ABC 6 Exclusive: RI Native Stranded Aboard Cruise Ship Finally On Land
By Abbey Niezgoda
4,000 people aboard the Triumph have been desperate to get back on land for the first time after the ship lost power Sunday. One of those passengers grew up in Pawtucket. She has since moved down to Texas, but her family is still in Rhode Island, anxiously awaiting her arrival.
Patty Draut has been living on the ship in the dark with no power, no working toilets, adrift in the Gulf of Mexico for five days. Today was the first time she could even get enough cell service to make a call to her family.
They had been worried sick after hearing about the deplorable conditions on board, but Draut told them she is just trying to make the best of a bad situation as the boat is tugged to shore.
“Tugging at 6 knots, you could run faster than that,” Draut's father Roland Buteau said. “When I heard there was a fire on the ship, right away the red flags went up and I thought oh my God!”
Buteau could not reach his daughter for days so he went online only to find horror stories about the deplorable conditions.
“There's no food. There's no air conditioning. She's gotta be in such discomfort, but when I heard from her today it was all the opposite,” Buteau said.
ABC6 also spoke with Draut. Her positive attitude stands out among the thousands who describe a five day nightmare.
“It's bleak, it's dark and it's depressing seeing people sleeping in the hallways and next to the elevator,” Draut said. “This isn't what cruising is supposed to be like, but I know my next one will be awesome.”
Even as Draut sent photos of passengers building tents on the deck just to get some air, she says she is already planning her next cruise.
Carnival plans on reimbursing all passengers by refunding this cruise, offering them another free one on top of that, as well as $500.