A U.K. based cruise ship with 784 passengers aboard was left listing off the coast of Morocco, North Africa following an engine room fire.
Newspapers in London are reporting that the Boudicca cruise ship caught fire due to an outbreak in the engine room and left the ship in total darkness.
The Boudicca is owned by the UK-based, Norwegian-owned company Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.
The BBC said that the fire broke out at four in the morning today and “the ship was without engine power for about five hours.” The BBC quoted texts from passengers on board back to their families: “‘no engines, fire in the engine room, there’s smoke, we’re in life jackets and the captain says everything is under control’.”
The ship was able to restart two main engines as well as auxiliary engines. The ship is currently limping to the next port at a speed of 8-9 knots.
The Boudicca originally sailed from Southampton on January 20th for an 18-night cruise of Cape Verde and the Canary Islands.
The ship is off the coast of Casablanca, Morocco. It left Cadiz, Spain, on Saturday, and was due to arrive in Lanzarote on Monday.
The Daily Mail covers the story in an article “Terrified British holidaymakers plunged into darkness after stricken cruise ship began to list off coast of Morocco following fire in engine room.” The cruise line down-played the danger to the passengers and crew members, saying “there is a power outage to some cabins and public areas in the centre of the ship, but most services are operating normally, and guests are enjoying the usual activities on board, both inside and out on deck.”
The Boudicca was constructed in 1973. It is over 40 years old.
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