The ironically named Carnival cruiseliner Triumph will soon arrive in Mobile, Alabama, ending a horrific few days for the stranded crew and 4,200 or so passengers. If you don't know the story, an engine fire broke out and despite being rapidly extinguished, rendered the ship immobile. Tug boats have had to bring the ship back to land. While food is reportedly abundant aboard the boat, conditions weren't exactly pristine.
With toilets only occasionally working, people were forced to sleep out on the deck and in other public areas due to leaking sewage swishing about the cabin.
Tent City, for the outdoorsy types.
So, while being stuck on a cruise ship is a textbook First World problem, the length and circumstances here turned this incident into a full-on First World debacle.
Ugh, can you imagine the tangles? No, in all seriousness, it looks like the passengers mostly handled things like a bunch of troopers, taking the uncomfortable conditions in stride.
So, you might be wonder, why didn't Carnival just evacuate all the passengers?
We evaluated a wide range of options incldng using another ship to transport guests but the safest solution was towing the ship back to port
— Carnival Cruise Line (@CarnivalCruise) February 13, 2013
Evacuation wasn't impossible, but Carnival is being truthful. It boils down to the fact that getting people off that boat means putting them on another huge boat, and doing that requires moving them across open water. 4,200 people being moved on dinky life rafts is a huge liability and puts everyone at risk. Read more about why evacuation was impossible here.
All in all, it wasn't a great time, but at least one passenger knocked an item off her bucket list
— Bethany Fasnacht (@squaredonut) February 11, 2013
I do really feel for any honeymooners aboard the boat though!
— Scott Munroe (@sdmunroe) February 12, 2013