North Charleston woman recalls days stuck aboard Carnival Triumph

  • Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 11:34 a.m., Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 1:50 p.m.
People watch from their balconies and hold up signs aboard the Carnival Triumph after it was towed to the cruise terminal in Mobile, Ala., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. The ship with more than 4,200 passengers and crew members has been idled for nearly a week in the Gulf of Mexico following an engine room fire. (AP Photo/, Mike Brantley)

Ruth McGarrah, of North Charleston, and six family members spent a harrowing five days stuck aboard the Carnival Triumph with little food and no electricity.

The group woke to an electrical smell the morning of Feb. 9. But with the reassurance of crew members, she said they felt confident that the problem wouldn’t take long to fix.

As hours went by with no solution, she said her family soon realized that a fire in the ship’s engine room was much worse than they anticipated.

Within days of being stuck at sea, a gut-wrenching smell filled the ship as sewage overflowed within its cabins, she said.

A food shortage, and limited clean water further intensified the already traumatic experience, she said.

On Thursday, the Carnival Triumph was towed into Mobile Bay in Alabama.

After five days back on land, she said, she’s only now gotten her appetite back.

Read more in Wednesday’s editions of The Post and Courier.

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