Dayton native stranded on cruise ship traveling from South America to Florida

Dayton native stranded on cruise ship traveling from South America to Florida

A man from Dayton is stranded aboard a cruise ship that is hoping to dock in Fort Lauderdale next week.

Melissa Cairl, from Centerville, said her dad, Greg Rioux, and his girlfriend, Vicki Ingraham, are stuck on the cruise ship ‘Coral Princess,’ owned by Princess Cruises. Rioux now lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, but lived in the Dayton area for more than 30 years.

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Cairl said Rioux and Ingraham flew down to Chile on March 4 to board the ship the next day. She said the cruise was canceled ten days later and the ship has been trying to dock ever since.

According to Princess Cruises’ website, Coral Princess docked in Buenos Aires on March 19, but only guests with an Argentinean passport or guests who had confirmed flights leaving that day were able to get off the ship.

The cruise line said later that day the ship had to abruptly depart before everyone could get off because Argentina’s President issued an order, that would go into effect that night, that would require the ship to remain in port for an unknown amount of time.

On March 22, the ship docked in Uruguay to load up on supplies and fuel. Still no guests were able to get off. The cruise line then announced the ship would make its way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which would take 14 days.

“This is an unprecedented situation and the operations team at Princess continues to support the Captain and his crew to ensure everyone onboard returns home safely,” Princess wrote on their website. “The continued patience and understanding of the guests and their families is appreciated. The safety, health and well-being of everyone on board remains our highest priority.”

The cruise line states there is no known risk of COVID-19 on the ship.

As of March 27, the ship was in Barbados and is scheduled to arrive in Fort Lauderdale on April 4, but it’s unknown if it will be permitted to dock in the U.S.

They are offering free internet and telephone access so passengers can stay in touch with their family.

Cairl said the situation has been “nerve wracking” and is hoping her father and his girlfriend will be able to safely return to the U.S. sometime soon.