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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  February 14, 2013 9:00am-11:00am PST

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that we may be able to see you as we speak to yoyou? how far away are you -- i know it's 14 stories. that's not an easy request. are you close to one of the top decks? >> we'd have to climb five decks to get up there to the closest one. it would take, you know -- >> i'm not going to ask you to do that. you've been through enough. that's for sure. what do some of those signs say? have you seen any of the signs that your fellow passengers have been hanging outsideco balconies? >> we got our phone and took pictures of them yesterday, they say, help us, you know, we are in need of help, you know, we need food, you know, that kind of thing. so, yeah, they're all kind of help and distress signals. some of them are kind of lighthearted, you know, but most of them are sincere. >> larry, at the very least are you feeling as though you are at the end of this really awful odyssey knowing that you're now within view of land at least and that you are just hours away
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finally from getting off of that disabled ship? >> yeah. and i think that i can probably speak for most people, i don't know how much more we could have took. i mean, it was really getting to be stressful and, you know, really taking a toll on everybody just, you know, it's, like, we're counting the days and, you know, when you get up in the morning the first thing you're thinking about is how many hours before i can go to sleep and get this day behind me and get closer to home. >> larry, i wish you the best of luck. good luck to you. that is just really, really difficult. i can't imagine what you are dealing with, what your passengers are dealing with. we have a be on this ship as the tugboats continue to take it into land. i do want to ask you this, larry, the company, carnival, has told us that a number of their executives and their staff will be coming out to meet you on board as well as members from customs and boarder patrol agents. have they -- have you seen a big
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presence in terms of how the ship has responded to this emergency? how they've informed you? have you been mustered to prepare for an emergency, or do you feel like you're sort of on your own out there? >> we haven't really seen much carnival presence other than the normal, i mean, the ship's captain who will make an announcement and then -- make an announcement and after that the passengers just stand around and say, okay, what did you get out of that, what are they really trying to tell us because we know they're not telling us everything. >> and they also -- they mentioned to us in the press conference, larry, there's only been one report of someone who was ill who was taken off the ship, but in the conditions that you were just describing to us live on board the ship you are on, raw sewage sloshing about, mattresses soaked in sewage, backed-up showers, the listing ship causing the sewage to shift, i can't imagine that there aren't other people who either or may become witnessed
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illnesses? >> there's a lot of coughing and stuff going on now. >> larry, are those announcements? are we overhearing announcements? >> yes, this is an announcement about we're going to arrive and things like that, our information. here we go. somehow they are just now telling us we're going to be later than 6:00. they're saying arrival's going to be 8:00 to 11:00 tonight. that's what they're telling us.
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>> i want to reset for our viewers what we're hearing. i can tell you larry poret is a passenger on board the ship that you're seeing on your screen, the carnival "triumph." and the live announcements are being broadcast throughout the ship right now and through larry's cell phone we are hearing them. we can't make out what they say. but, larry, can you just summarize for us what they're saying about your arrival time? >> somewhere between 8:00 and 11:00. >> somewhere between 8:00 and 11:00 they're being -- they're being told and the carnival -- carnival vp announced to us anytime between 7:00 and 10:00 so that seems to jive with what they just announced to the press. the live pictures you're seeing, the tugboat on either side of that, 900-foot ship, 14 stories traveling at about 6 to 7 knots about the speed of a lawnmower towards land and you can see people, passengers, who are on
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board who are hanging signs and covered in blankets because the temperature is dropping, waving to us, our helicopters, as we hover aboard. some of those signs saying, please help us. larry poret, i know you said you saw some of these signs, you were able to read them more clearly than we can. some were in jest. others not so much so. give me a feel for the mood of those passengers as we watch the pilot boat heading out to meet your ship. >> well, they are mainly saying help us, you know, we're in desperate need and we need food, we need water, you know, so just come and help us. >> i'm trying to hear some of the background sound from your cell phone, larry, as you speak with us. and, again, our helicopter zooms and zooms out. we are under -- we are respecting the restrictions on how close we can get to that ship, so our apologies we can't zoom in closer to read some of the signs and see the passengers
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closer up, but safe to say, there are 3,143 people just like larry poret who's live with us on the telephone on board that ship. there are also 1,086 crew members, some of those people you see sleeping. now we're starting to see much more clear pictures of the passengers sleeping on the decks because the smell has been reported to be so putrid on board from the sewage and also the heat. the power's been out to the ship for five days and they've been traveling in tropic heat. larry, it must be getting cooler, and yet the people are still out on deck. is that because of just the putrid and fetid conditions on board? >> it is downright cold, it is not cool, it is cold. we are trying to huddle together and keep each other warm. but as we get closer and closer to land, it's getting colder and colder. everybody is doing the best they can to stay warm and counting down the hours and now they are
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telling us it won't be long. the mental part of it's starting to be the hardest. >> downright cold. that is a -- that is such a change from the conditions you've been enduring. the temperatures right now hovering in the 60s. larry, stay with me for a moment, if you would, please, as you're live on board that ship. we have live coverage of the helicopters, the contractors, who have been going back and forth ferrying supplies to the deck of that ship as well on the right-hand side of that screen the pilot boat that is headed out to meet the carnival "triumph" ship. chad myers, the temperatures, as larry poret just said, are downright cold, and you saw for yourself as well, chad, those passengers have gone from being stiflingly hot to freezing cold and grabbing whatever blankets they can to huddle on the fresher air of the -- of the decks. >> and it rained almost all night overnight last night on those passengers that were on the deck. larry, if you can hear me, we know the ship is late to arrive because the wind was so strong
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out of the north, almost pushing your boat backward. did you feel that wind when you were on the boat? >> we felt the wind, but we also know we're being pulled along by tugs. and, you know, i'm just -- out of frustration, the passengers are frustrated because we see other tugs, tugboats, that are just going along the -- and, you know, why can't we have more tugboats pulling us in? why can't we have more help? we've been out here four days extra just trying to get home. >> i wish i knew that answer. >> we need help. we need somebody to get us in. >> you're also in a current now, a long shore current that's trying to push you to the east. the more and more that we see that tug trying to pull you, it's not even pulling you straight. it's trying to pull you to the left to get you over to mobile as the current is actually pushing you away. this is so devastating for you and you'll see land for 10 to 12 hours and not be able to get off. what's that going to feel like to you? >> it's going to feel like those
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signs out there, help us, somebody help us. we're just trying to, you know, get home. and, you know, my question is, these are not new currents, these are not new conditions in the sea. how come -- cruise ships going back and forth can't be prepared for this and arrange for us to, you know, be stronger than the currents against us? why can't we get out of here? >> chad myers, i'm just looking at the temperature here, i've been reporting -- this is why i don't do weather, my friend, but i've been reporting it's in the mid-60s. it's dipped down to 46 degrees. >> that's right. >> in mobile, alabama, that the high was going to be 63. and, again, i just want to let our viewers know, chad, and, larry, if you're still with us, i'm not sure that you can obviously what is happening because that's a huge ship, 14 stories, but there are -- there are pilot boats, there are tugboats and there are other vessels that are making their way out to you on board this ship. the helicopters are also hovering aboard -- or above the ship. ours is recording the images as others are dropping supplies.
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the one that we just saw dropping supplies is a contractor, and i can't tell you, larry, what they're dropping, but i can tell you that terry thornton who is the carnival cruise senior vp of something called revenue planning did an ad hoc news conference on shore to say that they've gotten enough food at least to look after you, larry, and the fellow passengers and that generator that they flew out there hopefully was going to be able to heat food for you to manage to keep you guys at least comfortable until you get to shore in seven to ten hours. is that -- is that something that you can see, larry? is there ample food now, or is it just the same as it's been day offer day, three-hour lines for food, three-hour lines for water, three-hour lines for logistics? >> i'm sure there's ample food where no one's going to starve of starvation. to be honest with you, we're just tired. we're not even hungry anymore. we want off here. we don't care about the food. we don't care about anything. just get us out of here. >> larry, what have you been
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doing with your daughter? rebecca's 12 years old, you know? you and your friend and your two daughters have had to endure this. how are the kids? >> what we're doing is we're sitting around playing card games. and then just walking the deck and, you know, let's go see if this is going on, let's go see if that's going on, you know, thank goodness there's been some people that have made a way for us to charge our cell phones so, you know, everybody's been using fla flashlights and they have charging stations that the individual passengers have set up. not carnival, individual passengers and we gather there in the hallway charging our cell phones. >> and i was going to ask you, how is it possible that we are speaking with you, given the fact that there's been so little power. the cruise line has said that there are roughly two dozen public toilets that have been working on board that ship. have you found them? is that what you know to be the truth? are none of the cabins' toilets
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working? how is it that you are all functioning every day? >> it's like the toilet will flush one time and then the next time you need them to flush, they won't. and they may not flush for hours and hours. they may flush half a day maybe. or they told us to use the bags, you're using one of the bags and all of a sudden the toilet flushes while you're sitting there and you go wait a second, i could have taken advantage of that but it does you no good. do you know what i'm saying? frustration is the main thing on the boat right now. >> larry, i'm just going to tell our viewers the images they're seeing, i'm sure your bird's-eye view on board of the ship is much different than what we're seeing. we've got a view of the helicopter and the tugboats as you are being pulled in towards us, i know you're seven to ten hours away. the picture on the right-hand side of the viewers' screen is
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the image on shore. so, you are within our sights. we can finally see you on board that ship, you and the other 3,142 passengers who have been enduring this nightmare for far longer than anyone should. but you are within our sights now on shore. the weather is a bit rough and the seas are a bit rough, but at least it's so for naught not completely impeding the progress of the very slow tow vessels. again, this is about six to seven knots which in land speed isn't a whole lot more, about the speed of a lawnmower, that's how fast this ship is making its way towards shore. so, yes, shore is within sight, but it is still going to be what the carnival vp said a very long day. if i can ask you, larry, i know you're traveling with carmel taylor and that your daughter, rebecca, who's 12, and carmel's daughter, allie, who is 10, are
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you able to -- given the sheer horror of the raw sewage everywhere and the listing vess vessel, et cetera, are you able to calm your girls and try to make this better for them, make this into an adventure for them, or do they know the score? >> oh, yeah, they'll hold of our arm or leg and squeeze like they're not going to let go. it's out of our control, we're just doing the best we can. bekaa is right here. she's going through a lot. would you like to speak to her? >> they know what's going on and it's hard to hide from them the real emergency that this is? >> yeah. they know what's going on, but they also imagine things a lot worse than they really are and that's what's really the hardest for them. they have no idea. you know, the thing caught on fire and my daughter says are we going to sink, you know? so, she's just scared to death. >> have you felt the effects of the emergency stabilization? the power has gone out to the stabilization, and the ship, therefore, lists. have you felt that?
