automated system, but not before it paralyzed the ship, according to the Coast Guard.

 

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