Southwest Missouri family caught on a fiery cruise ship in the Caribbean Sea shares story

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 7:54 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2022 at 8:02 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A family from Everton, Mo., was among the people on this carnival cruise ship that caught fire last week at Grand Turk.

Ashley Tracy enjoyed the morning out on the deck when her husband noticed those flames. When they first saw the smoke, they didn’t think anything of it. That changed when they saw the fire.

“There were about 20-foot flames coming out of the side of it, and so he told the attendant, which in turn called 911 on the ship,” Tracy says.

At first, Tracy says she didn’t fully understand what was happening. Then, she sprung into action.

“Oh my gosh, we’ve got to get down to the kids because they were still asleep in their rooms to try to get them off the boat if it was gonna spread,” Tracy says.

Tracy then woke up her daughter, Madie Hays, who says it was lucky they were already pulling into the port in Grand Turk when the fire started.

“I was grabbing passports, IDs, everything that’s important,” Hays says. “I was like, oh my gosh, the ship is on fire, so we need to get everything and go. I was grabbing life jackets, grabbing my brother and his girlfriend and everything.”

Once the shock wore off, the family enjoyed the rest of their vacation.

“My mom was just kind of like get your swimsuits on. It’s going to be okay, so I’m like, okay, cool,” Hays says.

Because of the fire, they spent two extra days in Grand Turk snorkeling and relaxing.

Hays says Carnival handled the situation very well.

“They pretty much just let us know like hey here’s some free Wi-Fi, get ahold of any family members, so they’re not freaking out and worrying about you,” Hays says. “They offered to reimburse us for flights, any hotels we may have missed on the way back to Florida. It was just a really smooth process. They were really good about the whole thing. The crew was amazing.”

There was also a learning lesson from this experience.

“I would definitely say to keep all of your important documents in one place that you can grab in case of an emergency,” Tracy says.

Despite that unexpected turn on the trip, the family says this was one of their best vacations.

No one was hurt in the fire.

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