Miamians recount Italy cruise ship crash

5 killed, 20 injured when ship runs aground in Italy

Published On: Jan 14 2012 06:12:14 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 15 2012 07:48:15 PM EST
PORTO SANTO STEFANO, Italy -

Two people from Miami onboard a cruise ship that ran aground in Italy on Saturday, killing five people, injuring 20, and leaving 17 people unaccounted for, talked about the frightening experience.

IMAGES: Italian cruise ship disaster

"I was very scared. Super scared," said Karen Camacho of Miami.

The 1,500-cabin luxury vessel, which was carrying about 1,000 crew, ran aground on a rocky sandbar off the tiny island of Giglio.

Camacho and her husband, Luis Hernandez, said they were eating in the dining room when the ship ran aground.

UNCUT: Couple recounts crash

Camacho said she and other passengers tried boarding a raft, but were told they needed to take another one.

"So we had to jump from the raft to the boat and start running around to see where we can find another one because they all were full," she said.

"I was terrified. I was telling my husband, 'We're going to die here,'" said Camacho.

Hernandez, said he originally thought the ship's problems were nothing.

"When we were jumping into the raft, I said, 'Man, this is happening for real,'" said Hernandez.

IMAGES: Previous cruise ship problems

Camacho said they eventually found a second raft and had to jump into it.

"I have two kids and I thought I was going to die because nobody was saying anything to us," said Camacho through tears.

Miami based Carnival Cruise Lines, which owns Costa Cruises, issued a statement following the crash.

"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the grounding of the Costa Concordia and especially the loved ones of those who lost their lives. They will remain in our thoughts and prayers in the wake of this tragic event," read the statement.

Cruise Lines International Association, a Fort Lauderdale based company, also issued a statement saying it was monitoring the "situation with the Costa Concordia."

"The immediate focus is on attending to the incident at hand, and ensuring the safety and accounting for passengers and crew to the fullest extent possible. On behalf of the Global Cruise Ship Industry, we would also like to pay tribute to all those who worked tirelessly to evacuate the ship to help minimize casualties. CLIA would also like to reassure other cruise ship passengers that all CLIA member lines are subject to the highest safety standards around the world and according to international maritime requirements."

Late Saturday, the Italian captain of the cruise ship was arrested and is being investigated for abandoning ship and manslaughter, said a local prosecutor in Grosetto, Italy.