According to first hand accounts taken by reporters in Malaysia, passengers from the Azamara Quest cruise ship that was stranded at sea for 24 hours after an engine room fire, were full of praise of their Captain and crew members.
After the passengers reached a hotel in Sandakan, Malaysia, reporters interviewed them on camera.
"The Captain and the staff and the crew were fantastic, Absolutely Fantastic . . . If it wasn’t for the crew, there could have been more serious problem," said passenger Allan Mackenzie from Scotland.
Passenger Jackie from England said," The crew were brilliant. It was a bit worrying, we thought we may have to go into the lifeboat . . . but they managed to put the fire out very quickly"
Passenger John Rosemead said, "There was no panic and everything as far as I am concerned ran perfectly smooth. The officers and the captain kept us fully informed." He continued," the Swedish Captain was very visible throughout the cruise, even when we got off the port tonight, he was there to wish us all well as we left the ship and got onto the buses."
The AP reports that "the smell of smoke spread fear on the cruise ship Azamara Quest, whose passengers put on life vests and gathered for roll call thinking of a deadly capsizing of another luxury vessel."
However, "for most of the 48 hours it took the fire-damaged ship to lumber into a Malaysian port, they were partying more than panicking. Passengers said the hardworking crew who quickly put out an engine-room fire Friday night kept their spirits buoyant, even as they suffered without air conditioning in sweltering heat. They enjoyed barbecues on the deck and free drinks."
The AP quotes passenger Diane Becker Krasnick of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, who was celebrating her 40th wedding anniversary with her husband, "everyone was joyous that they were alive."
A passenger mentioned that one crew member was seriously injured due to smoke inhalation after being trapped in an unspecified location, apparently after the fire doors shut. Prior reports indicate that five crew members were injured, one seriously.
The passengers will be in Sandakan, Malaysia for two days sightseeing and will be flown by chartered flights to Singapore.
Photograph credit: Passenger Marc Kresnick / AP / SeattlePI
Video credit: Taikonunt
Read our first article about the fire here.