Thursday morning, a spokesperson for Carnival cruise lines confirmed two Bryan passengers' claims: people on board the cruise ship Ecstasy were injured while the ship maneuvered Wednesday in the Gulf of Mexico.
Carnival spokesperson Laurie Mahle said 60 people were injured Wednesday when Ecstasy maneuvered to miss a buoy. Mahle said the buoy was mostly submerged and not detected by radar. According to Carnival, some on board were injured.
The Ecstasy docked Thursday morning in Galveston, as scheduled.
Gayle Epley and her daughter Tifani Brown were enjoying lunch on their last full day aboard Ecstasy Wednesday, when they said something went wrong.
"People were starting to look out and we noticed we could just see the sky more and more," said Epley, speaking by phone Wednesday afternoon, while still aboard.
"The ship was shuddering. Just shake shake shake and that's when all the dishes were coming out. It was a mess, it looked like a food fight and that's when everybody jumped up screaming and running trying to get outside," said Epley.
They were 18 hours from docking in Galveston, but Epley said they thought their cruise might be coming to an end sooner than expected.
"We thought we were going over. We really thought the whole ship was going to be tipped over," said Epley.
She can't send any pictures of the chaos because the internet café has been shut down.
"They had to close down stores, all the glass went flying and it broke the glass on the outside of the liquor store," said Epley.
She said the ship was tilted for 10 minutes, enough to empty the pool.
"People were crawled all over everybody and screaming and it was horrible and we finally got out to hang on the side of the balcony railing because it was tipped so much, if you didn't, you'd be sliding back into the restaurant," said Epley.
It's a vacation the Bryan resident said she might need another vacation to recover from.
While KBTX was on the phone with Epley, the captain announced over the loudspeaker that the ship was completely operational.
**UPDATED** statement from Carnival:
Yesterday, April 21, at approximately 12.55 pm U.S. central time, the cruise ship Carnival Ecstasy was forced to perform a maneuver to avoid an object in the water which resulted in the ship listing to the port side. The object was a large buoy which was adrift and mostly submerged thereby preventing it from being detected by the ship's radar. The Carnival Ecstasy was on the final leg of a five-day cruise that departed Galveston, Texas, on Saturday, April 17 with stops in Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico.
The movement of the vessel resulted in minor injuries to 60 guests who were treated at the ship's infirmary as well as some minor damage to merchandise and unsecured objects.
The vessel docked this morning in Galveston, Texas, as scheduled. All proper authorities, including the U.S. Coast Guard have been notified.
Carnival sincerely apologizes for the distress and discomfort this occurrence has caused our guests. The safety, comfort and care of our guests and crew is our top priority.