The Carnival Sunshine cruise ship made it back to port safely on Saturday after being stuck in a storm between the Bahamas and Charleston, S.C. for 15 hours
The Carnival Sunshine cruise ship made it back to port nine hours later than planned after sailing through a terrifying storm on Friday night.
The ship was on its way to Charleston, S.C. from the Bahamas when it got caught in severe weather, including nearly 80 mph winds. Passengers on board shared details and footage of the chaos and destruction caused by the storm on social media. Thankfully, Carnival told PEOPLE in a statement provided below that "no one was seriously injured."
Crew Center, a cruise ship information site, posted a video on Twitter showing a flooded hallway, torn-off doors and other debris and destruction on board.
"The aftermath aboard Carnival Sunshine after a severe storm," the post read. "The crew from Deck 0-4 evacuated to the theater, and anywhere they could rest… the crew bar destroyed."
Passenger Daniel Taylor told Newsweek that the captain made an announcement around 4:45 p.m. saying that they would be experiencing a delay due to "adverse weather conditions," expressing that they "would do everything they could to minimize discomfort.
By dinner time, public decks had been closed off, and plates and cups were flying off the buffet areas, he recalled.
By the early hours of Saturday morning, he said, "We were no longer able to see where we were going, how fast we were going, what the wind speed was, or anything. We were blind to what was going on." Swells were hitting the ship "over and over," said Taylor, who also recalled seeing crew members wearing life vests.
At that point, the internet was also out, so those on board couldn't get any additional information or reach loved ones.
Matthew Branham, who was also on board, told The Washington Post, that "waves were hitting the boat so hard that it was like an earthquake experience, jarring you like a really rough roller coaster — even in the middle floor."
TVs were falling off walls and glasses shattering. “You could not stand up in your room,” he said. “You could be thrown from the bed."
Another passenger, RJ Whited, wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post cited by Newsweek, "Our cruise ship last night was literally sideways and slung everything in our room breaking, people in the hallways throwing up and sleeping on the stairs."
Added Whited, "We also found out that they knew about the storm and instead of us staying back to ride it out a few hours they hit it head-on so we could make it back for the other cruise to be on time."
Finally, the ship made it back to Charleston around 7:30 a.m., though it couldn't immediately dock due to continuing rough weather.
At 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, the ship was able to dock.
Summing up the "nightmare" experience, passenger Christa Seifert-Alicea told NBC News 4: "What we endured is indescribable, not only to feel it yourself but to hear and see it set in on every single person around you from adult, child and the elderly is something I will never forget."
In a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday, Carnival said: "Carnival Sunshine's return to Charleston was impacted by the weather and rough seas on Saturday. The weather's prolonged impact on the Charleston area delayed the ship's arrival and as a result, the next voyage's embarkation was also delayed. We appreciate the patience and understanding of all our guests."
The statement claims that "the ship's crew followed our protocols for rough weather" noting, "thankfully, no one was seriously injured."
"The weather was unexpectedly strong, causing conditions that were rougher than forecasted," the statement continues. "Given the circumstances as they were, the ship's officers and our Fleet Operations Center team using real time meteorology data coordinated to keep the ship in its safest location. Attempting to sail out of the large front could have been dangerous. The ship proceeded to the port as soon as the weather began to clear."
The cruise line's statement also said that the captain "made several announcements about the weather and the delay" but noted "some of the worst weather occurred in the overnight hours when announcements are not typically made."
The Carnival Sunshine is already on its next voyage, the cruise line confirmed.
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Read the original article on People.