Local teen stuck on stranded cruise ship

CREATED Feb. 12, 2013

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MUSKEGO - It was supposed to be the perfect winter family get-a-way for a local 17-year-old girl, but the first cruise of the girl’s life turned into a disaster. Jeff Hollman asked for prayers for his daughter on Facebook after finding out she was stranded on a cruise ship.

The Carnival Triumph left Galveston, Texas last Thursday but on Sunday a fire in the engine room cut-off the ships propulsion system. The fire stranded more than 3000 passengers 150 miles off the Yucatán Peninsula.

The ship has been stranded for three days now and Hollman has only heard from his daughter via text message and only when supply ships come close enough for her to get reception. She told him there was “no water and not electric and the food is terrible.” But she also wanted to let friends and family that she is alright, “Allison said ‘this is a great experience for my first cruise!Ha! tell everyone i love them and i’m ok’.” Hollman wrote to his friends on Facebook.

According to Carnival Cruise Lines, the ship is regaining some functions after the fire was extinguished, “The technical team on board has been successful in gradually restoring auxiliary power to operate some basic hotel functions. Currently, public and cabin toilets are operational in certain sections of the ship, power has been restored to a limited number of elevators, and some power in the Lido dining area is providing for hot coffee and limited hot food service,” the company explained in a statement on Monday.

But the nightmare isn't over for passengers. The ship has been drifting north, due to the strong gulf current, two tug boats will slowly pull the cruise ship to Mobile, Alabama where Allison and other passengers will finally reach land. “From there, we will provide the necessary transportation to get our guests home. Mobile also provides simpler re-entry, particularly for the 900 guests on-board traveling without passports,” Carnival Cruise Lines declared.

The tugboats are moving slowly, less than ten miles an hour and families are anxious to reunite with their families. Jeff Hollman wrote, “She is with her mother, aunt and uncles. what a helpless feeling.i wish I was with her now”. At the pace the ship is being pulled, Carnival Triumph is expected to make it to Mobile, Alabama by late Wednesday afternoon as long as the weather and water conditions stay the same. If the weather and currents change, passengers may not get back to land until Thursday. Carnival claims they will reimburse passengers for the cruise, transportation expenses and give them a future cruise credit. But family members tell TODAY’S TMJ4’s Jesse Ritka this is a “terrible” experience and they wish Carnival had a better emergency plan.