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El Paso Family Rescued From Capsized Italian Cruise Ship

Evangelina Rosales says her son Oscar’s Italian cruise ship celebration turned into anything but.

She told ABC-7 that Oscar, an El Pasoan, booked passage on the Costa Concordia to commemorate the 50th birthday of his wife Anita and the 25th birthday of his daughter Vanessa.

Friday night, the luxury liner hit a coral reef along the Italian coast, capsizing the ship and forcing an evacuation.

Back in El Paso, Rosales’ father, Oscar Sr., said he didn’t know about the accident until he received a phone call from another relative.

Hours later, he said he got another call, this time from his loved ones in Italy, letting him know they were OK.

The grandparents also recorded an interview with the Rosales family that appeared on the Weather Channel.

In is, Oscar Rosales said the family was enjoying a magic show after dinner when the passengers on the ship heard a loud thud.

“The lights flickered and the boat tilted toward the port side,” Rosales told the Weather Channel.

He said the lights then went off completely and soon, he, his wife and his daughter found themselves struggling to keep their footing as they tried to find life vests and space on a life boat.

“We saw people running around trying to get their life vests on,” Rosales said. “It was chaotic.”

The family was able to be rescued from the ship. Their family in El Paso told ABC-7 that the Rosales plan to stay in Italy and try to salvage what’s left of their Italian vacation, even without their possessions, lost in the water.

The El Pasoans were given temporary passports at the American embassy in Rome, their relatives said.

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