Collin County coach's wife is aboard crippled cruise ship

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on February 13, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 13 at 11:59 PM

Carnival Cruise lines issued another apology and promised more money Wednesday as it tries to compensate passengers stuck on a huge ship in the Gulf of Mexico now limping toward land.

The misery is growing on the Carnival Triumph; there is no power, limited supplies, and reports of raw sewage running down walls and floors.

North Texans waiting for loved ones stuck aboard the Triumph are getting anxious and aggravated as the crippled cruiser it towed to port in Mobile, Alabama.

Krista Herrema traveled on the Triumph with five of her college friends. Her husband, Kyle Herrema, stayed behind to coach his Lovejoy High School basketball team.

"I worry about her, not having talked to her the last couple of days," Herrema said. "I just wonder how she's doing at this point in time."

His only contact has been via recorded phone messages from the cruise line.

"I think they're really dealing with a lot of vague generalities, and that makes it frustrating when you haven't talked with your loved one in a couple of days," Herrema said.

In Mobile, preparations are under way for the Triumph's Thursday arrival. Carnival has chartered 100 buses; passengers can go directly to Galveston or Houston, or spend Thursday night in a hotel in New Orleans and fly out Friday.

Kim McKerreghan and Mary Poret drove to Mobile from Lufkin. They were tired of wondering and worrying about their daughters.

"I know her dad is holding her just as tight as he can, but she needs mom," McKerreghan said.

Poret is wearing a bright coat, so her 12-year-old daughter can't miss her in the waiting crowd.

"I want her to see me, and I want her to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my momma has moved heaven and earth to be here to get me," Poret said.

Carnival dispatched a third tugboat Wednesday to help bring Triumph to Mobile. And it is offering passengers an additional $500 — along with a full refund, transportation costs and a voucher for a future cruise.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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