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>> yeah. we've been going, you can barely walk because it's leaning so bad. and you'll just try to walk and then you'll fall up against the wall because it's leaning. >> larry, is your daughter rebecca with you? >> yes. she's right here. she's standing right beside me. >> can i talk to her? >> sure, she'd love to. >> hello? >> hi. rebecca, can you hear me? >> yes. >> hi, this is ashleigh banfield at cnn. i talked to your mom yesterday. and she's on shore waiting for you. >> ma'am? >> can you hear me okay, rebecca? your mom is waiting for you on shore. i just talked to her yesterday. >> yeah. she -- i just talked to her. and she, um, i'm so excited to see her and she's so excited to
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see me. i can't wait to get back. >> i'll bet. rebecca, how has this been for you and your dad? >> it's been really, really difficult. getting the food and not knowing what you're going to be able to eat, whether it's going to be cold and not knowing it's going to be hot. and it's been hard. >> and i'll bet you and your friend allie kind of thought this was going to be a lot of fun, right? >> yeah, we did. and then this happened. and then it's just kind of been -- it got bad. it got worse. and then it's just horrible. >> well, i tell you what, rebecca, we can see you from shore. the picture that our tv screen is showing all the viewers watching is your ship that you're on right now as it makes its way to shore. so, you're very, very close. i hope that feels better for you to know that you're getting closer and closer to your mom. >> yeah, it does feel a lot
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better. because i know that we're -- shore's right there and we can almost -- we're one step closer being back home. but we're still so far away. >> rebecca, do you have some warm clothes? because it's real cold. i know you were in the tropics, but it's getting colder as you get close to shore. >> actually as i was waiting i forgot to bring a jacket, but allie brought two, so she let me borrow one of hers, so i'm bundled up in her jacket. >> hey, rebecca, when you said that the trip got real bad, can you describe that for me and tell me exactly what you mean. >> by the ship got real bad is the doors, like, it was two nights ago. the doors closed and the lights went out. the lights on the floor that were shining up just itty-bitty ones, and then the -- and you
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couldn't see a thing because it was late at night and people on the balconies had their doors open and you couldn't see a thing out there either. most people's flashlights were shining them in the hallway so we could see, but most people didn't have flashlights so we really couldn't see a thing. and then the bathroom situation is horrible. some toilets are working and some of them are not working and haven't worked since this condition has happened. >> hey, rebecca, have you been sticking close to your dad this whole time? >> at his side since this happened. >> i'll bet. what about other kids? can you tell me about the other kids on board? what are they saying? what are they doing? >> they're trying to make the best of it, but you can really see how much they really dislike the situation and how could you
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like the situation. you really can't. but they're all standing beside their parents and not leaving them and hoping that everything's okay. >> what are you seeing out the window? our view is from above and from shore, but i know you're in the middle of the ship. what's your view? what can you see? >> i see barely anything. i see little blocks, itty-bitty blocks, you can barely see them but -- and then i see some sights coming up from the ground. since we're so far away we can barely really see anything. but when you look over, you see some bigger things, and then you can't see anything. >> can you feel those tugboats pushing at the ship and pulling it? can you see movement? do you see that you're making progress? >> no. >> can't see that. >> i know we are, but i don't see it, like, we're moving a little bit, but when they first
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got hooked up and everything and she told us we were moving, no one saw it. we didn't see a thing. now we're moving a little bit, but i really -- i really don't feel anything. >> and, rebecca, are you outside on a deck with some of the people that we can see from our helicopter or are you inside? >> i'm inside looking out a window. >> and how is it inside? is it warm enough? does it smell terrible? is it something you can manage to stay? >> on some parts of the ship it smells horrible. but right here on deck five, it doesn't smell too bad. but you still know it's there. you still know that everything is there. you can still smell everything. but you're trying to turn it out, and it's still really cold because it's really cold outside. everything's still really cold inside because you have no heat. but it's still super cold in here.
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everybody's wearing the bathrobes that are in the room. everybody's wearing the bathrobes and trying to bundle up and be warmer. >> and what about life jackets? you guys have life jackets close by? >> yes. we have life jackets in our rooms. most people they have been with them, like, most people have their little spot where they're, like, sitting and sleeping and stuff like that, and most people have them with them. but ours are in the room. >> so, what have you been doing every day as you've been waiting and waiting for this ship to get to shore? >> i have been -- me and my dad and our friends and everybody have been wondering and waiting, okay, so when are we getting off. we've been waiting for the next announcement. and when we wake up, i'm just, like, i ask myself and my dad can i go back to sleep again, because i want another day to pass so bad.
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>> i know -- >> because i want to be home. >> i talked to your mom yesterday, like, i mentioned, and she was very worried about you. i know you had a chance to speak with her since sunday. she's been waiting for you -- >> yes. >> -- at that port. she drove up there from texas as fast as she could and she's staying there until you make it, if she's listening right now, mary, i'd love you to call in to us so we can ask you how you feel about the fact that this ship is now within sight of the shore and that we are speaking with your daughter and her dad larry and that they're doing okay, as uncomfortable as they are, they are doing okay. mary, can you hear me? >> i can hear you. >> mary, i've got your daughter on the phone. what do you want to tell her? >> well, i talked to her a minute ago, and i just -- i love her. i can't wait to see her. >> rebecca, do you want to say
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something to your mom? she's on the phone, she can hear you. rebecca -- i think, mary, i need you to turn down your tv because we're hearing ourselves on delay, if it's okay if you turn down your tv. rebecca, if you can still hear me, your mom can hear you, do you want to talk to her? >> there's two conversations going on. >> rebecca, are you still there? >> i can't hear! >> okay. as we try to clear up the audio channels, we'll get that all fixed, but, rebecca, don't hang up. mary, stay with us. i want to just tell our viewers what's happening right now. one of the ship's lower doors has opened and one of the vessels that has been
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approaching this ship is about to off-load it looks like some of these officials who are going to board the ship. we can tell you that earlier carnival, the vice president of revenue planning, told us that not only will the pilot ships be heading out to bring those experts who steer these massive vessels into shore but also members of carnival, the company, will be heading out to the ship as well. i cannot tell you whether these are the people who are boarding this ship right now through one of those open doors, but also members of the customs and border patrol, the agents will be coming out to board the vessels as well. i don't know if these are well. but only in the last hour did the vice president of carnival tell us that they were off-loading some of the offic l officials on board the ship in the next couple of hours to try to make it quicker for these people once this ship finally gets to shore. they won't at least have to go through all of the paperwork. rebecca, can you still hear me?
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are you still there? >> what, baby? >> yes, i'm here. >> i'm here. >> hi, rebecca. mary, can you still hear me? >> yes, ma'am, i can. >> i have rebecca poret who is 12 years old and i have mary poret, her mom, waiting on shore. rebecca, did you want to say something to your mom while she can hear you? >> i just spoke -- to my mom? >> yeah, baby. >> yes, she can hear you. >> okay. i want to -- i want to tell my mom that um i love her so much and i can't wait to see her. >> i love you, too, baby. >> we're going up to the tenth floor to look out the deck. >> you're going up to the tenth floor to look out? >> yeah. we're going out to the tenth floor to look out the deck. >> okay. good. maybe they'll get you on camera. so i can see you, too, i can look at it from my cell phone.
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>> yeah. >> i miss you. >> rebecca, let us know when you get to the tenth floor, and then if you can with your dad, try to give us a location of where you are on the ship, and then we will try to get our helicopter to get a picture of you so your mom can see that you're okay. at the same time our helicopter's got the camera trained on some of the other boats that are on their way out to this ship. there have been many vessels that have been on their way to meet this ship. on the right-hand side of your screen is the ship the view frm shore. finally the ship is within the view from shore but as the carnival vice president said, this is going to be a long day. it may be within view but it is travels at a snail's pace despite the fact that four tugboats are pulling it and it's making the pace of seven knots
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which is like the speed of a lawnmower, i keep making that comparison just so you know how slow this really is. chad myers, as we watch the images of some of the smaller vessels meeting up with this 900-foot-long ship, they're off-loading people on board this ship and i'm not sure which officials these are. we do know that customs and border protection agencies -- or agents are heading out to the ship as well as carnival represents. but this is -- the waters -- they look rough from the small boats' point of view, but they're not bad for the ship. chad myers, can you hear me okay? >> i can, ashleigh. let me take a look, we have another image i want to show you. it's a graphic i made earlier, why even though you can see this boat from shore that it's not going to that shore. it has to travel not only when it gets to the shore another 30 miles up into mobile bay harbor. that's where we're seeing it from, right there, ft. morgan and also over dauphin island. that's where our camera is.
