A Carnival Sunshine passenger says he's surprised to be alive after the ship was rocked by a terrifying storm that smashed his window

  • A cruise-ship passenger spoke of his surprise at surviving a storm while at sea.

  • Bill Hassler told CNN that a wave broke the window of his cabin and let water in.

  • The Carnival Sunshine had been returning from the Bahamas and heading for South Carolina.

A passenger on board a cruise ship that was caught up in a terrifying storm while sailing to Charleston, South Carolina, says he feared for his life.

A storm off the Southeastern coast of the US hit the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship during its return from the Bahamas last weekend, Fox Weather reported. Data from the National Weather Service showed that there were wind speeds of up to 46 miles per hour in some areas of Charleston over the weekend.

Bill Hassler, a passenger on board the ship, told CNN he was "surprised I'm still alive" after the storm. He told the news outlet a wave broke the window of his cabin and let water in.

He said: "When I got home Sunday night, I had to crack open a beer and think about it, and I started shaking because it just set in. I couldn't even believe I'm still here."

One video showing severe flooding in the aftermath of the incident was posted on Twitter by Crew Center and also featured in the CNN report.

Speaking to CNN, Hassler criticized the cruise operator for sailing in poor weather conditions, questioning why officials didn't wait for the storm to subside before setting off.

Representatives for Carnival Cruise Line did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. However, a spokesperson said in a statement shared on Monday that the ship'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. Carnival Sunshine is now sailing on its next cruise," the statement read.

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