tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN February 14, 2013 10:00pm-11:00pm EST
ship carnival "triumph" a mile or so from port, and we don't know how long it will take, and finally, finally ending a very unpleasant journey. you are looking at the live pictures of the enormous ship threading into the channel of the mobile, alabama, cruise ship terminal. how did this begin? well, the days and days of power outages and massive sanitation issue, and the ship is about a mile out, and the ship will reset. the ship does not just pull in, because they have to situation all of the tug boboats in, and y have difficult at night, and a new port, but we will be here for it. you are looking at a live picture here. it could take several hours once it does get into port for these 4 4,200-and-some passengers to get off. it is going to be difficult
unboarding. they have a whole set up there to make it safe, but lit tait w take time because it is a massive move of humanity and baggage and transport of places to meet the families. there is a lot to ogo yet, but the great news is when this ship, the "triumph" is dockside. we want to find out the best sense and impression of what is it right now to be on board, what this means to this company, the cruise line spokesman recently talked about what will happen next, and this is what they have to say. >> insooide the terminal, theres also warm food available. there are blankets. there are cell phone, and refreshments available for the guests that need that or want that assistance. our biggest focus very honestly is to move the people as quickly as possible on to the roughly 100 motor coaches awaiting their arrival and move them quickly as we talked about for the options earlier on their way and motor
coach-wise to galveston or on their way to the hotels that have been schedule and elected to do. >> they are doing their best and a huge situation and again, 4 2 4,226 or 29 people that have to be moved. and many of them unhappy, this was a vacation after all, and it cocould have been worse, because it was not life threatening, and the vessel not taking on water. and we go down to mobile to martin savidge who is monitoring this. what do we know at this time, martin? >> well, chris, the ship is in sight of the alabama cruise termin terminal. people are waiting and gesturing that they can see the ship, so clearly within view and not quite for the camera, but we expect it to be shortly, but we have seen other activity to suggest that the vessel is near. one a whole group of people who
made it to the dock and then on top of that families heading in, so every indication now, chris, that this ship is just within sight and we should be picking it up any moment. the tricky part is dock ing it here. normally ships like this have underwater thrusters to dock themselves, but this is a ship with no power whatsoever, and being pulled an towed and shoved a little bit by tugs, but the problem when you used the tugboats, the main ship had some propulsion, and this has none. you are going against a current of a river flowing downstream, and you are are trying to come upstream with the vessel, and it is a big boat, and we know that, and it is trying to come gently up against the dockside here when you have 4,000 people on board, you want to be very, very careful. so, that is why it is going to be a real tricky and very careful operation. don't expect this thing to suddenly pull up to park. it is going to be a delicate maneuvering that takes place.
once they do, the offloading and as you have pointed out four or maybe five hours and depends, because one gangway and a lot of people who have to use it and first and foremost are the elderly and those with special needs and children who will be allowed off first, chris. >> and at that point, it is the beginning of the end. what is the range of the emotion that you are seeing there, martin, of the people waiting dockside? >> well, it is just, get them off. it is just let's get them off of the boat and at least for the family members waiting and many of them have come a long way. one gentleman has come from indiana and that is an 18-hour drive. they are here and they felt that their loved ones wanted to see them after this ordeal and they did not want to wait for carnival to handle the transportation, and look, it is my family and i will pick them up very much. many of them have hotels here and first place to go and hot shower and warm meal of some sort and then think of getting everybody home, because that is where they want to be after this long ordeal. right now, anticipation, and not so much anxiousness, because
they have all had the opportunity to talk on the telephone or text and communicate with their loved one on board the ship, but the worry is now, let's get this overwith and get them back in my arms. so that's the problem, chris. >> all right. martin, thank you very much, and i will be checking back in with you and appreciate it. looking at the live pictures of the split screen. thank you wbrc. and everybody on the rail and people are expected in the last moments because they are especially tense so close to the loved ones, but this is maybe the longest periods of the frustration, because there is some close, but yet docking takes time, and as you heard martin savidge telling us rightly so without any power on the vessel, it is going to be difficult to dock it. safety first. it would be horrible to have a problem after everything that has happened. let's bring in chad meyyers her because earlier, we were talk
about the difficulties of moving up river with the basically floating building. when we are getting close to the docking, chad -- are you with me? >> you bet. right here. >> okay. why is it going to be difficult to dock this ship for the uninitiated out there? what makes it so tricky? >> everyone who has ever watched a sea boat go around a lake knows that all of the gas, all of the power comes from the back. that is how a speed e boat work s, but with cruise ships, power actually comes out of the sides as well. they are called bowel thrusters or stern thrusters and they can move the ship right across from left to right if the ship is moving to the north, it can go east or west with these bow thrusters from the front to the rear. so if with we had the real joystick working, it would be easy, and this is a walk in the park, but we don't have that.
