- Paris Flash
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A Carnival cruise ship, holding more than 4200 passengers — including several Jazzercise members and instructors from Paris — became stranded in the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend after a fire broke out in its engine room, disabling the boat just off of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, according to CNN staff reporters.
The fire broke out sometime on Sunday morning, with its cause still unknown. There were no injuries reported in the fire, which was contained quickly.
Two tugboats are currently pulling the boat back to shore, planning to arrive at a port in Mobile, Alabama sometime Thursday, where Carnival officials have already secured many hotel rooms for passengers, at no cost to them.
Many Jazzercise members and instructors from North Texas and surrounding areas were on the ship for a 4-day ‘Jazzercise cruise’.
Kristina Courson, Jodi Edelhauser, Karley Jackson, Doreen Ruthhart, Danae Pynes, Angie Briscoe, Denise Moffitt, Heather Cody and Paula White, all from Paris, and possibly others from the area, are among the stranded passengers on the ship. More updates on passengers from our area will follow if made available.
“I talked to Kristina on Sunday over text,” Kristina’s husband, Roger Courson, told the Extra!. ”She’s good — she said she was making friends and dealing with it the best she could. They will be back sometime on Thursday.”
Although there were no injuries reported in the incident, this was a scary and very inconvenient situation, and according to Carnival officials, all passengers on the ship will get a full refund, plus credit towards a future cruise and reimbursement for all expenses, except gift shop and casino purchases.
There has been emergency generator power since the fire, although it’s still scarce, and technicians have managed to bring auxiliary power back to order in some parts of the ship, according to CNN staff reporters.
There is a somewhat limited supply of food, although some food services and coffee have been available to passengers, while other Carnival cruise line ships have brought food and supplies to their aid. According to a Reuters report, crew members have also passed out free wine and beer to passengers.
There are an inconvenient number of working toilets, making for many uncomfortable passengers, while some are ‘camping’ on the deck for fresh air and to keep cool, where lack of power limits the air conditioning inside. Due to sewage issues on the ship, there are terrible odors, bad enough at times to make passengers sick.
On a good note, according to reports, there seems to be no further problems with the ship’s navigation or with towing the boat back to shore, and all passengers should arrive home safely by Thursday.