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Stranded Carnival Triumph: Food is scarce and filth is terrible

Feb 13, 2013 6:55 am

Skift Take

Things are bad for Carnival now, but they’re bound to get much worse when the passengers return to tell their tales and share lots and lots of photos and video of the conditions.

— Jason Clampet

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Ensign Chris Shivock / U.S. Coast Guard  / Reuters

The tugs Resolve Pioneer and Dabhol tow and steer the Carnival Triumph cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico, February 12, 2013. Ensign Chris Shivock / U.S. Coast Guard / Reuters


Passengers on board the Carnival Triumph using mobile phones to convey tales of carpets soaked in urine and passengers sleeping in tents on deck.

Conditions on board a cruise ship stranded in the Gulf of Mexico have deteriorated dramatically, reportedly leaving passengers fighting over food and the vessel caked in urine and raw sewage.

Passengers on board the US cruise ship Carnival Triumph, which has been stranded since Sunday after an engine fire, are using mobile phones to convey tales of carpets soaked in urine and passengers sleeping in tents on deck.

Food supplies are said to be running low, with passengers forced to queue for hours for cold onion and cucumber sandwiches, and there are also reports of fights breaking out as groups of “savages” fight over the dwindling supplies.

Speaking to CNN, passenger Ann Barlow said: “It’s disgusting. It’s the worst thing ever”, while her husband Toby told the news channel there is “sewage running down the walls and floors”, with passengers asked to defecate in plastic bags and urinate in showers due to their being only five working toilets between 4,200 people.

It is believed there is also no electricity or air conditioning on board.

The first tug boats reached the stranded vessel yesterday and began slowly dragging it towards Alabama. The huge ship is expected to dock tomorrow afternoon.

Brett Nutt, whose wife is on board the ship told CNN: “The odour is so bad, people are getting sick and they’re throwing up everywhere.”

Mr Nutt is said to have added: “People are fighting over food and stuff – that’s a bunch of savages.”

Passenger Debra Rightmire reportedly texted ABC News saying: “Conditions are getting worse by the hour. Cabin carpets are wet with urine and water. Toilets are overflowing in the cabins, we are having to sleep in the hallways. Onion and cucumber sandwiches last night.”

Carnival Triumph is said to be listing at a “not normal” 4.5 degrees at the moment, making it uncomfortable for passengers to walk around.

Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill told reporters on Tuesday evening that the cruise line is using its full resources to assist passengers and family members in a “very challenging” situation.

“No one here at Carnival is happy about conditions on board the ship,” Cahill said. “We are very sorry about what is taking place.”

CNN reported that the fire is the second to occur on board the ship since late January, when it had a problem with its propulsion system.

There were also recent repairs to the ship’s alternator, although senior cruise director Vance Gulliksen said there is no evidence to suggest the latest fire has anything to do with that problem. 

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