this is a barge basically that doesn't have any power whatsoever. they are going to have to move some ships to the other side, some just like pushing vessels andones and not the large ones we moved into the ocean, but small tugs pushing it to the left and push the portside up to the dock and it won't take 25 or 30 minutes burk these guys, these men and women on the tugboats, they know what they are doing, and this is not the first rodeo. they will put this ship right up against that dock in no time, and people will be off i would say within the hour and maybe less, and people will be walking off of this ship. >> and yet, it is a delicate maneuver, and any boater out there knows, because i have a small fishing boat, chad, and i need nine people to help me dock even with the power and facilities, but obviously the level of sophistication is so high and the tugboats there, and thank you for the latest bit of information, chad. and now who matters the most?
the passengers and we have been talking to our favorite 16-year-old haley meyer and when we were speaking to her earlier, she was doing the best of it, but she was understandably emotional. >> reporter: tell me when you were finally able to get in touch with the family and the loved ones and tell them that everybody is going to be okay and tell me about that. >> well, it was kind of stressful. i didn't talk to my mom or anything, so it was kind of hard, and when we called them and texted them, we all just cry and everything. >> i am sure you did. this is very scary, haley, even though you are on the way home. i know it is scary and i'm sure that a lot of people are afraid there. >> and grandma and my aunt and they are so happy and worried that we got in touch and everything. >> haley's cell phone batteries
are too apparently shaky to talk to us, and we are trying to get her back on and make sure she is okay and doing her best, but we have her parents, patricia and darren blake joining us. can you hear us, mr. and mrs. blake? there you are. >> yes, sir, with we can hear you. >> yes, sir. >> and your daughter, we had a great conversation earlier and she was upset when she would finally get to see you and talking to you, but she is doing her best and she sounded good. i can't imagine how excited you are going to be to see your little girl. how are you doing? >> we are doing better now. great to hear from her. it has been a very long week. very stressful week not being able to talk to her since sunday, and we were very pleased to hear from her. >> how did she sound to you? >> she sounded actually better than what i anticipated. i was expecting a lot worse, but it was such a joy to hear her and i can't wait to see e her.
>> what is your biggest concern about what she has had to deal with on board? >> the aftermaths of what will happen when she gets back home, what she endured while she was on the ship. we are just going the have to wa -- going to have to wait and see when we get back home. >> and darren, what do you feel about the responsibility of the cruise line and how they should make up for this? >> well, i think that the crew did a really fantastic job. sounds like all of the passengers have given them a lot of accolades, so, the crew deser deserve s a lot of credit, and i think that they deserve some sort of compensation. so hat's off to the screw, because it hat's off to the crew, because it is a collective effort on their part and kudos to them, and hat's off to them. appreciate it. >> we have heard even though they are under such duress, actual crew, the men and the women are helping the elderly
and tending the needs and making sure that the place is looking as good as it can be, and cleaning up the most unimaginable of messes and the crew people have helped to salvage a situation that is so unpleasant, and what is the fir first thing that you will do with your little girl when you get her off of the ship? >> well, we want to see if she wants to go back here to the hotel and get a shower. she wants mcdonald's chicken mcnuggets, french fries and an iced tea. so, that is probably, i don't know if that is a texas thing or not, but going to load her up in the car and take her where she want wants and head back to midlothian, texas. >> well, if that does not fix her up quick, nothing will, if that does not make her better nothing will. okay. listen, thank you so much for take ing t taking the time and we are glad that your daughter is well and if you speak to her before we do, please, pass along the best wishes for her, okay. >> we sure appreciate it. thank you, sir. >> all right. we are looking at pictures of the cruise ship now, and people
are coming up against the rail. they are so anxious to get off that ship. this is one vacation they can't wait to end, i'm sure. let's see if there is anymore developments. to martin savidge who is dockside of the ship that is maneuvering towards him. martin? >> yes, chris. this is the media line here, and this is as far as we are allowed to go. there's the terminal there, and the gangway that people are coming down, so this is as close as we are allowed to get at the moment when it comes to any of the passengers getting off of the vessel. it is all carefully con treenld one who is doing the controlling is carnival. right now, we are penned up in this particular area, and how well we will be able to talk to some of the passengers when we get off remains to be seen, but trust us, we have been talking to families who intend for one way or another their loved one is heard. and we have seen the lead tugboat going by and that means from any moment from this
vantage point we should see the bow of the vessel, and the rest of the ship will follow. up there on the second floor, you might see tables up there. that is actually where they are going to process the passengers as they come off of this vessel. then, once they figure out who is going by bus or to a hotel, they head on their way and reunions will be taking place up there as well, because that is where the family who have driven in are awaiting anxiously, you can bet right now, and the windows up there, they are certainly looking at the ship already. >> it is hard to see here, martin, and so small for the people, and it gives a sense of the scale of the cruise ship, because it is almost 1,000 feet long and 100 feet high or more and like a floating apartment building and a city's worth of people in there, 4,000-plus people, and you can see how tiny up the rail, and so anxious to get off. martin, we have covered so many different tragedies that end in loss of life and certainly, thank god, that is not what we
are dealing with here, and we don't want to overdramatize the situation, but there is something about being stuck out at sea for days that does capture the fascination of something so much that you want to avoid. isn't that a big reason that there is such interest in this? >> well -- >> oh, listen to the horn, martin. they are so happy to hear that. port of call horn which means they are about to dock. >> that is a sound that many family members are waiting for. >> i am sorry, martin. you were saying? >> you are absolutely right. last week i was here in alabama with a very different scene. but it is still without interest. let's take a listen. guessing they are done. so getting to the point. it has been a drama that has
captured much of the world and coming to an end, and good ending and happy ending for the family, so in many ways, i will leave nit that pit in that pers but many did not hear from their families and they heard that there was a fire on board and we lost power and communication, and then people were terrified for many days until you got an official word from your loved one is when it eased your mind. >> and the way it started, the fire -- here she is. and the point of embarkication
and debarication. look at that. >> 4,000 people there on board and every single one of them so anxious to get off. easing into port now. >> you are looking at the lights and the illumination up there, and some of it is piloting lights necessary for navigation, but they have been able to establish some power to the vessel. some have suggested, family members that they thought it was interesting that the lights came onser it got the shore, but people are waving up there, and this is the moment that the families are waiting. i can hear the cheering coming from the dochblgtk. a lot of pent-up emotion, chris. >> okay. i will leave you for a moment. eric robles is on board with his six-month pregnant wife, and can you hear me, eric? >> yes, i can. >> we see the ship, my friend. how are you feeling?
