Feb 14, 2013 11:26 PM by Erin Steuber

Duson Family Was Aboard First Ship to Help the Triumph

One family in Acadiana saw the stranded passengers first hand. The Arceneaux family of Duson just got home today from their vacation on the Carnival Elation, the first ship to stop and give supplies to the Triumph. The Arceneaux family never thought their vacation would include a stop to help a ship in need. Just a day into their vacation, they pulled along side the Triumph, drifting alone in the Gulf in almost complete darkness, full of passengers holding signs begging for help.

The Arceneauxs say it was about 4:30 Monday afternoon when the crew of Elation announced they would be stopping to assist a stranded sister ship, the Triumph.

"It came up and they showed us on the screen and you could see exactly where they were, and we went right to them," said Todd Arceneaux.

Within an hour, crews on the Elation began loading supplies onto lifeboats.

"As we looked out the front of the window you could see the silhouette of a ship. It took us about and hour to get to, and once we got to it they were just at a drift, no power, no nothing," said Todd. "You could see the blankets 'help us, help us'."

The Arceneauxs say after about 6 hours, the Elation left the Triumph sitting alone in the Gulf.

"It was heart wrenching. You want to bring some of these people on the ship and bring them to safety," said Todd.

"Heartbreaking. Just knowing that there were kids on there, you know. An adult can go a while without food. But when a kid's hungry, and when you say, you know, I don't have anything to eat, because I know they were rationing food, it's just heartbreaking," said Kimberly Arceneaux.

Now back home from their vacation, the Arceneauxs have continued watching as the nightmare on the Triumph is finally ending.

"Thanking God just that we made it home safely, and we didn't have any problems. I'm praying for them that everyone gets off safely and home ok," said Kimberly.

Despite all they have seen while on their cruise, and since they have been home, The Arceneauxs say they are already planning a cruise for next year.



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