RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A North Carolina man who is currently on a cruise ship that is stuck in the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine and battling high seas and winds over 100 mph is furious with the cruise line.
“This is inexcusable,” said David Hughes, who’s on the Anthem of the Seas Royal Caribbean cruise ship with his wife.
The same ship was damaged and had passengers injured in a storm off the North Carolina coast back in February.
The ship ran into winds as high as 122 mph during February’s storm.
The rough seas in the Atlantic Ocean, fueled by winds up to 120 mph, caused at least four injuries and damage to areas of the ship.
Now, as the ship heads from New Jersey to Bermuda, the storm is caught up in the winds and seas stirred up by the remnants of Hermine.
Hughes contacted CBS North Carolina Monday morning in response to WNCN’s previous story.
“The conditions are really bad and have not improved at all throughout the day,” he said. “At least half or more of the passengers and crew are sick and it’s getting worse.”
Another passenger on the ship, Robert McHugh, posted video from the ship on Twitter while it was in the storm.
The passenger, who is from New Jersey, said in the video the rough conditions worsened early Sunday when the ship “started swaying a bit here.”
He said that sea swells were up to 40 feet and gusts were up to 90 knots. An in-board video screen from the ship did show 98 knot winds – which is the same as 112 mph.
McHugh, who spoke from the railing of the ship outdoors, said that dishes were “all over the place” when passengers tried to dine in the restaurant.
Hughes said the cruise was supposed to be a fun way to celebrate a special occasion.
“My wife and I are celebrating her parents birthdays and taking the cruise with other family members,” he said. “We should have never sailed yesterday, this is simply ridiculous. Royal Caribbean easily put money and profits ahead of safety.”
The ship left Bayonne, New Jersey on Friday, and earlier Sunday “was basically in worst quadrant of post-tropical Hurricane Hermine,” said Ryan Maue on Twitter, a meteorologist who mapped the location of the ship along with the storm.
Hughes said he had heard that other cruise lines cancelled the cruise or changed their itinerary and he doesn’t know why Royal Caribbean didn’t do the same thing.
Now, Hughes said, he’s just hoping to make it safely to Bermuda.
“I’m hoping we don’t lose power and can get to Bermuda…as planned and simply get off the boat for awhile.”
Royal Caribbean said in a statement to CBS North Carolina that the ship has reached its destination.
According to Royal Caribbean spokesperson Owen Torres,
Anthem of the Seas arrived in Bermuda this morning, where she will overnight per her scheduled itinerary. While sailing yesterday, our captain informed guests that we had experienced higher winds and gusts for a 2-3 hour period. We’ll continue to share weather information with our guests throughout their trip.”