Oklahoma Cruise Ship Passengers Affected By Gulf Oil Spill

Monday, March 24th 2014, 2:09 pm
By: News On 6

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has affected numerous Oklahoma cruise ship passengers.

A barge carrying about 900,000 gallons of the heavy oil collided with a ship Saturday in the Houston Ship Channel. The U.S. Coast Guard says as much as 170,000 gallons of oil spilled into the water.

The channel is part of the Port of Houston and typically handles as many as 80 vessels daily. It's closed for a third day Monday and the Coast Guard said it doesn't know when it may reopen.

The closure means ships cannot dock at the Port of Galveston. Many of those ships are cruise ships full of passengers.

One of them is Kayla Parker, a Glenpool resident and Jenks police dispatcher, who was on board the Carnival Magic.

She said the ship was supposed to dock at 8 a.m. on Sunday. At first the docking was delayed due to thick fog, but then the oil spill delayed it. She told News On 6 she disembarked Sunday night.

Brandye Bethel said her ship, the Carnival Triumph, was originally scheduled to dock at 8:30 a.m. Monday. She's traveling with eight other people from Tulsa. She said the captain notified passengers at about 5 p.m. Sunday about the oil spill and told them the ship would be delayed in docking.

Later Sunday night the captain announced the Triumph would dock as soon as the Carnival Magic was finished disembarking its passengers. The crew has told them the Triumph should be allowed to dock Monday afternoon.

She said she and her traveling companions have been staying in their rooms.