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but that's not where it's stopping. there's no -- there's no port there. this has to continue to cruise up this very skinny, 400-meter-wide channel all the way up into mobile bay and into the harbor right there. that at a snail's pace. when they can see land. and they just said, please, find someplace to let us off, that's why it's going to be another painful eight to ten hours to get the boat from where it is to where the actual dock is. the dock is not on that land that we're taking that picture from. it's still 30 miles inland up that river. up that bay. >> oh, frustrating. chad, explain what you were telling larry and, rebecca, i hope you're still on the phone, when your dad was on the phone with us, chad myers was describing why it looks like one of those tugboats on the bottom right-hand part of your screen looks like it's driving directly into the bow of the ship. there's a reason for this. what is it, chad? >> they have to line the ship up
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with the buoy markers. and on that last graphic you just saw, there's going to be on -- on the left of the boat, there's going to be green markers, green buoys. on the right, there's going to be red nuts. and that's the red right returning. the three "rs" of boating when you're coming back from the ocean into a harbor, keep the red on your right. and that's why the red dots are where they are. the boat will travel through that very skinny dredged channel through and across that sandbar that's dredged and then on up into the mobile bay. this is what they still have to do. they have to line that boat up to get it into that channel. and they have to keep it lined up. they are going to have tugs on both sides, and tugs in the front, trying to keep that boat straight. the current right now is not allowing that boat to be straight, and they have to try to steer this thing through the current, around the first buoy, into the channel, and then straight into the channel. and they certainly don't want to
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get this thing to run aground and get stuck, because they can't either see the buoys, the wind blows them off course or the boat is just -- almost has a mind of its own. you have to think if there's wind blowing across the side of this boat, ashleigh, that boat is 900 feet long, 100 feet high. >> wow. >> that's 90,000-foot sail. could you imagine a sailboat -- >> yes. >> -- with a size -- it's called windage. it's how boats blow sideways when you're trying to dock them. and if you have a 100-foot, 116-foot-wide boat trying to get up a 400 meter or let's say 1,000-foot-wide channel, there's not a lot of margin for error. >> well, not a lot of margin for error. and guess what, as they get into a 400-meter-wide channel, this will be a picture that will be absolutely riveting to see those tugboats steering by pushing this massive ship through a
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400-meter channel. victor blackwell is standing by live. he has been on shore off from the port, and i'm guessing, victor, that you're getting your first beat -- you're on the boat now. okay, so now you're fully offshore. rough getting your first bead on the ship now? >> reporter: yeah. we're getting our first look at the "triumph" now, and we can see it on the horizon. we're in mobile bay, and we'll be able to pull up within we're told about 500 yards of this ship as it pulls up, and we'll see the people from water level standing on the decks, waiting to get up to the port. now, as chad said, this would be catastrophic if this thing were to run aground. we spoke with the director of the port, jimmie lyons, and he said that because there isn't a lot of wiggle room with a ship this large, that it's very important that those pilots, who know this area, get out and onto that boat. those are some of the officials you saw kind of get onto the
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boat and they will then steer it in. now, let's talk about conditions here. it's been choppy all day. we're right now on a 43-foot cutter. so, we're feeling it a lot more than this huge ship would. but the winds and the conditions are very important because they have to stay within that channel. i asked that to the director of the port. his major concern, he said there are a few doglegs or a few things that have to be navigated, but this is not the largest ship that has ever come up the terminal. there are cargo ships that go to the shipyard here. the distinction, rather, for this ship is that it's the largest cruise ship to come into the terminal but only by 40 feet or so, so they're confident they can make this happen. but because this is not coming in through its own power, those three tugs, they tell us that that will be the major challenge. we also asked if maybe there would be more tugs as it comes up this channel for that six-hour trek.
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he said maybe as long as five, so quite possibly we have not seen the maximum number of tugs that will assist in bringing the "triumph" into port, ashleigh. >> victor, hold for a second. chad myers, i want you to jump into this conversation with victor blackwell, because he's got the viewpoint from the actual waves and the currents. he's feeling the weather conditions as they are. and he just mentioned that that 400-meter-wide channel -- he's in mobile bay harbor right now. the 400-meter-wide channel has been navigated by larger vessels in the past, but i dare say they have had power. so, more tugboats, the answer? chad, jump in here, if you will. >> no question about it, ashleigh. that ship under full power with three bow thrusters and three stern thrusters which actually turn the boat sideways, they blow water, like a fan, one direction or the other, that boat can turn on a dime. the middle can stay right in the middle and the dime would go right around the outside. that's how great this boat can steer itself when it's working.
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they actually can steer it to port with a joystick. no more wheels like you think about a pirate movie. this is literally a joystick almost driven by wire, and so, therefore, once you lose your power and you lose your wire, you lose all sense of steering with this boat. so, this thing now is being pushed on one side by a tug, pushed on the other side, and as long as the wind is pushing right on the bow, right on the nose, there's no real yaw to this boat. it will not go left or the right. as soon as the wind blows one side or the other, that boat will want to shift. there's a lot of sail, there's a lot of wind for it to push, it's called windage, and that's what will go left or go right. i just saw the pilot, the harbor pilot, just on the tugboat or the towboat and it will tow the thing in there. there's probably a number of other pilots on board but there's not a lot the pilot can do on the carnival ship because it's literally in the water.
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>> it's not capable of being piloted, yeah. >> it's a floating hotel at the time. so who's really in charge is the person in the "resolve pioneer" which is the tugboat which is in front. it's the first tug. why there aren't more and haven't been more tugs trying to get this thing to move faster, i don't know. the "triumph" on its own has 46,000 horsepower to move it when it's running. that -- >> 46,000? >> 46,000 horsepower. >> 46,000 horsepower. >> that tug alone only has 4,500 tug horsepower. that's how underpowered it is trying to move such a large vessel and, of course, when it's windy and victor showed the winds in the chop in the bay and the chop also offshore affecting these boats as well. >> hey, victor blackwell, we're looking at pictures getting closer and closer now to some of those passengers and i think among those passengers, the girl in the yellow jacket, i'm being told, is that you, rebecca?
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are you in a yellow jacket and if so, can you wave up to the helicopter? rebecca, can you hear me? it's ashleigh banfield at cnn. i think i see your dad waving. can you all -- there she is! we've made contact with rebecca poret. >> hey. >> hi! i'm so glad to make contact with you and visual. which one's allie, can you point to allie? >> she's the other little girl there. >> wearing the pink shirt? >> i don't know. i mean, i can't see. i can't see. >> is this mary -- mary, i think this is you? is this mary, rebecca's mom, on the phone? >> this is mary, rebecca's mom. >> you must be beyond elated to be able to see your daughter for the first time! >> i'm very excited. >> oh, mary, this is great. i'm glad that they were able to make their way up. they told us before -- i don't think we have our cell phone contact with them right now, but, mary, they told us they were heading up to the tenth floor. strangely enough, this is a 14th story ship, so whether they're
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on the tenth floor, they're at least within view of our cameras, our helicopter hovering close by the carnival "triumph." rebecca, can you hear us yet? we're trying to establish our cell phone call with you again. can you hear us? >> i can -- i mean, i can give you her number. >> well, i think we're having some -- we're having some issues. don't -- don't -- whatever you do, don't give her number out over the live airways. we're up live. they are waving at us now. they can see our helicopter and our cameras. mary, can you see them waving at you? >> i'm on my phone and that's my video piece. >> well, i'll tell you what, this is a great moment for us to be able at least visually connect you to the daughter you have not seen for seven days. for anybody just joining us, our viewers, we want to let you know in the middle of your screen the young girl in the yellow jacket and the one in the pink jacket beside her are with her dads, that's rebecca poret, age 12, and allie taylor, age 10, along with their dads. their moms are on shore waiting
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for them to arrive. they are on board that carnival "triumph," the disabled cruise ship, that is so close you can e it from shore now. but so far that those tugboats have a long way to go to get them at the slow pace back to safe, dry land. but at least we can see them and we can now make contact with them. mary, this must be great for you to finally see them after so long. >> it's excellent. i'm -- i'm very happy. >> i'll bet. one of the things we should tell you. you can see people that look like they're dressed in bathrobes, they are. and that comes courtesy to us, firsthand reporting actually, from larry poret and his daughter rebecca. that's mary's daughter as well, rebecca. they said it is so cold right now where they are that everyone's been grabbing the bathrobes, because so many people thought they'd be on a tropical vacation, they don't have warm clothes. i think even rebecca said she forgot to bring a jacket, because why would you if you're going on a beautiful cruise. it is 43 degrees at least in
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mobile which is about 45 miles away or so. so, it can't be too much different than about 43 degrees. so, all those people who have tried to escape the -- and i'm not going to be able to couch this, the squalid smell on board that ship with the raw sewage sloshing about in hallways and showers and toilets and walls, they have gone outside for the fresh air. and now instead of it being a hot and uncomfortable cruise, it is a very cold and uncomfortable cruise. as we watch these live pictures, david mattingly is on shore. he's in the port of mobile. david, i'm watching on the right-hand side of our screen as that ship has now come into view, but as chad myers says, so close but yet so far. they still have that channel to navigate. >> reporter: that's right. and it's going to be a very slow, agonizing process, and that long fascinating conversation you were having with larry poret, you could hear the anxiety. you could hear the frustration. you could hear the fatigue, and
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you can multiply that by about 4,000. that should give you an idea of what's going on on that ship. something to point out here, we heard from a vice president of carnival cruise lines who's here on the scene, he had a press conference just shortly before we heard from larry poret, that vice president telling us that the ship was in what he said good shape. he was talking about the generator they had airlifted on board so that they would be able to provide more hot meals. but now that we're talking to larry and others on board, we're hearing that a whole lot hasn't changed since we first got those phone calls earlier in the week. remember, we haven't heard from these people in days now. it was only those first frantic calls after that fire and after the problems first started on the ship. and larry, i had a conversation with him shortly before he spoke with you, he was telling me, there's been no cleanup on board that vessel at all.
