Engine Room Fire Breaks Out on the Aurora

AuroraA fire reportedly broke out in the engine room of the Aurora this morning, causing the P&O cruise ship to lose its electricity and its propulsion. 

The fire was extinguished after approximately an hour, following which emergency generators were eventually started.

At the time of the fire, the Aurora was in the mid-Atlantic sailing for the Azores. 

There has been no official statement from the cruise line; the details of the fire are admittedly sketchy. There are a few comments about the fire on the Cruise Critic message board

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

September 21, 2017 Update: P&O Cruises released a statement: 

"Aurora suffered a temporary power failure yesterday which is being investigated. All guests and crew are safe and the ship immediately ran on back up generators. All services are running as normal on board.

Aurora is on a 30 night North America & Canada which departed Southampton on August 27, 2017 and is currently en route to the Azores. The ship is due to return to Southampton on September 26, 2017. The onward itinerary is unaffected."

Photo credit: MacdonaldAndy - CC BY 4.0; commons / wikimedia.

Passenger Medevaced Nearly 600 Kilometers from P&O Aurora

We regularly report on medevacs of passengers and crew members from cruise ships. 

The majority of the medevacs occur near U.S. ports courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard. But there are medevacs which occur outside of the United States, including those performed by the Portuguese Air Force.

The latest rescue involved the P&O Aurora, on January 8th of this year, regarding the medical evacuation of an 82 year-old patient nearly 600 kilometers from the Portuguese Coast. The air force sent a fixed wing ahead to support the helicopter. 

 

 

Another Cruise Passenger Overboard - This Time From P & O Aurora

P & O Cruises Aurora Web CamMultiple news sources are reporting that a passenger went overboard from a cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea yesterday.  Little information is being released except that the passenger is described as a "British woman" and is apparently in her seventies. 

The incident occurred on the Aurora cruise ship as it sailed from the Oporto, Portugal to to Barcelona, Spain.  The news accounts state that the woman "fell" although there is no real description whether she jumped, or was thrown overboard, or she somehow fell into the water.

Cruise ship overboard cases are rarely solved. In this case, there is no real information being released to explain what happened.  

The Telegraph newspaper in the U.K. quotes a passenger saying that "we heard that the woman is 72 and was on holiday with her daughter but we don't know how she fell in. The passengers are all very sad and subdued as the outlook doesn't look good. The sea is very choppy. We are just so concerned for this woman and her family. It is awful."

P & O states that "the ship's crew were alerted and ordered an immediate search of the area," although cruise lines often say this when it's not true. There is no information when the woman was reported Aurora Cruise Ship - P & O Cruisesmissing and when the search was initiated.

Investigations fall to the flag state which for P & O cruise ships is Bermuda.  That country has a dreadful record conducting investigation involving overboard passengers and crew members or crimes on cruise ships at sea.

According to cruise expert Professor Ross Klein, this is the 188th person overboard from a cruise ship in the last decade or so.

The last cruise ship passenger overboard from a cruise ship was 2 weeks ago when a 21 year old passenger disappeared from Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas.  

The cruise ship had left Southampton on Wednesday September 26th and was sailing on a 14 day cruise.

Anyone with information about this latest overboard, please leave a comment below.

 

September 29 2012 Update:  A comment to this article below states that the passenger committed suicide, although this cannot be confirmed. 

Credits:

Aurora Web Cam: P & O Cruises 

Aurora cruise ship photo: SOLVENT via Telegraph 

Hat tip Goatys' News

Another Drug Bust on the P & O Aurora - This Time 30 Kilos!

Cocaine Drug Bust - Aurora Cruise Ship Newspapers in Australia are reporting that a British cruise passenger aboard the P & O Aurora cruise ship was arrested for trying to smuggle 30 kilos of cocaine into Australia.  

The British citizen is 59 years old and was busted by Australian customs officers last Friday at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney.  The customs officers used a sniffer dog.  The accounts indicate that the passenger was hiding several packages inside a wet suit which he was wearing under his clothes.  Another 25 packages of coke were concealed in three suitcases in his cabin.

Those of you who read Cruise Law News will remember that we reported on another major drug bust on the Aurora cruise ship when U.S. officials arrested an Australian man and two New Zealanders after it docked in San Francisco on January 25th.  The three passengers were smuggling 13 kilos of cocaine.

That means that In the course of one month, passengers were busted for smuggling 43 kilos (around 95 lbs) on this one ship.  The coke which must be worth up to $10,000,000 on the street.

