I have received several calls this morning from friends in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios that the Freedom of the Seas is on fire as it approached the port of Falmouth, Jamaica.
I also have friends / former Royal Caribbean crew members in Falmouth who are going to obtain photographs of the blaze on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship.
The photo to the left was taken by a former client, Kevin Chambers, who lives in the Montego Bay area.
You can see Kevin’s video of the cruise ship coming into port here and at the bottom of this page.
We have been studying the issue of cruise ship fires for many years.
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Update: The passengers were ordered to their muster stations. The cruise line says that the fire erupted in a “mechanical area.” The initial reports are that there are no injuries to passengers, which is good news. The question remains whether crew members were injured. Last December, a fire erupted on the Oceania Insignia when the cruise ship was in St.Lucia. Initial reports from the cruise line were that the passengers were not affected, but it turned out that three crew members were killed.
The latest news is that one crew member was treated for burns, according to Royal Caribbean.
Incredibly, although not surprisingly, Royal Caribbean decided to continue on with the cruise, says the Miami Herald. The U.S. Coast guard is not going to inspect the cruise ship until it returns to the U.S.
You can see dramatic photographs of the fire here.