MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - It was a lot of work maneuvering theCarnival Triumph into the Alabama Cruise Terminal on Thursday, February 14.
Officials said the time of day and small channel certainly presented challenges, but tug boat captains managed to pull it off and get the passengers safely to shore.
Don Coleman is in the business of helping distressed vessels. Although he doesn't work with ships the size of the Triumph, he said he knows all about what it takes to maneuver a boat through the Mobile Ship Channel.
That was the Triumph's path to land. Coleman said the tugs have pulled bigger ships into port, but what made this tricky was it was night time.
"Definitely not standard procedure for the port," said Coleman.
Since Sunday's engine fire, the Triumph was a dead ship relying on the tug boats to pull it into the Alabama Cruise Terminal.
"They will be the power and the steering for the ship," Coleman said.
The path was tight. The Triumph is 116 feet wide and the channel is 400 feet wide. Coleman said if the ship drifted outside the channel, it ran the risk of getting stuck.
"The tugs are going to have to work with themselves a lot more to make the tow happen and stay inside the channel," Coleman said.
This was all done with limited visibility.
"With the lights you'll be able to see as far as your lights will see," Coleman said.
To make it, Coleman said the tugs would have to rely on their radar. It appears they did and docked just before 10 p.m.
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