[ inaudible ]. >> we are anxious to get off first because of the condition she is in and very, very excited. >> you are breaking in and out and you said that you were one of the first to get off because kayla is six months' pregnant and is she okay and ready to go? >> she is feeling great and ready to get off and we have a doctor's appointment tomorrow to make sure that everything is going fine and the baby is okay, but we want to make sure, and we are excited to get off. >> better safe than sorry, and i remember your mother-in-law who loves you more than ever and she could not thank you more than ever to take care of her daughter, and cnn is running around to mic you up to do an interview the right way. for those who are not watching, but eric's mother in law is so happy with him and that is a great thing when you go into the port that your mother-in-law is loving you. eric, if you are still with me, as you are getting off of the
ship, what are the first couple of things that you can't wait to do? >> oh, man, the first thing i can't wait to do is to kiss everybody and make sure our baby is doing fine. my mom and sister is going to be here and we want to go see her family and the goal the whole time is to get back safely and when we achieve that goal, i have done the right thing. >> we are trying to get your mother-in-law and sister-in-law miked up so you can talk to them again like last time. we wish you the best. there is no reason for everything not to go great at the doctors, and this is a memory you will never forget, u but i hope that the name "triumph" of the ship has not popped into the top of the naming of the list, has it, eric? we can't hear eric, but you know that the answer was no way.
>> i think they are calling at this moment. >> can you hear us at this moment, eric? >> yes, they are calling a in i this moment to go off. >> okay. make sure your bride is okay and we will talk to you when you get on shore. >> all right. >> all right. theresa, are you there with me? >> yes, i am. >> miss gaspard, how are you? how excited. look at the big smiles. >> we see the boat! >> listen, this is a great moment. we are so happy to see that boat. we are thrilled. >> your daughter is getting off and she has a doctor's appointment to check on the baby and make sure that everything is okay, and she is six months along. is that tomorrow? >> yes. yes, it is. >> she seems fine, though, right, because she has not
experienced anything other than the desire to get off, right? >> no. >> right. no. >> we are making sure all along. she was eating and drinking, and she said she had enough food and water. >> and she is a cheerful little person and i'm pretty good that she is giving a ragin' cajun hello out there that she is home. >> yes, i love it. ragin' cajun. and anything that she likes or special food or craving or something? >> actually we have, i have spent quite a bit of money and don't tell my husband, with but it is waiting in the car. >> we did a little shopping spree at target. >> well, i have to wait you. if you don't want him to know, don't say it on tv, theresa, i can't protect you. >> oh, no. oh, no. no, actually we gave him a hint so they know. >> if there is any time that you want to spend money, it is when your daughter who is carrying your grandchild is getting off a ship where she has been stuck
for days. this is a good time to open up the pockets. >> yes, i think so. >> well, we did, and we are excited. we are very happy that this time has finally come. >> all right. listen, it has been great getting to know you this way, and i'm so happy that we are here for the happy she is going to be one of the first to get off of the ship, because she is pregnant and if you feel like it when you get done with the arms to hug each other and you want to use one to give us a call on the cell phone, do it, and if not, god bless and good luck at the doctors tomorrow. >> all right. thank you so much. >> good night. >> good night. >> all right. we are going to go to another passenger now, and larry is on the "triumph" of course, and he is on floor eight, and passengers are offloaded on the floors starting at one, and there is time. we are looking at pictures of them waving signs and larry, are you there? >> yes. >> all right. congratulations. >> thank you. >> so, you went on this
vacation, i believe for a father/daughter vacation, yes? >> that is correct. >> and your daughter is 12 years old? >> yes. rebecca is 12. >> so was rebecca anxious to go on the trip or did it take a little bit of a kind of tugging in the beginning? >> oh, no, she was as anxious as i was and we were both anxious. >> and so this had to be a little bit trying to use a parental word, but what is the bond like now after this experience? >> well, it just perfect. i mean, absolutely perfect. we just got closer and communicated at lot. and we did things together instead of her going off to camp carnival and with me doing what parents do, and we spent the time together. >> let me ask you something, when the word of fire came out, and it was a different potential situation, and you are told to go to the muster areas and the gathering areas and told to get your life vests, what was going
through your mind? >> well, we really didn't have time to think, because it was a matter of following instructions. and when we got out, you know, because we were on eight and nine and when we got up to nine, we could smell the, see the smoke and smell the burning and smelled like wires burning and smelled like diesel or oil or something burning as well. ooh and so we were just waiting to see. >> i don't know the half of what you had the deal with and thank god it was not anything worse and now that it is dockside, it can all become a memory, right? larry? >> yes, sir. it is a life-changing event and we will learn from it. >> all right. you are breaking up a little bit on me, larry, and please, stay a little patient while you get off there on the eighth floor and
