A fire broke out on the Queen Mary 2 Wednesday night.
Cruise Critic, which characterizes the fire as "small," explains that "fire was caused by one of QM2's gas turbines, which are situated below and behind the ship's funnel. They're used to augment power to the ship's main quartet of diesel turbines, allowing the ship to travel at a higher maximum speed . . . "
Cunard issued a statement claiming that the fire was "immediately extinguished." The cruise line also claims that "neither passengers nor crew were adversely affected, and neither was the operation of the ship."
Cruise expert Professor Ross Klein's website contains a reference to a post on Cruise Critic which provides a different perspective on the incident:
"A gas carbine in the engine room of the QM2 caught on fire this evening. Cunard staff were given a 90 minute warning in order to prepare to deploy the lifeboats. Guests had their children dropped off and their animals picked up from the kennels. Apparently it is now under control, but people are understandably shaken up."
Last December, the QM2 suffered a major engine room incident - Power Outage on Queen Mary 2 Due to Catastrophic Explosion.
The QM2 will be arriving today in New York late due to what the cruise line describes as "high winds and active seas."
It is a scary proposition that the Cunard cruise ship was contemplating the use of life boats in such rough weather.
It will be interesting to hear the first hand accounts of the QM2 cruise passengers once they disembark today from their transatlantic voyage.
If you were on the cruise and have comments, photos or video to share, please leave a comment below.
October 10, 2011 Update: We are receiving some interesting and intelligent comments from a number of cruisers who were on the QM2. Sounds like a bumpy ride and a fortunate ending to a potentially dangerous situation. Here is a quote from a passenger who emailed me rather than leaving a comment:
"The biggest problem with the fire on the QM2 was its location. It was NOT as previously reported in an engine room, but in a gas turbine up on deck 12. The problem was this was an open deck and the winds were very strong that night. Yes the fire was minor but the risk was that it could have been spread by very high winds. In fact after the fire was contained, the captain announced that there would be an observation team on deck 12 all night as there were some burning embers.
We learned later that if the fire had not been contained we would have had to board lifeboats in very rough waters (20-25 ft seas). Many of the passengers were needing assistance when we tendered in calm seas, because of age and physical limitations, walkers, wheelchairs etc. At the time of the fire we were more than 250 nautical miles out to sea. Just wanted to clear up a few facts. Thank you."
Photo credit: Wikipedia (Malis)