PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Costa Cruises has offered to pay surviving passengers of the sinking ship Costa Concordia $14,460, plus travel expenses, for the terrifiying ordeal they endured. But a Puyallup woman says she's just glad to be alive.
The Costa Concordia cruise ship hit a reef off the coast of Italy on January 13. Sixteen people died, 16 more people are presumed dead, and roughly 100 passengers were injured during the chaotic evacuation.
Lynn Kaelin, who lives in Puyallup, says she hasn't heard anything about the offer, but she's glad to be home even if she can't shake the terrifying memories.
The last two nights I wake up and I'm on this dark ship and it's laying on its side and I can't figure out how to get off, said Lynn.
It was Lynn's first vacation overseas. Before she left, she had a premonition.
I was telling several of my friends, 'We're gonna go down like the Titanic,' and they just laughed at me.
But no one is laughing now. Lynn and her friend Karen had just gotten onboard when they felt the crash, then the listless swaying of a sinking boat.
I said, 'There's no way you can't take this ship and stand it back up. We're literally leaning over, there's just no way, she recalled.
The two managed to get life jackets on, and pushing through the panicked crowd, Lynn ignored crew members who told them to go back. But once she was on the lifeboat:
The rope must have broke, and so literally on the lifeboat I was hanging off the ship and that's when I lost it and I called my husband, said Lynn.
Lynn thought she was going to die. When finally, the lifeboat disengaged from the sinking ship. Once on land, Lynn watched as the others struggled to get off.
There's a gentleman having a seizure, babies with no coats, it was so sad it's just like the world is coming to an end, she said.
Costa Cruises sent a letter asking Lynn for details of her lost items. But her confidence and desire to ever cruise again, that she says can never be restored.
I will never cruise again.