Four Brownwood residents among thousands stranded on cruise ship

POSTED: 7:27 PM Feb 12 2013
BROWNWOOD, Texas -

Four Brownwood residents, Michael and Sandra Richardson and Paul and Starleen Cline, are among the 4,000 plus people stranded on the Triumph.

The ship is now being pulled by tug boats to Mobile, Alabama, and is expected to dock no later than Thursday.

The Carnival cruise ship, the Triumph, has been stranded in the Gulf of Mexico since Sunday.

Federal transportation officials have opened an investigation into an engine room fire that crippled the cruise ship.

Sandra Richardson is the Assistant Principal at Brownwood Middle School. Principal Bryan Allen doesn't expect Sandra back at work until Monday.

"It was just a matter of, oh God poor Sandra and Michael her husband. We're concerned for them. Here they were, you know, going on this fun trip, excited about that, and then what a downer," said Allen.

A downer indeed, one passenger, Donna Gutzman, describes conditions bad enough to make anyone seasick.

"The worst part is the bathrooms. There's no water, you can't really flush so everyone's going in little plastic baggies and putting it outside their room," said Gutzman.

Aside from the conditions, the school just wants the Richardson's to make it home safely.

"As soon as the do make it back safe and sound, we'll probably have some good welcoming things for them, maybe of a more humorous nature," said Allen.

The Triumph is scheduled to dock no later than Thursday.

Carnival is refunding the cost of the cruise, transportation expenses, and all ship board purchases, excluding casino gambling and gift store purchases.

They are also giving a future credit in the same amount that the cruise costs.

The next two cruises scheduled on board the Triumph have been cancelled.