Coast Guard responds to cruise ship fire

MIAMI – The U.S. Coast Guard responded Monday morning to a fire aboard the 917-foot cruise ship Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas, about 35 nautical miles northwest of West End, Bahamas.

At approximately 3 a.m. Monday morning, Coast Guard Sector Miami received a report of a fire aboard a Bahamian-flagged cruise ship carrying 2,224 passengers and 796 crew en route to CoCoCay, Bahamas.

The fire reportedly began on the third deck of the aft mooring area of the ship and spread to the fourth deck crew lounge area. At around 5 a.m., the fire was reported to have been extinguished by the ship’s fire response crew.

Coast Guard Sector Miami issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast (UMIB) and diverted three Coast Guard cutters, the Cormorant, the Sitkinak, and the Robert Yered to respond to the emergency. The Coast Guard also launched an Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft and an Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk to respond.

The cruise ship Carnival Sensation and a motor vessel from the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER), the Hagen, also diverted to stand by and assist if needed.

The Cormorant and Yered safely escorted the Grandeur of the Seas to Freeport, Bahamas, where it is currently moored for further evaluation. The ship reportedly did not lose power.

The Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are joining the flag state to begin conducting a joint investigation of the vessel to determine the cause of the fire.

There are no reports of injuries onboard the ship. 

The Grandeur of the Seas was on a seven-night cruise that departed Baltimore on May 24, and included port calls to Port Canaveral, Fla.; CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas. According to CNN, Royal Caribbean cancelled the rest of the cruise Monday afternoon and the passengers will be flown back to Baltimore from Freeport. The first flight carrying cruise ship passengers reportedly left this morning.


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