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so, all that sewage that sloshed out into the hallways and the carpets and the rooms, that's still there. and he says on top of that he says they're also dealing with a strong mildew smell going out through the ship now. he says a lot of people are coughing. they're worried about their health. they just want to get home, and you're hearing the frustration in his voice. i also had a very short conversation with rebecca's friend, allie, who is 10 years old. i asked her how she's doing, she said she's fine, they're enduring like they are all having to do on there. i asked her what's the worst thing that she has to deal with it right now, she said she has to do her business in a can, that's her exact words. >> oh, a 10-year-old. >> reporter: right, even though there are restrooms functioning on board, it's clearly not enough to meet the demand of those people on board, poor allie told me it's something she's not very happy with right now. >> david, we're seeing pictures of passengers who have towels
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and they're waving them. hard to understand if they're waving them to say hello or if they're waving them to say help. but as larry had mentioned before, some of the signs that have been hanging out over the balconies of that massive yacht, some of the signs have said help us, and maybe partially in jest, but really partially not so much in jest. you were just -- david, you were just referring to rebecca, who was talking to us on a cell phone earlier. i think we've re-established contact with her on board that ship. rebecca, can you hear me again? >> hello? >> hi. you've made it out on the deck, right, on the tenth floor now? >> yes. >> and are you wearing the yellow jacket that we were seeing earlier waving up at our helicopter? >> yes, i'm wearing the yellow jacket that you all saw. >> and is allie wearing the pink sweatshirt that we saw earlier, is that the two of you? >> yes, she's wearing the pink shirt. >> our helicopter is hovering and it's moving to a new position and we're trying to get back and get a visual on you.
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but your mom, mary, is still on the phone with us. can you hear us? >> yes, i can hear you. >> now that you can see your daughter, do you want to say anything to her now that you've actually had a visual contact of her for the first time in seven days? >> i miss her so much. i'm just ready to get her home and just get her off that ship and get her into my arms. >> hi, mom. >> rebecca, can you hear your mom? >> yes, i heard her. >> you can go ahead and talk to her and tell her -- we can see you now, rebecca, you can talk to your mom and tell her about the conditions you're in right now. >> i can't wait to see her either. i can't wait to be back home and see all my friends and come back to school and see my teachers and i just can't wait to be back home. >> can you wave to us, rebecca? we've got you guys. we've been taking pictures of you and video of you as well as trying to get our live cameras. and right now we're actually showing some video of you as you were waving earlier, so any
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viewers that have just joined us, you can see these are some of the passengers on board the carnival "triumph" as they get closer and closer to shore. in particular two young girls with their dads, rebecca poret, age 12, and allie taylor, age 10, with their dads, again, on board along with another 300-plus -- or 3,000 live -- or excuse me, 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members. and now we're back to our live helicopter pictures. rebecca, have you been able to have a longer conversation with your mom to let her know about the conditions other than what she's been hearing on tv? at this point you have an ability to talk to her live if you'd like. >> rebecca? >> hi, mom. >> how -- how you doing? >> i'm good. i'm cold, but i'm good. >> okay. well, i promise you, when i pick you up from that ship i'm going to have a nice, warm, snuggly blanket for you, okay?
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>> good. >> good. i love you. >> -- there, too. >> ma'am? >> i said have some mcdonald's there, too. we're hungry. >> oh, i bet you are hungry, baby. you want mcdonald's? >> i want something! human food. >> anything you want to eat tonight is yours. no matter what it is. i don't care even if i don't like it, we'll take you there. >> okay, momma. >> okay? will you hand the phone to allie and i'll hand my phone to kim so miss kim can talk to allie? >> so, you want to put allie on the phone so she can talk to miss kim? >> yes. and i'm going to hand my phone to miss kim, okay? >> okay. here's allie. >> allie is about to talk to her mom, kim mckerreghan, she's allie's mom and they're going to connect for the first time. >> okay, here's allie. >> hello? hello? >> hello? >> allie?
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>> hi, baby! >> hey. >> how are you? >> what? >> awesome. awesome, i miss you and i love you so much. >> i know. are they going to let us get off tonight? >> yes, baby, you're going to get off that boat tonight. >> tonight they're letting us get off tonight. >> yes. they're bringing that boat in. you all are not going to have to sleep again tonight on that boat. >> hopefully. >> i sure miss you. i can't wait to give you a big old hug. and see your cute little face. >> which way are we going? >> that way. >> there's land. we see land right now. >> yay! it's just going to get bigger. >> yeah, it's gotten a little bigger since i saw it in front of the boat. i'm getting sick. >> you're getting sick? >> yeah.
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>> are you okay if you go into your room so you don't get so sick? >> what? >> are you okay? >> yeah. >> okay. >> i saw your facebook status. >> you did? >> yeah. >> well, you ought to pull up cnn and see your facebook status. >> what? >> i said you ought to pull up on cnn -- hello? >> speaking of cnn, identify jui just want to update the viewers who are watching us, if you are watching us right now, the visual you're getting is the first image of this ship as it approaches shore getting closer and closer to mobile, alabama, the carnival "triumph" all of its 900 feet being pushed and pulled and slugged through that water. but it is still another 50 miles or so to go and they are going very slowly. slowly but surely.
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expected to make land sometime between about six and nine hours from now. they'll be dockside in mobile, alabama. mobile, alabama, here you come at about the pace of a lawn mauer, show mower, sadly. and on the phones you've been hearing the conversations between kim mckerreghan who is on shore and her daughter allie taylor who has been one of the passengers on board that ship. she's on the tenth floor of the deck of that ship with her friend, rebekah poret and their dads as they are able to speak live over top, you know, live -- as they've been able to speak live over the airways via the video shot that the helicopter is actually providing for us and the cell phones that they've been able to charge on the ship and talking to their -- to their moms on shore, so, boy, i love television when you're able to reconnect a mom and her daughter after seven days, i'll tell you. our chopper shot is having to move away somewhat, but this is a great moment to be able to
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record at least, because, listen, just imagine for a moment that there's a building with 4,000 people in it and they can't get out for a week and it's been hot with no toilets and limited food and they can't communicate with anyone on the outside. now, just shove it out to sea. that's what the circumstance has been for the last five days of this seven-day ordeal. the first part of the cruise obviously terrific. the last five days, an absolute might their, the ship listing, the sewage overflowing, the food difficult to get. but they are in the final stretch, folks, and that's what the final stretch looks like to them. our chopper showing you they are getting closer to land, but do you know what, it is still a long way to go. other vessels have been speeding out to this ship. one after the other, vessels have been coming to this ship. unclear exactly who's on board, but i can tell you we do know this, that the customs and border patrol agents who would normally meet them on land and process them and stamp their
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passports, they're going out to the ship to do it while they're stuck there so that when they get to land, that's one less hassle they have to deal with. pilot boats have also been coming out with executives from carnival cruises and agents from carnival cruises who will help to facilitate this whole ordeal and then, of course, there are the additional supplies that continuously need to make it to this 900-foot, 14-story ship that up until now has a vacation and a fantasy and has become a real nightmare for the 3,143 passengers who have been on board. and let's not forget the 1,086 crew members who have had it very bad as well. live pictures for you. the sun is out. it may not feel like it but the sun is out in mobile bay. we'll take a quick break and be back with our live reporting. don't. bus they have magnesium. for effective relief of occasional constipation. thanks. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'.
