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El Pasoan On Board Capsized Cruise Ship Describes Chaos

Vanessa Rosales was supposed to be celebrating her 25th birthday aboard the Costa Concordia. Instead, she feared she may die during her first night on the ship.

“I was just thinking, ‘We’re going to drown in there,'” said Rosales.

Rosales, her parents and her godmother all got out safely on Jan. 13 when the boat capsized. However, rescue efforts are still underway for more than a dozen missing passengers. 15 people have been found dead.

Rosales said she and her family were attending a magic show when they felt the ship shake and the lights go out. “As soon as the emergency lights went on, the magician just jumped and ran off stage. He just ran off and we were just like, ‘Okay that can’t be good,'” said Rosales.

She said the crew initially told passengers nothing was wrong but a technical glitch. When she and her mom went back to their room, however, they were met with a member of the ship’s staff.

“The crew lady is like, ‘Get out of here’ and I was like, ‘Why is she yelling at me? They just told us everything was okay,'” said Rosales.

Everything was not okay. Investigators believe the ship hit a rock after going off-course and coming too close to the shore. The ship’s captain could be facing multiple manslaughter charges for allegedly abandoning the ship.

Rosales said once the ship started tipping over, it was difficult to stand up straight. “You had to like literally hold on to the rail because everyone was sliding so you just had to climb.”

She said once the order to abandon the ship finally came over the loudspeaker, it was difficult to hear over all the yelling and crying. She also said some crew members were clueless as to where passengers should go to board lifeboats. Most lifeboats had taken off by the time Rosales and her family arrived at the boarding zone.

“Our boat gets filled and everyone is literally jumping in it or they’re pushing other people in. It’s already leaving and people are still jumping in it,” she said.

Rosales said the panic could have been prevented. “There was no drill. Everyone was telling us everything was okay when it wasn’t,” she said.

Carnival Cruise Line is the parent company of the ill-fated ship. They have said passengers will get a full refund on their trip. A spokesman from Costa Cruises reportedly told a London newspaper they will offer a 30 per cent discount on future cruises if passengers want to stay loyal to the company.

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