Triumph pulls into Mobile, Alabama
BENTON, Ark. (KTHV) - The past week was unforgettable for Becky Jones and six of her friends, and not in a good way.
Jones was one of the passengers aboard the ill-fated cruise liner, Triumph, and she described her journey to THV 11 News.
Becky Jones and her friends drove to Galveston, Texas on Feb. 6 for what was intended to be a four-day vacation on the cruise liner Triumph, but when the unexpected happened, her first cruise also became her last, she said.
She described her first days on the Triumph as good fun.
"We got to Cozumel, got off there and came back. But, on the way back is when it all went downhill," Jones said.
On Sunday morning, February 10th, a message over the ship's public address system awakened her and her friends.
"Alpha-Team, report to the engine room. One of our friends knew that meant fire," Jones explained.
The fire had started an hour earlier. Jones panicked as she and her friends put on their life jackets and went up on deck.
"But, when we got up there, they said 'It's all under control. You can go back to your rooms,'" said Jones.
At this point the fire had killed the power. With engines stopped, the ship required tugboats to tow it to port, and that's when problems really began.
"We dragged the mattresses out to the deck, and we slept out there because by then, it wasn't long before everything was overflowing. Nothing was working. Nothing flushed," Jones said.
The smell, she said, lingered for four days, as passengers had to use bags because the plumbing was out of order. Those bags were stored around the ship.
"One day we really we smelled it really bad, even out on the deck. And, we had heard that the crew had to undo the bags and dump what was in them into the sea because they were running out of storage where to store that," Jones said.
After a couple days, Jones got a text to go through to her daughter, Leah Kempson, telling her that she was okay.
"Once we saw land. It was something else to know we didn't have to go through anymore," Jones said.
Kempson traveled to Mobile to welcome her mom home.
"As as we turned the curve, you see this big, huge massive boat. And it's like, for the first time, me and my sister just grabbed hands, and I was able to breathe. There's my mom. I don't know where she is, but she's there," Kempson explained.
With one lawsuit already filed against Carnival Corporation, Jones said she is considering the same. The cruise line reimbursed each passenger for the trip, added $500 and another free cruise.
Jones said there is no way she is going on a cruise again.
The coast guard said Monday the cause of the fire on Carnival Triumph was a leak in fuel oil return line.