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then you're going to love this. right now they're only $14.95! wow-a grt deal just got a whole lot better. hurry. $14.95 won't last. viewers from cnn around the world as we continue our breaking news coverage right now of a stranded ship that is out to sea in the gulf of mexico but getting so incredibly close to shore. you're looking live at the carnival "triumph" with all of its 4,000-plus people on board who have been stuck without
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electricity, without adequate sewage systems, without appropriate food for five days. what has now been a seven-day trip, five days of it have been sheer hell. as we zoom in with the helicopter, the images of the people on board who are now out on all of those balconies has been nothing short of incredible. they are wrapped in bathrobes because the temperature has dropped precipitously from the beautiful tropical vacation to a balm y 43 degrees, many without winter coats or clothing have had to resort to the blankets from their state rooms or the bathrobes that they can find. and some of them have taken the blankets and hung them off the aft of the boat. there's a picture of the stern of the carnival "triumph" and those signs say things like help us. some of them in jest. some of them not so much. many of them waving to us. it's hard to see, but you can certainly -- someone's got a valentine's day message saying "love you." this one saying "help get us
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to" -- hard to say. something louisiana. maybe louisiana. help get us to louisiana, eunice, louisiana. obviously some of the people will take it in fride and others will not be so pleased with the ordeal they've been through. our david mattingly as we watch these exclusive pictures from the gulf of mexico with just about 50 miles or so to go at a snail's pace, seven knots which is about as fast as a snowblower or a lawnmower. clearly they're in the homestretch but there's so much awaiting them on shore. what kind of help have they got there? >> reporter: well, ashleigh, that communication blackout that we've had for several days is over now that everyone's close enough that they can reach cell service. and you can believe there are so many people here hanging on every word as those calls continue to come in. rusty atkins is among them. he actually drove all the way down here from indiana -- >> yes, sir. >> reporter: -- to greet your daughter when she comes in. why was she taking this trip?
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>> she got this trip -- he graduated early from high school with honors. >> reporter: this was a present for her -- >> yes, sir. >> reporter: -- to tell her a good job, and you've heard from her since they've got back into cell range. what is she telling you? >> well, i guess the first thing is that it looks like a cover-up to us. the sheets and the beds and all that was on top of the main deck -- >> reporter: where people were sleeping. >> yes, sir. the crew was made to clean all that up. my understanding is when your chopper came into the area, where they could see view with their eyes, they decided they better clean all that up. so, that's kind of like being swept under the rug kind of thing. >> reporter: well, tell us, what is she saying about the conditions she's had to endure there, what is she seeing right now? >> they're still pretty deplorable. the ship's listed to one side. grease and sewage and fluids are
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building up on one side of the ship. and she said it's kind of nasty. so, it's not -- it's not a very good situation at all. >> reporter: over the past few days no one's been able to reach anybody on that ship. you've been trying as well, haven't you? >> yes, sir. yes, sir. every day, several times a day. >> reporter: since you haven't been able to get through, were you trying to talk to carnival as well to get information? >> oh, my. we've tried carnival two or three times a day to the hotline. and we've been very disappointed about the communication with carnival. with the folks back at home particularly us. just letting us know what the conditions really, truly are. and i'm very disappointed about the communication skills. >> reporter: your daughter's 18. she's on the boat with her aunt and three cousins. >> right. >> reporter: i mean, you've got so many of your family members on there. have you heard from others as well? >> yes, sir. again, they all called approximately 10, 15 minutes ago for the first time that we've had contact with them all week. so, of course, we were very
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excited about that. and they want to be off this ship very, very bad. >> reporter: what made you want to drive all the way from indianapolis? did you not trust the company to get them back home to you or did you just want to be here? >> no, it was not a mistrust on that part. the concern was, is that this is my little girl and i want to get her back in protection of my n own. >> reporter: what are you going to say to her when you see her? >> i'm not sure i'll be able to say anything. probably just a big hug and a kiss and maybe roll around on the ground a little bit. >> reporter: rusty, thank you very much for sharing your story with us. >> yes, sir. >> reporter: ashleigh, back to you. >> all right, david mattingly, excellent interviews with one of the fathers who is anxiously awaiting the return of his daughter who is somewhere on board that massive vessel. the passengers, many of them, have been hanging out of their balconies not maybe so much for the cooler air, because it's cold. it is now 43 degrees. but maybe for the fresher air.
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because it does not smell good on that ship. the sewage system has been backing up. we are going to take a quick break and be back with our live coverage as this yacht gets closer and closer to shore and those 4,000 people get closer and closer to finally getting off what has only become a nightmare to them.
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welcome back to "cnn newsroom" i'm suzanne malveaux. of course, we are following breaking news. you are seeing there the exclusive video, cnn video, pictures there from the gulf of mexico. this is the cruise ship carnival "triumph" that is now being towed in. it is at a very slow pace. this is moments ago, video that was taken from our own chopper
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from above. our chopper now getting refueled so we can bring you those aerial pictures, but this from just moments ago, just within the last hour or so we've been following this breaking news as we've trained our eyes, our sights, on this cruise ship that is traveling towards the port of mobile, alabama, less than 50 miles away. but clearly, this is a long and arduous ride for many of these passengers, more than 4,000 when you include the crew. there those pictures showing that they are going to be still in the water from 7 to 10 hours or so because the port where they'll be arriving is so far away. i want you to see that stein there. it says "help get us out. get us to louisiana." simply sheets that were drawn across the deck there so that people could see and hear just the desperate situation that some of these passengers have been in. that ship has been dead without power since sunday or so after a fire broke out. you can see just the scale of this.
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when you think about it, it really is just like a -- it's like a hotel that is floating in the water, traveling at a very slow pace. it's being pulled in now by tugboats. we saw at least four tugboats. it's traveling just six to seven miles per hour. want to bring in, because my colleague ashleigh banfield did such an incredible job of really taking us on board that ship and painting a picture, if you will, of passengers who are talking directly to her. and one of the folks she had a chance to speak to is 10-year-old allie taylor, and she was waving from the ship earlier today. she was wearing a pink sweater. she was able to actually look up to our helicopter and give a big wave, a big shout out there. she's with her friend rebekah poret, the 12-year-old who is actually in the yellow there. you'll see them jumping up and down. they were so excited when we were able to -- to talk about it. and we see allie there. she's in pink. she's waving wildly.
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and i think we have allie on the phone. allie, can you hear me? it's suzanne malveaux at cnn. >> yes, i can hear. >> allie, i think we've got your mom on the other line as well. kim taylor, kim, are you there? >> oh, yes, i'm here. >> kim, what have you -- have you been able to talk to allie since this -- since this happened? >> no. this is the first time i've gotten to talk to her since monday. >> all right. well, kim, what would you like to say to allie? >> oh, i love you so much and i can't wait to have a big hug. i miss you. >> i miss you, too. >> it will be soon, baby, very soon. you'll be here tonight. >> i know. >> won't you be happy to be on land? >> i know. >> yes. >> kim, where are you now? >> are you doing okay? huh? >> yeah.
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>> okay. good deal. hello? >> yeah. >> hello? >> okay. okay. >> no, you guys, stay on the phone if you will. it's okay. we'll listen in a little bit. that's okay. >> i miss her so much, i just can't stop. i just -- i just miss her. it's so good to hear her voice. >> yeah. allie, how you doing? >> what? >> how you doing, allie? what would you like to -- what would you like to say to your mom about how things have been going? >> i just want to say i really miss her. when i get to land, i'm just going to hug her to death and have a really good happy meal. >> kim, what would you like to say to allie? i know she really misses you, we've finally had a chance -- have you had a chance to see the pictures of her waving? >> no, i haven't got to see a chance of them waving at all. she's, like, mom, the
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helicopter's coming closer, i can wave! do you see me? and i haven't got to see her yet so -- >> allie, tell us what it's been like. >> i can't wait. >> tell us what it's been like -- >> what? >> -- on the ship. >> what? >> allie, tell us what it's been like, are you eating enough? do you have enough food? what have you been eating lately? >> well, we've been eating these really cold sandwiches. it's hard to get them really hot. and we have to use the restroom in a bag because the water doesn't work. and jen is talking right now. hold on. i can't hear. >> who's talking, allie? >> hello? >> hello, allie? can you tell us who's talking on board? >> i can't -- who's talking? >> i can't talk. >> this girl named jen. >> are you hearing an announcement on board? >> yes, ma'am.
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>> what are they saying? can you tell us? >> what? >> can you tell us what they're telling you on board, the announcement? >> hold on. what's she say? allie, see what they're actually telling her. but i want to bring in our sanjay gupta to talk a little bit about the conditions on board. we've been talking to so many people for days now and it really sounds awful, i mean, like three hours to wait in line for food and going to the bathroom in bags and people outside on the deck because the smell is so bad indoors. describe what that's -- the conditions that they're under for people's health. >> i think mainly this is just miserable for them psychological, you know, and i think in terms of specific health conditions, you're hearing obviously some pretty unhygienic, unsanitary conditions.
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you want to ask the basics, though, still, do people have water, are they able to be hydrated, can they refrigerate their medications and are they getting any kind of food. it does sound like lawyer gettiget i they're getting it, and do you remember katrina, suzanne? >> of course? >> it was unsanitary conditions for days and people were stuck in buildings and even outside, but you didn't see the infectious disease outbreak. >> i want to go to david mattingly, who's actually on the ground, and he's talking to folks who are waiting anxiously. they see the ship coming in there. i can only imagine, david, what they're going through. i mean, kind of the excitement, the anticipation of seeing them. >> reporter: well, the hard part has just been the last several days, you know, when this disaster first happened and the fire was on board and the ship was disabled, there was all sorts of phone calls that came out that first sunday and maybe a little bit on monday, frantic calls to home, people talking about how worried they were, how scared they were, the terrible conditions on board. and then nothing.
