Disabled, Shit-Covered Cruise Ship Descends to New Circle of Hell Off the Coast of AlabamaS

The Carnival cruise line disabled by a fire and left floating for days, stinking of shit and piss, has reached a new level of horror as the towline taking it to Alabama—where its passengers would, finally, be able to disembark and go home—broke, leaving them floating once more in the Gulf of Mexico, 30 miles from shore. It's been fixed, and the ship is moving again—but as these images show, it's still not pretty.

Cruise passengers (there are 4,200 on board) had already formed what the Daily Mail describes, delightedly, as "shanty towns" on deck, avoiding the cabins, which were still hot and smelled like smoke from Sunday's fire. They—the cabins—also smelled like urine and feces, thanks to backed-up toilets; the water conditions are too rough to evacuate more than the one woman who needed emergency dialysis treatment. It sounds like hell:

By Tuesday night, passengers were sending messages about the stench from feces and urine and dwindling food supplies. Mattresses had been hauled to hallways and the deck where sleeping was a bit cooler. Tension and fear were running high. On Thursday, Julie Hair called her husband from the ship to report that their 12-year-old daughter had Skittles candy for breakfast and that she ate cold waffles. The smell on board "was horrendous," she said. "We thought the toilet was flushing today, but the water was coming up."

Actually, sounds kind of like living in a college dorm.

Update: Some photos from on board:

Disabled, Shit-Covered Cruise Ship Descends to New Circle of Hell Off the Coast of Alabama

[via Janet Shamlian]

Disabled, Shit-Covered Cruise Ship Descends to New Circle of Hell Off the Coast of Alabama

[via Clarkaj]

Disabled, Shit-Covered Cruise Ship Descends to New Circle of Hell Off the Coast of Alabama

[via CBS This Morning]

Disabled, Shit-Covered Cruise Ship Descends to New Circle of Hell Off the Coast of Alabama

[via Amanda Kost]

[NYT, Daily Mail, image via AP]