Drug smuggling is a major problem on cruise ships.  Last year a leading maritime source, Lloyd's List, reported on the problem of drug smuggling on cruise ships.  In an article entitled "Drug Crimes Linked to Cruiseships Soar 52%," Lloyd's List stated: 

Cruise Ship Cocaine"UK based Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) told Lloyd’s List there had also been a sharp increase in drug smuggling on cruise ships, which prompted it to issue a specific alert to cruise lines. SOCA said that despite its alert, cruise operators are down playing the problem and continue to rely on existing security measures to deal with the problem.  The upsurge appears to be linked to professional drug gangs increasingly targeting cruise vessels.  According to the law enforcement agencies, drug gangs have turned to cruise ships because drug enforcement agencies have worked hard to stifle smuggling routes using yachts, fishing boats, cargo vessels and aircraft.  The gangs now see cruise ships as alternative vehicles for carrying drugs."

Major Cruise Drug Bust in San Francisco

The San Francisco Weekly Blog reported today that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) busted three cruise ship passengers in San Francisco with nearly 13 kilos of cocaine last month.

The CBP and local law-enforcement officials found two separate discoveries of a large amount of cocaine on a cruise ship at Pier 35 on January 25th after the ship arrived from Curacao, Columbia. 

Although the CBP refused to release the name of the cruise ship, federal agents released the names of the three cruise passengers arrested: Ahmed Rachid, an Australian national with over 7 kilos of cocaine in his cabin, and Tony Wilkinson and Kirstie Harris, New Zealand citizens, with over 5 kilos of coke.

It is less than clear whether this involved two seperate smuggling operations or whether the three were engaged in one drug smuggling attempt.  

The SF Weekly figured out that cruise the ship docked at Pier 35 on January 25th sailing out of Curacao was the Aurora, operated by Carnival subsidiary P & O Cruises.

The news of this drug bust came on the same day that two U.S. cruise passengers were sentenced to 6 years in jail for trying to smuggle pot into Bermuda.
 

More Caribbean Cruise Crime - Crew Member Shot in St. Maarten

The international press is reporting that Gahadhar Pradhan, a crew member (waiter) from P&O's Aurora cruise ship, was pistol-whipped over the head and shot during a mugging while ashore in Philipsburg, on the Caribbean island of St Maarten. 

We first learned of the incident via Crew Member Shot - Caribbean Violence - Cruise Shipthe cruise blogs by Captain Greybeard in the U.K. 

The crew member was shot in the buttocks, while apparently in an area consisting of "gentleman's clubs," which may tend to make the crime a tad tawdry or humorous depending on how you would like to view it.  

But a matter like this is deadly serious, particularly considering that the local police said "crew members from visiting cruise ships had been attacked on a number of occasions . . . "   This apparently was the first time a crew member had been shot. 

The best source for the story is a local newspaper in St. Maarten, which contains photos (left) of the crime scene.   

We have written many blog posts about violence, and murders, involving cruise passengers and crew members in the Caribbean islands -  Crimes in the Caribbean Cruise Ports of Call.   Just last week, NBC ran a story on the Today Show about crimes against cruise tourists in the Caribbean islands.  

  

 Photo credit:  St. Martin News Network

Cruise Passengers "Revolt" After Artemis Cruise Ship Misses Ports

The U.K.'s Mail Online reports that cruise passengers on the P&O Cruises cruise ship Artemis in the Mediterranean are "in revolt" after engine problems caused them to miss out on several ports (Valencia, Naples and Gibraltar) during the 20 day cruise. 

Artemis Cruise ShipThe newspaper writes that "angry holidaymakers have now set up a committee to represent the 1,200 passengers in urgent talks over the disruption of the holiday cruise."  In response, a P&O Cruises' customer service team has flown out from the company's headquarters in England to join the cruise ship in Istanbul.

This situation seems like déjà vu

In March 2009, angry passengers on P&O Cruises' Aurora cruise ship staged a "mutiny" when the ship visited just two ports in 22 days due to engine problems. Holidaymakers compared the round-the-world voyage to being in prison after engine problems forced the cruise ship to cut five ports.

The Mail Online reported that "more than 600 passengers on the 93-night cruise attended an emergency meeting and formed a protest committee."

Unlike more docile U.S. passengers, English vacationers in our experience are not going to let cruise lines get away with missed ports and lame excuses.

 

Credits:

P&O Cruises cruise ship Artemis       SOLENT (via Mail Online)