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that's because the ships that have been coming up to this disabled cruise liner do not have an active cell tower on them, so people weren't able to call home. no one was able to call them. and as you heard maybe just a little while ago in the last hour, i was talking to one man who expressed a lot of frustration about not getting a lot of detail from the carnival cruise line when he would call in and talk to them. i've heard from that from other families as well, not getting a lot of detail, nothing specific about their families and nothing really specific about the conditions that are on board. we had a press conference on site here just a little while ago from a vice president for carnival cruise lines. he said that the ship was in good shape. he was talking about how they airlifted a generator on board so that they'd be able to provide more hot food to the people on board. well, then we hear from the people who are actually on board, and they're telling us that there hasn't been enough hot food, these past few days. they say there has been some,
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but the lines have been so long that the hot food usually gives out before the people at the end of the line get there. i spoke to one man on the phone who told me that he's been eating a lot of tomato sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches the past couple of days, so they are getting fed but the hot food has been a rare commodity. earlier we spoke to carnival who told me they were able to re-establish plumbing to a portion of the trip. that is true. but apparently not nearly enough to accommodate the thousands of people who are on there. i spoke to one little girl -- in fact, you were just talking to her earlier, 10-year-old allie, had a short conversation with her -- >> yeah. >> reporter: -- i'm probably going to embarrass her by saying it, she said the worst thing about being on there was having to, quote, do her business in a can. and that's a memory that is probably going to be sticking with her for quite some time. >> yeah, i think one of them was saying went from horrible to worse -- from bad to worse to horrible. i want to bring in our victor blackwell who is actually on the water there. victor, how close are you to the
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ship? can you see it from where you are? >> reporter: i certainly can see it, at about five miles from here. but because this ship is so tall, 14 stories, it looks like it's much closer than that. and we're told by our boat captain that -- we apologize for the shaky shot. we or a 41-foot cutter in a pretty rough area -- that people on shore at the port, they might be able -- might be able now -- to see a white blob from where they are. they can't see the details as much as we can, but we are approaching this ship and we'll be able to see from water level the people who have been there for all this time. and there's one other thing that we have to consider. i was discussing with kim mckerreghan when i spoke with her yesterday very early, is that there are people who have concerns and issues that they had to deal with off the ship. her child who is on the ship, there may be parents who have had child care only up until monday for their children, but
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now that has stretched into thursday, maybe friday, until they get back. they have jobs they have to return to. they have responsibilities off the ship that they've been kept away from, so, yes, that comparison to being kept in an office building and you can't get out. there are people who need to go home and there are things they have to take care of. let's talk about conditions on the water, though. our captain tells us that things have calmed down a bit, gone from that chop and the wind going from 10 to 15 miles per hour, it's calmed a bit, although a ship of this size would not have much difficulty navigating that. and the channel, the channel at some points goes 50 feet or more deep. the bay, though, is very, very shallow. at some points -- which is very close to the channel -- ten feet deep, three feet deep. and he said it's a shelf. there's no gradual kind of drop-off, it goes pretty shallow and straight down. it would be catastrophic, we're told by the director of the port, if those tugs cannot keep it within that channel and they
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run aground. the last major cruise ship we saw run aground was "costa concordia" at more than a year ago and we all know what happened there. so, the important thing is to keep this in the channel. the port manager says that they're confident they can do that because cruise ships up until 2011, carnival ships specifically, came along that channel, large cargo came along that channel without a problem. so, he's confident -- he said he didn't want to be cavalier about it because, yes, this is a ship that's being towed in, not coming in on its own, but he's very confident that it will make it to port. the only problem now, the hesitation, is how long will it take. and we're told it will take several more hours. but they can see land. we're told now the people waiting for them can see them only if it's just that little tiny white blob on the horizon, suzanne. >> all right, victor, we'll get back to you as you get closer to the cruise ship, the "triumph" there, you can see it. this is cnn, live exclusive
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pictures of that ship slowly making its way to port. seven to ten hours away from port. a lot of anxious relatives who are waiting for their loved ones and, of course, those families whose vacations just turned into a nightmare aboard that ship when the power went out, when that fire broke out five days ago. we are following this every moment, every step of the way, from the air, from the sea, from land. we're going to bring all of the details and watch that ship come in. we are also watching another story, that is president obama, about to speak in decatur, georgia, before a group of students. we'll take that live as well. we'll be right back. ur erectile- ur erectile- you know, that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough
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the end just can't come soon enough for folks on that ship. just a matter of hours now before the passengers, the crew, who are stranded on the ship back on land. we are following that every step of the way. you can see exclusive pictures of that ship coming in. also this hour we're taking a look at a live shot, this is a school out of decatur, georgia, not far here from atlanta. in just a moment the president is going to unveil a proposal. this is how he would like to give every 4-year-old a better education.
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we're talking about preschool, universal preschool. and, of course, south africa, something else we're following this hour, top international news story. we are talking about the superstar. he is amazing. the athlete, olympic sprinter, oscar pistorius. well, he is in jail now charged with murder. his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp, she was shot to death inside his house earlier today. 29 years old. a professional model and, of course, the charges, the ins, the outs, their relationship. what does any of this mean? well, we're going to take a look first at south africa's most famous and unlikely olympian. rob robin kernow live in johannesburg, it was a shock for us to hear this news, this information, what do we know about surrounding this murder and, secondly, was there anything in his history or his past that would help explain why he's being charged with murder
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now? >> reporter: i know it's funny, it's one of these news stories, isn't it, suzanne, that you just sort of take a double take at it, you think, no, this can't be happening, because i think for many of us all around the world, watching oscar pistorius' journey to the olympics was such an inspiring thing. i think everybody felt like he was just one of those role models that perhaps couldn't do any wrong. i mean, a man who had no legs, made it to the able-bodied olympics and ran in the semifinals. it still is quite an extraordinary story. so, how did it come to this, that it -- at the predawn hours at his home on valentine's day, his girlfriend was murdered. apparently four bullets were shot at her, her head, her arm, and her chest according to local media. and the police say that oscar pistorius was the shooter. he's going to be formally charged on friday. but how did it come to this? a lot of questions. not a lot of answers. i think they're all going to come out in the next few days.
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>> we have been hearing that there were disturbances at the house before, that there was domestic issues. is that true? do we know anything about a history of problems the two of them had? >> reporter: there was one incident in 2009 where there was apparently a drunken woman who tried to get into her house -- his house during a party there. oscar apparently tried to shut the door on her and a piece of wood fell off that door and hit her, fell on her. now, she laid initially a charge of assault against him, when the police investigated it, they found there was no evidence that he tried to assault her. that is the one incident that we are aware of where police perhaps know of an assault charge, but it was dropped because of evidence. the police today said that they were looking to oppose his bail because there had been other previous incidents, domestic incidents. if there's anything in addition to the one i've told you about,
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we, the press, are unaware of it. it could perhaps come out in court. but beyond that all we know about oscar was this -- was an olympian who was a good man. so, what's happened, is there another story? it's just very confusing and very shocking to all of us, isn't it? >> robin, there was something that struck it, i think it was local press that was reporting this, that, of course, the neighborhood that he lives in, it's a very lovely neighborhood, but there's a lot of violence in south africa, that it is not uncommon to have a weapon in the house and that some reports that maybe he thought there was an intruder. does that have any credibility at all? >> reporter: absolutely. i think that's why many people when they woke up this morning and heard this news, that oscar had shot his girlfriend, the initial reports were that this had been an accident, a case of mistaken identity. it was very early in the morning. it was dark. and he had thought that there was an intruder in his house. that's -- the police say is not
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a line of questioning they're pursuing, although something else might come out during the trial. what is important within that context is that most south africans would recognize that fear. this is a country when you go to sleep at night, even i know, you know, you sometimes, you know, hear noises, you think uh-oh, because there is a huge amount of house breaking, of burglaries, of murder, of rape. this is a very violent, criminal society on many levels. and people coming into your house, breaking into your house, is unfortunately very common. and we've had a number of cases of people mistaking other people and shooting them. recently a few years ago a rugby player shot dead his teenage daughter who had snuck out of the house to visit her boyfriend. and he shot her dead. there was another incident of a man who shot dead the son of a worker on his property. lots of examples of people who are armed, who are scared, who are nervous and use alarm systems and all of that, but the last line of defense for many weapon people is a weapon and we
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know that oscar had a weapon. >> what is next? we know he's in custody and tomorrow he's formally charged with murder. >> reporter: yeah. that is -- that is what we understand will happen tomorrow in a magistrate's court. the police have worryingly for oscar said they will oppose any application for bail, so they believe they have a strong case against him. in terms of his career, in terms of his track career, i mean, do we expect to see him on the track anytime soon? i don't know. people now asking, no matter what even if he's proven innocent in the long run, how does this impact on his career and, you know, is -- the big question is, is this the end. >> all right, robin, thank you very much. we're also waiting for president obama. he's going to be speaking in decatur, georgia. we're going to bring that to you live as soon as it starts. and, of course, we are also watching the amazing story out of the gulf of mexico. the carnival cruise line ship
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"triumph," just limping towards land. it is going to still be a long journey for the 4,000 -- more than 4,000 aboard that big ship, four tugboats slowly bringing it in to shore. passengers waiting on -- waiting on board. loved ones waiting on shore for the big reunion that is going to happen hours away. . some laxatives like dulcolax can cause cramps. but phillips' caplets don't. they have magnesium. for effective relief of occasional constipation. thanks. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. so if ydead battery,t tire, need a tow or lock your keys in the car, geico's emergency roadside assistance is there 24/7. oh dear, i got a flat tire.