hopefully, you will get off soon and we will talk to you all of the best. all right. we have another passenger, john gobel joining us from the sixth floor and again, offloading from the floors and you have a little bit of a wait, john. how did that play into your understanding of what the situation was? >> well, when they originally called for -- i was immediately awaken, and i knew that there was a problem in the engine room. i basically understood that there was an emergency and i think that there was osomething to not scare the passengers too much. >> yes, fire on board is always
scary in these situations and it could have been much worse -- >> actually -- >> go ahead, john. >> well, yeah, they actually didn't announce a fire right away. they just called for team alpha, and at that time, i told my wife i was going to get up and see what with was going on. and at that time, i went up on the 12th deck, and i observed smoke coming from the vicinity of the stack, and it appeared to be coming out of the ventilation from the engine room. >> were you concerned that you were about to go from the big boat to the small boat? >> i was. and i went back down below and talked to my wife and advised other go ahead and get dressed and come topside. >> how long did you have to deal with that not knowing whether you would have to abandon ship?
how long before you knew it was something under control? >> i would say that it was probably a good 15 or 20 minutes. >> and as they were trying to ease the tension, a lot of things were going well, and the crew, we are hearing behaved admirably and keeping people comfortable, but you had concerns as well about what was happening on board, yes? >> yes, i did. my main concern was that, was that they didn't, they told people to stay calm and that they had the situation under control, and they advised people that had gone to the muster station to actually --
>> i know they are make an announcement, john, and directing people about how to disembark. >> yes. go ahead, john. i can hear you. >> i kind of lost my train of thought. >> we were talking about what you were concerned about on board that was going on. >> right. yes, and i was concerned that they didn't require the passengers to go to the mus tear station. they told everybody they had the situation under control and return to their cabin. and this was at 5:30 in the morning approximately that the situation started. they made that announcement at about 5:50. so my concern was that maybe they didn't have the fire under control, because i observed black smoke coming out of the vent, and based upon my experience with firefighting, i
believe they didn't have it under control at that time. >> so you felt e that thethat t little bit of false calm delivered by the crew, but ultimately, john, in the final analysis, you were okay in in terms of that level of urgency and now you are waiting there on the sixth floor of the ship to get off, and everybody is basically well, and thank you for talking to us. >> thank you. >> as a side note, john is getting off and they will have buss to take him some place and he said he is going to self-cha self-charter and he does not want to put himself in their hands any more and the master of his own fate. more word of what is going on dockside there in mobile, alabama, and erin burnett there all day and night to make sure she has been there for this moment. and you see the ship creeping, and what do you see? >> after what they have been
through in the last few days, they said, the most important moment is when they saw land. through my microphone, you can hear the families cheering and not too many, but some families have come as far away from families who have driven 10 or 11 hours from paris, texas, to come here to pick up their wife and daughter, and it is just sort of fun looking up. i have to say that standing on the ground here and many people have either been on cruises or seen cruises, and they are lit up and big party mobiles in a sense, but this is amazing, because it is completely dark. >> that is exactly right. alternative power they have been running on there, erin. >> yes, and exactly. and so they have been waving signs and you saw i miss my cat, and sweet home, alabama, you can see there, and all sorts of homemade signs, but a lot of people that we talked to on the ship were saying, we have heard the awful things that happened, but they made some new friends, and they got the know people that they thought they knew a
lot better, and some of the things had good outcomes, but two logistical things that are important, and chris, we had been told by carnival it could take four to five hours to disembark, and the ship is right now moving. it is moving inches at this point. it is not fully docked, but from then, it could take four to five hour, but from what my understanding is talking to people on the ship, they have cleared customs and i was talking to a man whose wife is on the ship and waiting for her, and they have also already gone down below to get their bags and that is something that could have taken hour, and so that has been accomplished for some people on the ship, and so we could see them quickly get off of the ship on that gangplank, but it is going to be fun. people are e mogsal and only a few days, but it was emotional for so many people. >> right now the main emotion should be relief. because they are dockside, and obviously, there is going to be a press conference coming soon, and when we bring that to you live, of course.
