MOBILE, Ala - A cruise ship disabled for days at sea has pulled into the port at Mobile, Ala., but passengers who have described miserable conditions aboard still have hours to wait before they can walk on solid ground.
The Triumph was pulling into port at about 9:15 p.m. Central time Thursday after taking about six grueling hours to be towed from the mouth of Mobile Bay some 30 miles to the port.
Anxious passengers are lining the decks waving, cheering loudly and whistling to those on shore.
Carnival says the 3,000 or so passengers have the option of a seven-hour bus ride to the Texas cities of Galveston or Houston or a two-hour trip to New Orleans. Buses are standing by to take them to their next stop.
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- The CEO of the Alabama State Port Authority says a nighttime arrival of the disabled Carnival Triumph cruise ship could be difficult.
UPDATE (2:20 p.m.) Coast Guard official: Disabled cruise ship stopped off coast of Ala. because of broken towline.
Jimmy Lyons says port officials would prefer that the ship not come into the city during nighttime hours because there are tricky turns and cross currents in Mobile Bay. He described the bay as only 10 feet deep outside the ship channel.
But he says there may be no other choice. The ship is expected Thursday evening. Earlier, officials had reported an afternoon arrival, but a spokesman said the operation was taking longer than anticipated.
Lyons says tying up the ship also will take longer than usual because the winches are inoperable and the thrusters that normally get it in and out of the berths aren't working, either.