Austin man recounts concern on board Triumph cruise ship


by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and Photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 11:38 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 12 at 10:29 AM

AUSTIN – An Austin family who took the Carnival cruise ship Triumph two weeks ago told KVUE News that it was acting up even back then.

“We started back and it was at a snail's pace and they said, 'No, we've got a problem with the propulsion system so we're going to be a couple of hours late coming in to Galveston.'  Well a couple of hours turned into about four-and-a-half hours," said Leon Whitely to KVUE Monday.

Whitely says at one point he and his family  were even adrift on the liner for almost an hour.

It’s the exact same ship that has stranded more than 4,200 passengers including guests and crew members in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Triumph left Galveston on Thursday and was supposed to return Monday.  At last report, the disabled ship is being towed to Alabama and should arrive there Thursday.

Jay Juba, an Austin travel agent, told KVUE that the cruise ship industry has more repeat customers than any other vacation venue.

“The Concordia accident last year was a terrible tragedy and it has raised the bar even higher to make sure that everything the cruise industry is doing is safe and sound," said Juba.

Apparently an engine fire is being blamed for disabling the ship, leaving thousands adrift.

Passengers report not having functioning bathrooms. There’s no power nor running water, and the only way folks can make a telephone call is when another Carnival ship delivers food.

Austin Local News Video
More Video