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we're awaiting a live event. the president is going to be speaking in decatur, georgia, right outside of atlanta to talk about education. he wants to push forward a proposal, a plan to make it universal that preschool would be provided for all those here in the united states. we are also, of course, hearing efforts under way -- a compromise, some kind of compromise of key republicans to get the president's defense secretary nominee chuck hagel the 60 votes he needs to overcome a filibuster, a republican filibuster. and, of course, we are following the ship, the cruise ship, that is making its way -- you can see cnn exclusive video. making its way to shore. i want to bring in sandra endo. she was actually on the chopper earlier today. where we were able to get these
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exclusive pictures of that ship. was able to get really kind of the birds-eye view, if you will, of the passengers who were waving, those who were excited when they first were able to talk to their loved ones, were able to actually see some of the signs that were draped over the side, asking please help get us to louisiana. sandra is now on the ground. can you hear me? >> yes, i can, suzanne. >> tell us what you saw from up there. >> well, it was incredible the view we were able to see from the helicopter. we went out early this morning to try to find this carnival "triumph" ship. we understood that it was farther out, actually, than originally anticipated. but then we took off again a couple hours later this morning, and we were eventually able to find it. and as we approached the ship we could just see how massive an effort it was to actually get this rudderless ship really towed, and that is why the effort is going so slow. and as we approached the ship,
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we saw passengers bundled up in their white robes. as they saw us they were waving towels at us, waving at us, basically asking for help. they had signs draped out of their stateside balconies, in their state rooms, actually, saying help us get off "triumph," save us. and i was able to see up close their faces, and it just looked like so many of those passengers were worn out. they were tired. they were cold. they were bundled up in mattresses that they've taken from their rooms outside on the deck. and we're hearing reports of how awful the sewage and the smell is on board, and that's why a lot of these passengers took these mattresses outside so that they could sleep. but obviously the temperatures are pretty cold outside in the morning time especially. and they were all bundled up, and it just looked like, you know, a lot of these passengers just had broken spirits on board and they were just desperate to get to shore. but as we were hovering over the "triumph," suzanne, we saw a supply drop.
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so, obviously a lot of people, the coast guard, carnival, trying to get supplies to that ship. and we saw them trying to load -- off-load, actually, some food and other supplies to the passengers as they were making their way and approaching the mouth of mobile bay. and once that ship gets to the mouth of mobile bay, that is when more agencies will take over, that's when more help will help the ship navigate its way up the channel. and that will be about 25 miles until it actually docks at the port here. >> i understand that you are actually refueling right now. how long is it going to take you to refuel and will you get back in the air and give us more of a sense of the tongue boats that have surrounded the ship and actually how far they are out from the dock? i believe it's right now about 40 miles or so. >> absolutely. we are trying as best as we can to refuel as fast as we can. we understand the necessity of
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showing what the conditions are like on board that ship and what the passengers are going through as well as the tremendous effort it's taking to make sure this ship is towed into the dock. and keep in mind, it's only going about five miles per hour, and it's over 100,000 tons. so, it is a big effort. we're seeing all these tugboats, the coast guard, the customs and border patrol agents boarding that to process some of the documents needed for the passengers as well. so, it is a multiagency effort under way right now at sea. and what i can tell you is that we were actually flying about 15 miles off the edge of dauphin island. there's a lighthouse that is kind of a marker to the mouth of mobile bay, and so we were flying quite a distance out there. we know there are crews, cnn crews, in place on dauphin island that will eventually get to see the ship as it approaches. but it's still a pretty far distance away.
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when you think about how slow it's being tugged. >> all right, sandra, thank you. i want you to stay with us. i want to bring in, this is jay harring, a former senior officer with carnival truce l e cruise lines, you have stalactu sailed on "triumph." how long will it take them to get to shore? >> even under normal sailing conditions, once you see and land, it's still an hour or two before you can get to land. with tugboats it will be much, much longer. >> can you give us an idea -- sandy has said a little bit about the ship, 14 stories, about 900 feet long, 46,000 horsepower. it is just being dragged very slowly. it's going to be a little while. do you know what, jay, i want you to hang with us. we'll get back to you in a little bit. the president is speaking live at this event.
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we want to dip in and we want to hear what he's saying and we'll come back to you. >> actually michelle says hello. she made me promise to get back in time for our date tonight. that's important. that's important. i've already got a gift. got the flowers. i was telling folks the flowers are a little easier, though, because i got this rose garden. a lot of people. you know, keeping flowers around. i want to -- i want to acknowledge a few people who are here. first of all, congressman hank johnson is here. there's hank. your mayor, jim baskette is here. another mayor you may know, kasim reid, snuck in here.
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i want to acknowledge the decatur school board, who i had a chance to meet and who has helped to do so much great work around here, folks right here. and, of course, i want to thank mary for the wonderful introduction and for teaching me how to count earlier today. you know, i've got to tell you, it was wonderful to be there. i want to thank all the teachers and the parents and the administrators, decatur city schools, because behind every child who is doing great, there's a great teacher. and i'm proud of every single one of you for the work that you do here today. now, on tuesday i delivered my state of the union address, and i laid out a plan for reigniting what i believe is the true engine of america's economic growth, and that is a thriving,
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growing, rising middle-class. and that also means ladders for people to get into the middle-class. and the plan i put forward says we need to make smart choices as a country, both to grow our economy, shrink our deficits in a balanced way. by cutting what we don't need but then investing in the things that we do need to make sure that everybody has a chance to get ahead in life. what we need is to make america a magnet for new jobs by investing in manufacturing and energy and better roads and bridges and schools. we've got to make sure hard work's rewarded with a wage that you can live on and raise a family on. we need to make sure that we've got shared responsibility for giving every american the chance to earn the skills and education that they need for a really competitive global job market.
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as i said on tuesday night, that education has to start at the earliest possible age, and that's what you have realized here in decatur. study after study shows that the earlier a child begins learning the better he or she does down the road. but here's the thing, we are not doing enough to give all of our kids that chance. the kids we saw today, that i had a chance to spend time with in mary's classroom, they're some of the lucky ones because fewer than 3 in 10 4-year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. most middle-class parents can't afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool, and
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for the poor children who need it the most, the lack of access to a great preschool education can have an impact on their entire lives. and we all pay a price for that. and as i said, this is not speculation. study after study shows the achievement gap starts off very young. kids who -- when they go in to kindergarten, their first day, if they already have a lot fewer vocabulary words, they don't know their numbers and their shapes and have the capacity for focus, you know, they're going to be behind that first day. and it's very hard for them to catch up over time. and then at a certain point, i'll bet a lot of teachers have seen this, kids aren't stupid. when they're -- they know -- they know they're behind at a certain point, and then they start pulling back. and they act like they're
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disinterested in school because they're frustrated that they're not doing as well as they should, and then you may lose them. and that's why on tuesday night i proposed working with states like georgia to make high-quality preschool available to every child in america. every child. >> white house is scrambling to save the nomination of defense secretary nominee chuck hagel. dana bash is on capitol hill with the possibility of a compromise that they're working with republicans. dana, give us the very latest. >> reporter: there has been a mad scramble all day to figure out what is going to happen with chuck hagel, because the bottom line is, democrats, the white house, they do not have 60 votes necessary to overcome the filibuster that republicans have mounted. we are told by sources in both parties that there are discussions under way, suzanne, as we speak, trying to find some kind of compromise that will satisfy both sides of this -- of
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this issue. meaning, what they're going to try to do potentially is delay the vote, which is scheduled right now tomorrow morning, delay the vote, perhaps until after the congressional recess. that's going to happen all week next week. in order to give republicans more time that they're looking for to get more answers on things like chuck hagel's speeches and what money he made, in order to get the promise that there won't be a filibuster then. meaning, it would just be a regular simple majority, 51-vote threshold. this is under way as we speak. proposals going back and forth between democratic and republican leadership, senators. so we're going to hopefully find out in short order whether or not this is going to happen. if not, suzanne, if they can't come to some kind of agreement, there probably will be a vote tomorrow morning, and as of now, they simply -- the democrats and the white house simply do not have the votes, the 60 votes needed to overcome the filibuster, so it will fail and then it will be a big question mark as to what happens next. >> all right.
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dana, bring us the very latest as soon as we know what -- whether or not they can actually work out a deal behind the scenes. obviously the vice president working the phones as well as various members of congress trying to figure out whether or not they can save his nominee. we're also watching, of course, a very important story. this is a cnn exclusive video that you're seeing here. this is the ship. this is carnival "triumph" making its way to the port in mobile, alabama. it is a very slow and arduous trip for those passengers, more than 4,000 on board who have essentially been without power for five days after a fire broke out on that ship, tugboats that are pulling it in, painfully show, four miles an hour we're told. at least seven to ten hours away from reaching shore. we're going to have more on that story, the passengers who are on board the ship as well as the loved ones who are eagerly waiting their arrival.
