Fire on Costa Luminosa Cruise Ship

Costa LuminosaThis morning I learned that a fire reportedly broke out on a Costa cruise ship in the early morning hours on December 11, 2014.

The cruise ship involved reportedly is the Costa Luminosa

Around 5 a.m. on December 11th, while the cruise ship was sailing in the North Atlantic, diesel engine number 4 reportedly caught on fire. 

The fire was confined to the engine room and was extinguished. There is no indication that any crew members were injured.

The fire reportedly occurred on the same day as the deadly engine room fire on the Oceania Insignia.

Interested in the issue whether cruise ship fires are "rare" as the cruise industry claims?  Read our article: Ten Years of Cruise Ship Fires - Has the Cruise Industry Learned Anything?  (Written before the Carnival Splendor and Carnival Triumph engine room fires).

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / jpta Creative Commons 3.0

Fire on the Oceania Insignia Cruise Ship Sends Three to Hospital

The St. Lucia News Online reports that a fire aboard Oceania Cruises' Insignia cruise ship has resulted in three people being sent to the hospital this morning.

The online newspaper states that a fire broke out on the Oceania cruise ship which was docked at Port Castries this morning.

The newspaper further states that according to the St. Lucia Fire Service, one of the three persons is being treated for exposure to the fire (smoke inhalation & respiratory distress). There are no reports Oceania Insigniaregarding the medical condition of the other two persons. The reports do not mention whether these individuals are passengers or crew members.

There are hearsay comments on the Cruise Critic boards that a crew member died, although this has not be confirmed at this time.

The information currently released is that sometime after 9:00 a.m., the fire broke out in the engine room of the Insignia which was moored in Berth 5 at Port Castries. 

The Insignia is an old ship, constructed in 1998. 

December 11 2014 Update: Oceania has confirmed that the fire caused three (3) deaths. The cruise line released this statement:

"Three crewmembers and two contractors who were working onboard were transferred to a local medical facility. We are deeply saddened to learn that two contractors and one crewmember did not survive. We extend our deepest condolences to their families during this very difficult time." 

According to the St. Lucia News Online, the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) stated at a press conference that the three men died after sustaining "severe burns." 

If you have information regarding the fire, please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Ivan T.

Carnival Triumph Plagued By Prior Propulsion Problems

When the news broke that the Carnival Triumph's engines failed due to a fire while the cruise ship was 150 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico, passengers on prior cruises quickly began voicing their concerns about propulsion problems on prior cruises.

You can read the comments to our article on Sunday entitled Here We Go Again: Engine Room Fire Cripples Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship where Carnival passengers across the country stated that their cruises had been marred by missed ports and slow voyages due to propulsion issues.

Other websites, such as the popular Maritime Matters, posted numerous comments from concerned Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship Firecruisers about prior engine problems on the Triumph.  

There were also a number news stations which aired stories about persistent problems about this Carnival cruise ship. KLTV aired a program Texans Angry Over Cruise Experience (video) where one Carnival passenger complained about the cruise line's decision to "put money ahead of safety."

The problem in cases like this is that the cruise lines operate their ships virtually 24 hours a days, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.  The ships have a tight itinerary, rushing from port to port, and then disembarking several thousand passengers and re-loading the ship to head out again. Down time for a few days for maintenance means many millions of dollars lost and lots of unhappy customers. So the ships (as well as the crew) are pushed to and sometimes past their limits.   

One of the readers of our Cruise Law News Facebook page made this insightful observation yesterday:

"Money Talks - It is sad to hear that the news is now surfacing that prior to this ill-fated cruise that there were issues on recent previous cruises, which will cause a lot of backlash against the company. If an enquiry is launched it could mean trouble for Carnival. I just want to mention that crew onboard are mostly tip driven and senior officers are incentivised on revenue, so the motivation to ensure the cruise happens is pretty high from a crew and officer point of view. If the ship could not leave port it would mean that not only does the company lose revenue, the crew would be put at a disadvantage financially as well."

Have a thought?  Please leave a comment.

Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard / Reuters

Here We Go Again: Engine Room Fire Cripples Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship

Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship FireThis morning, the Carnival Triumph lost propulsion in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine room fire disabled its main engines.  The cruise ship’s fire suppression system kept the fire from spreading.

No injuries have been disclosed. Carnival says that all guests will receive a full refund and transportation expenses.

The next cruise scheduled is for tomorrow, February 11th. Passengers have been told that the cruise will not depart and they can cancel and receive a full refund or wait and see if the ship will sail later on a shortened cruise. 

News sources say that the fire broke out while the cruise ship was sailing about 150 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, after sailing from Galveston on February 7th.

The ship's generator power is working but the cruise ship has no propulsion to return to port in Galveston. Some news sources are saying that tugs were deployed.

Carnival has experienced more than its fair shares of fires. The best known incident was the fire aboard the Carnival Splendor in November 2010.  The ship lost all power and had to be towed to San Diego (photo below right). The U.S. Coast Guard investigated and said that the Carnival Splendor CO2 firefighting system was a "recipe for failure."

It will be interesting to hear about how this fire started. The Triumph is an old ship, coming on line in 1999. 

Carnival Splendor Cruise Ship FireThere have been lots of fires and explosions on the major cruise lines in the last two years, including the Queen Mary 2, MSC Musica, Ocean Star, another fire aboard the Queen Mary 2, Bahamas Celebration, Costa Allegra, Azamara Quest, the Allure, the Carnival Breeze, Crown Princess, and the Adventure of the Seas - not to mention the smaller river cruise ships. 

Cruise ship fires are not uncommon. There have been over 90 fires on cruise ships since 1990

That's a little more than 4 a year.

Expect the cruise lines and cruise cheerleaders to down-play this latest fire but don't be fooled. Read our article "Ten Years of Cruise Ship Fires - Has the Cruise Industry Learned Anything?"

 

Photo credit: Carnival Triumph - Wikipedia / Scott L.