just to reset for those who are just tuning in now, that is the carnival ship triumy uiumph and ship stranded out there when a fire was on deck, and wound up losing the power and wound up losing sanitation and all types of services and the people have lived with no climate control and sleeping on deck and not having showers and any kind of toiletry or sanitary, and it has been rough for them, and now they are finally coming home, and life threatening experience, but certainly a lifestyle threaten i threatening experience and one of the favorite people that we have talked to the night is my young friend haley. haley, you are on the phone right now, haley meyer, 16 years old. how are you, sweetheart? >> good. >> so, come on, give me more than good. how are you feeling, you are about to get off of the ship. >> overwhelmed. s. >> overwhelmed, one word, but a big word. i will take it. when i spoke to you earlier, you were worried and you had been a little bit upset when you spoke
to your family, but now as you know you will see them in moments, i spoke to your parent, and they can't wait to see you and they have your special meal ready. are you psyched to see them? >> yay. >> good. good. listen, i know that you are upset, but this time at least it is those tears of joy that you are going to be feeling for seeing them soon. let me put a smile on your face by telling you what your dad told me. this is what he has ready for you, are you ready, haley? >> yes. >> chicken nuggets. how are we doing? a little smile? >> yes. good. >> and french fries. how are we doing with french fries. >> good. >> iced tea. >> yay. >> okay. yeah. >> all right. and look, thank god it is only going to take that to make you feel better after what you have been through on that ship. i know it was scary, but now as you know it is so close to being over. what deck are you on? >> i was on six.
>> so you on six, and you have to wait a little i while to get off. you know that, right? >> yes. >> how is everybody around you doing? people feeling about being finally there? >> they are overwhelmed and really excited. people are clapping because they got to see land. it was really fun. >> when is the last time you spoke to your parents? >> today at like 11. >> all right. well, you should give them a call if you can, because they are waiting down there, and give them a call and let them know that you are all right and you are about to see them. >> yes. >> don't be texting the friends all of the time, because you can do that later. deal with mom and dad first. >> yes. >> what do you see people doing on deck around you? a lot of hugging and dancing or what are people doing? >> scrambling around trying to get off first. >> right. they have the crew trying to keep them calm and keep everybody orderly and no reason
for an injury after everything that you made it through. >> right. i don't need a broken ankle. >> no, not right now. all of the baggage, you take it with you or that stays behind and you get it later? >> i get to take it with me. >> again, not the bring you down, but i wanted to manage your expectations, it may take a couple of hours before you are able to get off of the ship, and that does not mean that anything is wrong, but it is just about how many people they have to unload over 4,000, and you know, it is kind of a narrow zigzagging thing to get down, you know. >> yes. >> all right. well, i am glad that you are feeling a little bit better. >> thank you. >> don't be sad. it is the good part now. >> yay. i'm home. >> yeah, right. i mean, come on, give me some excitement, you have chicken nuggets and iced tea down there. you better be glad that i am not there, because you would have an
empty cup. >> yay, my greasy food is ready. >> okay. if you get anxious, just call us back, and i will talk to you. >> okay. >> and it has to be a mixed of emotions let alone at the ender age of 16 years old and you have been stuck here and thought it was a fire and dwod forbid thgo tell you to put on the life preserver because you may have to get into the water, and for perspective, let's talk to dr. sanjay gupta and you have been good about managing the expectations, and this is not a crisis situation even though it is dramatic for us to watch the ship come in, but it is not a crisis mode, but as they come dockside, should there be some protocol in place for how you organize need to address medical things as they come off? >> i imagine that some of that is sort of triage, chris, has been done even on the boat. unlike a lot of the other situations, other natural disasters, you have medical
personnel here, and some of that triage and infirmary even on the boat. so my guess is that the biggest concern is going to be just keeping people organized and keeping them so that they have no one hurt as they disembark the ship. the other thing they think that to keep in mind and you are seeing wit great interviews that you are dwog the young -- you are doing with the young gal haley -- >> doc, let me interrupt you for a moment with the press conference here. >> it is a e relief to know that the guests and the crew members have made it here safely. i know that guests have been waiting for this and what we all at carnival have been working towards. there is a tremendous amount of effort that has gone into getting this ship back here and so many people that i want to thank for helping us in this regard. i would like to specifically mention the united states coast guard who has done a fantastic job having that cutter alongside
and tremendously helpful to reassuring the guests and the u.s. kcustoms and border protection to expedite the clearance and the scity of mobile, and the port of mobile have been gracious and helpful to us, and i thank everybody, but i'd like to also recognize the effort made by our shoreside teams and company in miami and mostly the team on board. i know it has been very trying for our guests, but i can tell you that our crew worked tirelessly to try and make it as good of an experience as they possibly could for our guest, and i want to thank them very much. >> now, one of the nice things for me is to see that many of our guests in online media and other types of media have recognized just how hard our crew has worked.
