The Main Stream

Feb 15, 2013 8:03 PM by Erika Flores

Local women making their way home from stranded ship

TUCSON-Carnival Cruise ship passengers are finally making their way home.

They were on the ship Triumph Sunday when an engine fire caused a power outage.

The toilets started overflowing, the air conditioning went out and food was sometimes tough to get.

Tugboats pulled the disabled ship into port late Thursday night.

Two local women who were on that ship are grateful to be off.

Dawn Mawhinney and her friend Robyn Sanchez were stranded on the ship along with over 4 thousand others in the Gulf of Mexico for nearly a week.

"The experience alone was just horrendous and atrocious," said Mawhinney.

An engine fire crippled the ship's water and plumbing.

"I didn't like seeing her in danger," said Kathy Liljekvist, Mawhinney's mother.

When Liljekvist heard about the engine fire, she didn't know how bad the situation was.

All she could think of was she didn't want to lose another daughter.

She had lost one to cancer two years ago.

"The thought of losing two...one was a nightmare...no," said Liljekvist.

But Mawhinney and her friend were fine just uncomfortable.

"We had no electricity, the toilets didn't work," said Sanchez.

Toilets overflowed and the women said fecal matter could be found everywhere.

"We ended up carrying our mattresses and blankets up the stairs in that nasty water and we just stayed on our mattresses on the deck," said Mawhinney.

For the past couple of days, they ate nothing but cereal and fruit, drank water and sprite.

"She's just real funny about germs, so they didn't eat the food the whole time," said Mawhinney.

But Liljekvist has a plan.

The first thing she will do is give her daughter a big hug when she lands and bring her straight to the kitchen to make up for lost time.

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