MOBILE BAY (WPMI) It was a moment of jubilation for the passengers of Carnival's Triumph, as Dauphin Island came into view for the very first time. And then, another delay as a tow cable snapped, and Triumph was once again dead in the water.
But even with this setback, Thursday had to begin on a brighter note for the passengers and crew. For the first time, passengers saw evidence that preparations were being made to get them off the ship.
A crew with the Mobile Bar Pilots worked its way toward the vessel.
The goal? Pull along side the Triumph and deliver a bar pilot to direct the captain through the tricky entrance to Mobile Bay and up the ship channel to the terminal.
John Hunt is with Mobile Bar Pilots.
"They have entry doors on the side of the ship, watertight doors," he said. "They'll step into those. They're gonna be moving relatively slow. It won't be too bad."
The trip took about 30 minutes.
And when the crew arrived ship side, weary passenger made their feelings known, waving towels and handkerchiefs from balconies and windows, some holding sheets with messages, others yelling, words lost in the wind and the whine of boat engines.
The passengers of the Triumph watched as the pilot board came along side and delivered the bar pilot. The stage was now set for the ship to proceed into Mobile Bay.
And then, disappointment.
The main tow cable to the lead tug snapped, its recoil sending part of the tug's railing and a stack of supplies into the gulf.
No one was injured, but the whole mission once again grinded to a halt, as the ship turned it's back to shore, as if making one last defiant stand.
A little more than an hour later, and under the guidance of another tug, she would once again be on her way.