i appreciate the patience of the guests and the ability to cope with the situation. i would like to reiterate the apology that i made earlier, because i know that the conditions on board were very poor and it was very difficult, and i want to apologize again to subjecting the guests to that. we pride ourselves in providing our guests with a great vacation experience, and clearly we failed in this particular case. now, there is one other thing that we have been making media updates, but we know that we have the guests on land and we t have to get them home, and the full resources of carnival are working to get them home as quickly as possibly can. the most important thing for me to do is to go on board and apologize to the guests.
once i finish that, i will walk around and try to help expedite the process of getting them off and on the way as quickly as i can. so right now, that is what i am going to do and go on board to apologize to the guests. thank you very much. >> what are you going the say to the guests? >> and we need to get gerry on board. thank you again. >> and obviously, there in the news conference, a premium by the carnival official on apologizing and this situation, thank god, not life threatening, but it was extend and very unpleasant for those on board, and difficult balancing act, because there were questions about why this was not taken care of sooner. we heard from the industry insider before that it is not as simple as bringing another ship. we have jay herring with us again, and he is a former senior officer for carnival cruise lines and worked on "triumph" again and he has a book "the
truth of the cruise ship worker, and the alcohol and the cruise ship life --." >> is that it? >> yes. mouthful. >> well, titles are long. but anyway, he was very apologetic there, the carnival executive there, and this is a tricky situation for the company, it is not? nobody lost their lives and this is not a tragedy the likes of which we have seen recently with cruise ships and yet so long and so uncomfortable and what is the right thing to do? >> yeah. i think that is the certainly the right thing to do and bet ear learning experience for next time would be if he had made that apology three or four days ago right at the beginning. i mean, we didn't hear a lot from carnival in the beginning, and you know, we had passengers getting updates from the media as opposed to from people on the ship. so i think that, i think that was first class with what he
first did to apologize and going on board and he will be shaking hands and doing everything to show the sincerity of the ap l apology. >> what else should they do, jay? it is a big question as we go forward. we have heard some details of cash and vouchers and such. what do you think that the responsibility of the cruise line is in a situation like this? >> well, i think that with the public and the passengers are looking for a reassurance of how to prevent this to the best of their ability from happening again. i think that we -- i think that the public and the passengers deserve to know exactly what happened on the ship, and was it related to the previous mechanical problems that we have heard about, and how can we prevent this again in the future. >> well, what do you think? you worked on the ship and you were in the industry for how long? how many years in the industry? >> two years. >> is safety a significant issue? are these ships maintained the right way or is there a cause for speculation?
>> well, yeah, i think they are. cruising is one of the safest things ta peophat people do andt vacations, so outside of the rare tragedies, it is still very safe, but at the same time, i think that overcommunication to the passengers and to the public has to what the cause of this was is going to be key to protecting their image moving forward, but regardless, you know, the cruise industry is bulletproof. carnival, bulletproof, and as bad as this was, we won't see any effect on the revenue for the cruise industry or affect the growth in any way. >> what does that mean, bulletproof? wi why are they bulletproof, and don't they have to be responsive to the customer, because this is all about p.r. for them and making pleasant memories and people living in abject squalor for a week and how are they bulletproof? >> because the experience of cruising is such a great value
for the dollar when it comes to va case, and passengers who have cruised before know this. you will see a lot of the repeat passengers from previous cruises. and you know, only 20% of the american public have ever even cruised, and so if there is a huge growth opportunity for the rest of america. >> then you better treat the situations like this, my friend, otherwise, you won't grow the business. jay, thank you very much and appreciate the perspective and i may come back to you later. thank you very much for now. i want to get back on board if we may. we have on the phone passenger tony zahir. did i get the name right? >> yes, sir. >> tony, with 15 members of the family and you are on deck six and you have to wait a while to get off, and how has everybody been through the ordeal? >> well, thank god we have family with us. if it were just me and my wife and my son, it is truly a nightmare of gigantic
proportions and the lights off and the ship tilting and smoke and afterth that, we had -- the room, and the balcony and really terrible situation. most of the -- on the ship, mixture of human vomit and sewage, and it is something that you do not want to subject your family to ever. >> absolute ly. it couldn't have been anticipated this, tony, because total accident and now it is about how the crew responded which we heard was good and how the company responds. tony, just so you know that there with was a press conference and gerry cahill said he is going on board to give an apology and is that something that you will accept?
