Chattanooga woman stranded on Carnival cruise ship - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga woman stranded on Carnival cruise ship

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- It will be a few more days before a cruise ship, stranded at sea, can be pulled back to land.

A Chattanooga woman and her family members from Texas are among the 3,000 passengers on board.

"Continuous updates there, plus they've been pretty good about letting us know by phone," says Paul Benson.

Paul Benson is staying close to his computer and phone.

His wife, daughter and granddaughter are among the 3,000 passengers on board a Carnival cruise ship, stranded at sea.

"Our granddaughter just turned 13, and she's never been on a ship before," says Benson.

The ship left Galveston, Texas, last week on a four-day cruise to Cozumel.

The trip was lengthened when a fire left the ship without the ability to drive forward. Some toilets on board are not operating. The ship has limited power to run elevators and heat food.

Some passengers are sleeping outside in tents because it's too hot in their rooms.

Benson's wife Tammi has been able to call home.

"She said there had been at least two cruise ships that had dropped off meals and other supplies," says Benson.

A strong current carried the ship, called Triumph, some 90 miles north.

A tug boat reached it Monday, a second arrived Tuesday.

Together they hope to pull the ship to Mobile, Alabama, by Thursday.

Until then, Benson says his girls are staying calm. They have power and working bathrooms in their cabin.

"My granddaughter said they'd been playing soccer," Benson says. "My wife is a pianist and they'd found a piano, so they're making the best of it."
 
Miami-based Carnival Cruise line released a statement, saying, "We are terribly sorry for the inconvenience, discomfort, and frustration our guests are feeling. We know they expected a fantastic vacation and clearly that is not what they received."

Benson says his wife is known to take cruises, but he isn't sure she will again anytime soon.

"I don't know," he says. "We'll have to wait and see."

Carnival is reimbursing passengers, providing a voucher for a future cruise and covering all expenses while on board, with the exception of casino and gift shop losses.

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