It was a terrifying scene aboard a cruise ship late last week, when a huge storm rocked a Carnival Cruise Line vessel, delaying the ship’s return to port and leaving passengers frightened for their lives.
The boat, Carnival Sunshine, was returning to Charleston, S.C., on Friday, May 26, when it encountered a storm.
Torrential rains caused the boat’s hallways to flood with water and the boat’s furniture was flung around inside the ship by the rough conditions of the sea.
The cruise ship was returning after a six-day cruise of the Bahamas and Carnival confirmed the storm delayed the boat’s return to port and it arrived about nine hours behind schedule.
“Carnival Sunshine’s return to Charleston was impacted by the weather and rough seas on Saturday,” Carnival said in a statement. ”The weather’s prolonged impact on the Charleston area delayed the ship’s arrival on Sunday and as a result, the next voyage’s embarkation was also delayed.”
Video and photos taken by passengers show water sluicing through hallways, retail display areas strewn with debris that fell from shelves, broken glass, doors knocked from their frames and huge waves smashing against the side of the vessel.
“It was terrifying,” passenger William B. Blackburn told CNN of the nightmare experience, saying he and his family took shelter in their cabin and prayed.
“(We) discussed the fact that it would be very unlikely to survive in the water even with life-jackets and doubted that lifeboats could even be launched in those conditions,” he said.
Sharon Tutrone, a passenger and professor at Coastal Carolina University, shared on Twitter that the cruise ship “didn’t wait it out.”
“We sailed right into (the storm) and spent 11 hours pitching, diving, and rolling,” she said.
In a followup tweet, she added that the ordeal lasted for 14 hours and, at one point, “the ship took a hit from a wave that sounded like the ship split in two.”
Another traveller, Daniel Taylor, told The Daily Mail he went to check out the onboard entertainment after the captain announced they would be charting through a storm.
“Stage lights mounted on the ceiling began to shake, the disco ball started swinging and the LED wall on the stage began rolling side by side on its own.”
In an additional statement to FOX Weather, Carnival said that “the weather and rough surf led to some crew cabins being temporarily taken out of service while we clean up water damage. All the public areas of the ship are open and in service and Carnival Sunshine is currently operating its next cruise, a five-day Bahamas sailing.”
As of this writing, there are no reports of any major injuries to passengers.