>> well, you have to have some accountability. is this the result of an accident or negligence, and that is the question that everybody has to answer, and the actions that you take after that determine if the apology is sincere or not. it is good p.r. to apologize to everybody getting off of the ship, but in my mind if you were and i'm speculating, obvious, but if you are not negligent and you maintain the ship, then i don't need an apology, because it is just being in the dark and looking at your son that you look at and worry about getting off of this thing or not, and i don't need anyone's apology at this point. i need them to find out what happened. >> when you say, tony, i understand where you are coming from, and let me ask you for a little perspective on it. when you say whether it were an accident or negligence, and what makes you think that it is not what it may have been reported as on board which is a fire in the engine room and they did the best they could to contain it after the generators went out. >> that is exactly what
happened. there was a fire and they tried to seal it and contain the fire, but the question is, again, you know, and then i think that there should be a look at the maintenance records and find out what is going on before this happened. accidents just don't pop out of the blue and there is always a reason for an accident. you have to make shure that thi is not an act of god, i can tell you that. and inside, i don't really listen to the rumors, but there were ladies who were very close to the engine compartment is and they told me that when they were and this is before this accident happened that you were setting up to dine and a buffet and they were saying that they have taken many cruises and this engine is not starting and shaking and they are trying hard. i said, probably nothing, but the same morning, 4:45 a.m., nightmare. so, you have to really look hard
at this and determine what happened. >> when you get off of this ship, will the matter be closed for you or is this something that you and you believe others will stay on and seek accountability from the company? >> for me, there are two aspects to this. one, i need accountability and the big aspect part p of that is that a lot of people have lost wages because they were supposed to be working this week and they have to determine how is going to be played out, because it is not just offering people $500 and saying good-bye and see you next time. this is really just cannot put a value on someone's time before you understand what this situation is. and one thing that i really want to mention, you know, our staff, the staff on the ship was just truly amazing. they were overworked and you could tell it, and they never had a frown on their faces and amazing people. they -- hat's off to them.
>> well, we keep hearing that so it can't be a coincidence there, and it is great that the crew stepped up in the worst of situations. you know, sanjay gupta said earlier on, our doctor at cnn said that these situations bring out the best and the worst of people and it seems that the crew stepped up to bring out the best in themselves, and that is what you are saying, tony? >> absolutely. i think that the crew -- as far as i'm concerned, when you are an employee of a corpse, yorati you are in the same boat as everybody else and told what to do and do the best you can, but they went above and beyond that, and my gratitude. >> tony, with the power out, how were you able to charge the cell phone? >> so on deckside by the casino there was one outlet working -- >> one outlet on the whole -- >> one outlet was working, so everyone went around with the extension cords and usually a two to three-hour wait and
people just waited and we had nothing else to do the whole time so sit there and watch a phone charge. >> one outlet. and how many people for a two-three-hour line to charge the phone, but what else to do? >> nothing else to look forward to. you go back to the room and close your stateroom door and smells like you are living in sewage and you open up the window, and almost freeze the death the last two nights, and there's no lights in the dark, and there's nothing else much to do but watch the phone charge. >> tony, assuming that the battery is not going out on you, and you have a few deck s s to before you unload. stay with us, and we we will try to come back to you and talk to you more, and we will talk to the people dockside to see how quickly the process is moving along. thank you, tony. >> thank you. >> and now we go the martin savidge who is watching the proceedings here as they get closer and closer.
martin, can you get an echo here dockside, because people are saying they want to know if it is really an accident or negligence and could this have been prevented and there is bubbles dockside about the need for accountability here? >> well, chris, erin and i were both discussing the fact that of course the fire, and it must have been a massive event and x extremely serious event and that is what you want to find out now, and of course, now the ship is back safely and everyone gets off is what did happen at sea that knocked this massive ship apparently to the point unable to move on its own and unable to care for the passengers on its own, and that is what erin and i were with discussing. there has to be accountability here and they have to investigate to find out what went on. >> the generators are huge and the size of buses. one thing about the cruise industry, the complaint is that the ships are operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year, and so when something happens and someone
goes overboard or a fire, there are usually short investigations and they go back to sea and we don't always get answers, but this time, people are going to demand answers, and this ship is going to be out of commission for quite a while. >> they will, and of course, this flag is registered in the bahamas, and that is the flag it would fly, and so essentially, it is the bahamian maritime to be the lead organization, but ntsb will be right over their shoulders. and this is all electric ship, and all of the engines and everything ran off of electricity, so that the fire took out the connection which is the bus board that blinked the electricity or the generators and how does that happen or is it a design flaw? >> well, this is a huge industry in the united states with $39-plus billion and tens of millions of people go cruising