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they -- for the most part the last 36 hours had been facing brutal headwinds blowing offshore with only a 5,000 horsepower tugboat trying to move this. they're also facing significant currents come in from the west, currents that have actually blown the "triumph" a little bit off course over to here. they are now having to turn the "triumph" all the way back off and go to the west in order to get it lined up to get in this channel. and we know that because, i go here, this is our shot from dauphin island. dauphin island looking at the cruise ship. by this point, the cruise ship should be pointed right at our came camera. it's not pointed at our camera because it isn't lined up with the markers yet. you have to have red on the right and you have to have green on the left. and it's still another 40 miles for them to go. this channel is only 400 meters wide. so 400 yards, four football fields. well, "triumph" is three football field long. you have to go down the middle and you have to be going straight down the middle and
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then to make this turn to the left as you miss ft. morgan. make a turn to the right to get into the mobile channel. head up here. keep the nuns on your right, they're red right returning. turn the boat to the left a little bit here. miss sand island and go right up here into mobile bay and that's what they're facing now. this current has pushed them off-course. they're only making one mile per hour going against this current trying to get it into the right-hand turn that they have to make. trouble. just tough for those people. >> so, you're saying they're going one mile per hour, one? is that right? it's that slow? >> they were moving about four, and then the current is probably moving two or three, so that current they're just pushing up against this current trying to get this boat lined up so that they can make that turn to get it lined up and go down into the channel. they're going to have to be very careful with this current as they're in the channel because it's going to be also on their portside trying to push them off course into the right hand nuns. the red nuns over here, the red
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markers on the right side of the channel. so, they'll have tugboats on the right side of this ship, on the starboard side to keep it going and drifting off. there's a lot of windage, it will want to drift in the current and the wind as well. it's tough for these people. they're still oclose but they are ten hours away. >> i want to bring in jay harring, a former officer with carnival cruise lines. you know this cruise ship front and back. you were actually on this cruise ship from time to time. how long is it going to take now that chad said it's going one mile per hour? what's a realistic assessment of how -- the time, how this ship is going to land? >> yeah, we could easily look at another eight to ten hours, one mile an hour, geez, that just takes forever. you know, you talk about windage. i've been on a different ship where we were out in the middle of the ocean and we took 50-mile-an-hour wind broadside and caused the ship to lean -- list 18 degrees. >> wow. >> and, yeah, it sent deck
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chairs bouncing across the deck and landing into the ocean. >> what's your biggest concern when you look at this and you realize that the passengers probably can see land by now, and yet really, they are probably so restless that they're going to be on that ship for that much longer. if you're aboard and you're one of those officers, are you trying to calm people down? do you think there's a sense of relief now or a sense that people might get even more agitated? >> yes. a lot of the crew are probably trying to avoid the passenger areas, you know, especially the crew that are not normally passenger facing because the second you step out into a corridor with a white uniform on, you're going to get accosted by people asking you millions of questions, when are we going to be back there, how far are we, what's our rate of speed. >> what would you do if you were aboard the "triumph" now? how would you be behaving? how would you reassure people and make sure that it's not -- the conditions don't get worse? >> you know, i think probably the best thing they could do is just overcommunicate the situation.
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i mean, we've questions as, you know, people have said, well, why haven't they transferred to a different ship, why haven't we launched, you know, the lifeboats. and the main reason is for passenger safety. for them to try to do an operation like that would really put the passengers at risk. >> all right. jay, thank you very much. and we're going to talk to an attorney who represents passengers who have dealt with this kind of thing before. this is jack hickey. want to take a quick break. and we're going to talk to him about what kind of legal recourse they have after this hellish ordeal. director's voice: here we go. from the top. and action for over 75 years people have saved money with gecko so.... director's voice: cut it! ...what...what did i say? gecko? i said gecko? aw... for over 75 year...(laughs. but still trying to keep it contained) director's voice: keep it together. i'm good. i'm good. for over 75...(uncontrollable laughter). what are you doing there? stop making me laugh. vo: geico. saving people money for over seventy-five years. gecko: don't look at me. don't look at me.
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following the breaking news, there you see it. it is carnival "triumph" making its way on shore. painfully show. more than 4,000 people on board. a ship that has essentially been dead for five days now, or at least until sunday, as they try to pull it in. now traveling about one mile per hour, which would mean that it's hours and hours away from shore, despite the fact that passengers now can actually see land, which might be a little bit frustrating, but also encouraging. want to bring in two folks who know this ship and know the deal very well. of course, jack harring, he's a former senior offer with with carnival cruise lines, he's sailed on that very ship, on the "triumph," also want to bring in jack hickey, he's an attorney, he's represented a lot of folks who have problems on cruise ships. first of all, i want to go to you, jay. let's continue the conversation. a lot of people looking at this
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thinking why can't you get the passengers off the ship. why do they even have to stay until the very end, until they reach that port. why can't you start, if you've got tugboats all around, plucking people off the ship, particularly those who are the most miserable? >> yeah. so, imagine the onboard ferry on the ship is this tiny little boat and we saw your guys out there in the pilot boats, they're bobbing up and down next to a cruise ship that's stationary. now you have to put a gangway between those two and put young children, elderly and try to get them across. it's very dangerous. >> is it just too dangerous? i mean, the ship is moving rather slowly. >> it is. and at the same time the sea conditions can change rapidly. so, you can go from one- to two-foot rapidly. you can go to one to two feet and imagine it pulls away from the ship and people fall into the water and you get crushed and they can get swept away it. would be absolutely a very dangerous situation to do something like that. >> i want to bring you in, jack. we heard from carnival officials
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and here's what they are offering folks who are on board this ship. you get $500, a free flight home and a full refund for the trip and credit for another cruise. so far we heard people not excited about getting on board another ship. do they have a case here? >> yes, they do. i think they do have a case. their legal liability is all governed by the maritime law and the cruise ticket. to bring a lawsuit against carnival for mental anguish only, you need two things. one is negligence and the other is actual exposure to actual physical injury. i think you have both here. you have negligence. four days at sea and sewage everywhere. why are there not back up generators on the ship. that's the one thing. exposure to physical injury,
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with raw sewage you have hepatitis a and the prospect of encephalitis because of mosquitos that love polluted waters and things. i think that is actual physical injury. these people have been exposed to that and it's horrible conditions. this is like nothing we have seen in prior driftings of ships and prior ship fires. i think they do have recourse and it's to sue carnival in miami, florida where the ticket requires. >> how is it different than if you want a plane on an airline? the regulations where you are sitting on the tarmac for a certain amount of time and by the time that expires, they have to bring you back to the airport or if you are out there, you are compensated. is there something similar like that for a ship if you are aboard? >> no. there is not really something comparable to that. when you are on the tarmac and
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in an airplane, two things. first of all, the faa regulations apply and certain treaties apply on an airplane. okay. that's all legal mumbo jumbo. when you are on an airplane for a couple of hours, that's different from being stranded for four days and being exposed to sewage. that's what we are hearing. we don't have all of the facts now, but we have passengers who are pretty much a uniform complaint. it's not one or two people talking about sewage. it's pretty much everybody is saying man, the stench of sewage is everywhere. we have to sleep in tents on the deck. this is really something completely and fundamentally different from waiting on the tarmac for a couple of hours. i would not put this in that same category. >> i want to bring you in there. hold on for a minute, if you will. i believe we have brianna aboard the ship right now who can talk
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to us. can you hear us? all right. we are going to try to get her back on the line. i think the phone line dropped. jay, is there a back up system on that ship? jack was saying look, uniformly heard from all the passengers who are having a tough time. is there a back up generator system and is there a back up system in place for if the toilets are not working? >> the triumph is normally powered by six diesel electric generators. each one is the size of a bus. 80% of the electricity used on board goes towards propulsion. if you take them away even if you have a back up generator, you will only provide lighting in limited areas. you are certainly not going to be able to provide ventilation for a vessel the size of three football fields. >> why is it they weren't able to get the generator to the ship
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earlier? we saw the drop that happened late yesterday. couldn't they have done that earlier? >> they may have. who knows. it would be like a band-aid on a gashing wound. it might have been a little relief, but no way to drop a back up generator for propulsion. you look at the toilets. those require a vacuum system to provide suction for the toilets. there 1,000 plus toilets on the triumph. that requires a massive amount of electricity. it would be too much for a back up generator. >> stay with us. i know we keep talking about the toilet situation, but people are curious what's going on. it's a very important thing. martin savage is onshore with folks who are waiting anxiously for loved ones. who do you have with you? >> i'm here with mike and his wife is on board ship. we are looking at the imagery
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that has been put out there. this is the first chance mike had to see the vessel and the helicopters flying over and the side picture showing it from shore. mike, let me ask you, while you look at it, how is your wife doing? >> i talked to her twice and as expected, she is doing great. high spirits and said they are doing fine and her and her crew are doing great. they are playing cards and met a lot of great people. she shared a birthday with somebody on the boat. it's good. all good. >> what's your feelings now. she can see shore. she knows that you are here and she probably can't wait to get to the boat. >> probably more get to shore than see me, but she can see shore and said she knows it's going to be a lot longer now that they can see the shore because they have to keep the ship in a certain spot. she realizes that it's still going to be an eight to ten hour
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trip, but the weather is good right now and they're going really slow and there is a good breeze and her and her group are having a good time. >> has she described conditions as horrific as others or what is her experience? >> you know -- no. you have to know my wife a little bit to -- she is not going to let it get her down. she didn't say it was as bad as the reports we have heard. she said it was rough the first 20 hours after the fire. once they got some juice going back into the engine and the toilets came back online, she said it was fine. it was great. >> mike has been talking to us. go ahead. >> thanks. i think we have brianna @ katki on the phone. she aboard the ship and 18 years old. you can hear us?
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>> yes, ma'am. >> how are you doing? >> we are good. okay. >> where are you on the ship? >> i'm on the putting golf thing. >> who are you with? family or friends? >> i'm with my aunt and cousin. >> tell me what you are going through now. >> we just had to -- i mean we had to sleep in the hall ways because it's too hot in the inside cabin and it was pitch dark. you can't see anything. we had to sleep inside and sleep with the door open to get lights. we slept outside on the nights because it was too hot. the restrooms only work at certain times. you don't know when they won't work.


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