A hoax is defined as a "deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth."
Royal Caribbean engaged in a hoax when it characterized the big, dangerous fire on the Freedom of the Seas which engulfed the little port of Falmouth with billowing black smoke as just a "small fire."
Cruise lines used to be able to get away with these shenanigans, before social media took over the internet and exposed the truth. Now everyone has an iPhone and can record what happens in real time for all to see.
The video of the fire which I posted on my YouTube page (taken by former Royal Caribbean crew member and Jamaican Kevin Chambers) has been viewed over 1,000,000 times on Facebook. It speaks for itself.
Some of the world's foremost maritime experts have chimed in on Royal Caribbean's misrepresentations.
Captain Michael Lloyd said: "There is no such thing as a 'small fire' except in the minds of the PR reps in the cruise line offices. At sea especially, every fire is serious regardless of the whereabouts and size. Any Merchant Navy officer or fire officer for that matter knows that. I suppose in cruise line jargon someone has to be killed for it to be serious."
Captain Bill Doherty of Nexus Consulting commented: "That's one major fire! Why wasn't there a proper Flag state and Class post casualty survey done prior to sailing?"
A former officer at a senior level within the cruise industry remarked: "This practice is all to common. The crew may be drilled on a regular basis, when it boils down to it, safety will play second fiddle to profit and keeping the passengers onboard. Why the classification society would allow the vessel to sail without inspection I don't know - there is a genuine risk of deficiencies that may invalidate the vessels P&I coverage. How the senior officers onboard sleep when signing their names to the paperwork I don't know."
A Chief Marine Engineer said: "Judging from this image, that kind and size of smoke suggests a big and serious fire in the Engine Room. The vessel should have not been permitted to sail without a thorough investigation of the cause and the integrity of her sailing out once again have been established."
A reader of this blog sent us several photos of the internal damage to the Freedom of the Seas today. Take a look here.
A "small fire?" Ha!
July 28 2015 Update: The video below taken by Kevin Chambers has been viewed over 1,000,000 times on our facebook page.
The word is out that this was no small or quickly extinquished fire. Falmouth cruise ship blaze was no ‘small fire’ – US Maritime Lawyer.
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Photo Credit: Facebook