and it may amaze people how little oversight the united states has over the ships. carnival cruise lines is not head quart nerd the united states, and in facts, they don't pay any federal taxes and the biggest cruise company in the world, so it is a opportunity to look more into the industry and how it operates in addition to finding out what went wrong on this ship. >> erin and martin, behind you, we are watching people scramble up the gangway and bringing wheelcha wheelchairs, because we have to remember that there are elderly and infirm under rugged conditions in the last few days and that is why they are scrambling up and not necessarily an emergency, but part of the unloading prosed ur. go ahead with what you were saying, erin. >> well, the noise in the background, by the way, they are now bringing out all of the luggage carts. so it is an army of people that are pushing these sort of four-wheel luggage carts that are going to be helping to offload, and my question is first of all a short cruise, chris, so how much luggage did
they v and most people had carry-on and here is the question, how much do you want to take away when you have a ship as vile as this. >> you may want to leave some of the things behind forever. >> yes, i think that i would say, i'm good and i will walk off with what i have, and have family members. >> in order for the ship to go into repair here in mobile, it could cost anywhere from $65 to $80 million the repair the ship to get it back on the high seas and one of 24 ships in the fleet of carnival and one of the big nest the world, but this one ship going out of commission for a couple of months is going to cost them a lot of money, and this should give people a sense of why they use all of the overseas labor and how come people on this ship reported they pay $350 a week. that is part of how they do it. >> that is one of the reasons why they came to mobile was for the fact that they have a dry dock big enough to handle it here. >> yes, good point the make,
martin. we are obviously hoping for as happy a ending as we can get here. let's bring in sanjay back in, and doctor, we see them scrambling up the gangway with the wheel chairs and no cause to think of an emergency situation, but from the medical standpoint, what is the protocol of who you get off and how? >> well, some of this and you can tell that basically it is organized and this has been predetermined and that, you know, you have situations any time you are on a ship or a plane where you have people who may need wheelchairs, and so this is maybe something that people who would have taken a wheelchair regardless in the situation or been in a regular cruise line, and to your point, chris, it doesn't look like particular emergent or urgent situation. people who are dehydrated and people having difficulty walking, and we heard one of the guests haley refer to people who had broken ankles because of the ship moving around, and any of those types of things but the medical treeage applies here. you get the sickest off first
tort people most infirm off first aped the people difficulty getting off on their own first and that is, i think over the next several hours as you are pointing out four or five hour, chris, that is what you will see. >> all right. sanjay, thank you. i will get to a passenger right now and see if we can get perspective of the conditions on board right now. robin chandler, are you with us? >> yes. >> robin, can you hear us? >> yes shgs, i can. >> i'm chris cuomo and excited to hear that you are about to get off of the ship, yes? >> so am i, very excited. >> how close are you to exiting? >> repeat that, please? >> how close are you to getting off of the ship? >> i don't really know how close we are. we are about -- oh, my gosh, about 20 yards or so from the exit door. lined up in section where there
are diamond, platinum and v.i.p. passengers, and there are still elderly passengers in wheelchairs that obviously will disembark first. and there's probably, i don't know, 300 to 400 people in this group that will disembark after the elderly and those that need special assistance. >> okay. just so i understand you. robin, your understanding of how you get off of the ship, fit the people who need to get off, the medical condition torg elderly or the infirm and then they start to go through the classes, is that how it works? >> yes, i think that like i said the elderly and those with special needs and maybe even those with small children should be able to, they were asked to come down to notify the crew earlier in the day. so, they were expected to disembark first.
>> okay. let me ask you, when you are looking around yourself now, is there anybody who seems to be in distress or are these people who are just elderly but stable? is everybody okay that is getting off? >> i think that -- for the most pa part, everybody seems okay. just, as you can imagine, exhausted. ready to go home. >> i understand that this is your first cruise, you and your husband? >> yes, it was my first cruise. for my birthday, a surprise. >> happy birthday. >> i don't know thatly do this again. >> well, listen, keep your little bit of an open mind right now, because it is a very rare circumstance, and i know it is really scary right now, but, hey, i want to help you have a happy birthday even though it is not the best way to celebrate it. >> yeah, i did. i mean, we are, and everyone on
this ship, we are blessed that it wasn't worse than what we experienced. it could have been worse. >> you think that some of the people that you met on the ship in the last week or so that you will have a bond with them that will last long after you go home? >> yes, i have met some folks on here that we connected with, and you are absolutely right. we will continue to keep in touch with them. >> okay. well, robin, i wish you the best and please get off safely and get home as quickly as possible and happy birthday again. >> bye. >> sanjay, are you still with us? >> i'm still here, chris. >> that's good. robin is about to get off and she is looking around and saying that the elderly and those with kids would go first and nobody in particular distress and that has to be a good sign, right, because if there was anybody with serious situation, they would be up front, right?
>> yes, i think so. at least as we saw a couple of times people in distress or some concern, they even got them off earlier, chris, as you know, they medevaced a couple of people off, one today and one monday. yes, it is going to be interest ing to watch the people come off, but as she said, and as is typical protocol, the elderly and people who are sick maybe need to get to some sort of medical facility, and even if nothing else to be stabilize and checked out. that is what we will see first. she also mentioned people with young children, and i am sure it is quite challenging for them, and you know, that is, again, typical protocol really on any big craft, ship, plane. so it is exactly what you would expect. >> all right. doc, thank you for being with us. i will come back to you if we hear any situations that we don't understand that are in your field which could be just about anything, but please, stay with us, sanjay. thanks. i will reset as we get to the near of theo