A reader of our Facebook page has reported that a fire broke out in the engine room of the Grand Princess this morning as the Princess cruise ship approached Hilo, Hawaii. The reader cites the Cruise Critic Boards as the source of her information:
"BAD news first……about 0530 the captain came on and advised the was a small fire on deck 4 near the engine room…we were losing propulsion and had limited lighting…well that certainly wakes you up!
20 minutes later he advised fire was out but we have limited propulsion and limping onwards to Hilo Hawaii, our first port since leaving SF…
GOOD news… we are about 6 miles fro Hilo…
there isn’t enough power for brewing coffee and limited lighting in horizon court ….which was a zoo with limited lighting and people acting as if they were rushing to avoid a food shortage…some folks really amaze me…."
There has been a string of engine room fires this year.
Fairplay recently published an article about the "continuing string of cruise ship engine room fires" in the article Cruise Engine Room Fire Risk Persists. The following cruise ships have faced fires over the course of the last year: NCL’s Norwegian Pearl (November) in Caribbean; Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas (October) while sailing to Greece; Carnival Liberty (September) while at dock in St Thomas; Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas; before it arrived in Falmouth, Jamaica; P&O’s Oriana (April) after leaving Miami, Florida; Fred Olsen’s Boudicca (January) Casablanca, Morocco; Oceania Cruises’ Insignia St. Lucia (December).
Photo Credit: Grand Princess (ship, 1998) Ivan T. – Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
November 20 2015 Update: The Star Advertiser newspaper in Honolulu reports that the Grand Princess, cruising to Hawaii from San Francisco, experienced a fire in its engine room and lost power about 100 miles from Hilo this morning. The crew extinguished the fire just before 8 a.m. and restarted its engine, resuming its voyage.According to a passenger, “the ship has only one working engine and there are two small tug boats that might get the ship into port.”
November 23, 2015 Update from Princess Cruises @ 3:05 PM EST: Princess released the foltowing statement this afternoon:
"At approximately 5:30 am local time, the propulsion circuit breaker in the aft switchboard aboard Grand Princess suffered a significant failure, resulting in smoke. The ship was 20 miles off the coast of Hilo, Hawaii. All guests and crew are accounted for and there were no injuries.
The incident did cause a power outage resulting in the use of emergency lighting and limited air conditioning for a short time. The ship is currently operating on three diesel generators and will arrive in Hilo later today.
We are currently investigating the cause of this incident and the impact it may have on the current voyage.
Grand Princess is carrying 2,592 guests and 1,095 crew. The ship is on the fifth day of a 15-day Hawaii cruise that departed San Francisco on November 25."
November 30, 2015 Update from Princess Cruises @ 5:53 PM EST:
"At approximately 5:30 am local time, a propulsion circuit breaker in the aft electrical switchboard aboard Grand Princess suffered a significant failure, resulting in smoke and a small fire contained within the switchboard. The ship was 20 miles off the coast of Hilo, Hawaii. All guests and crew are accounted for and there were no injuries.
The incident was isolated but did cause a power outage resulting in the temporary use of emergency lighting and limited air conditioning for a short time. Power has been restored and all hotel and guest services are in operation.
The call to Hilo has been cancelled in order to proceed to Honolulu where shoreside engineers have been deployed to meet the ship for an on-time arrival at 0700 am local time on December 1.
Once the technical officers and engineers complete their assessment of the situation it will be determined if there will be any further impact to the itinerary."