Le Boreal The engine room fire which erupted aboard Ponant’s luxury cruise ship, Le LeBoréal, near the Falkland Islands on Wednesday night was far more serious than initially reported by the cruise line. 

U.K. newspapers report that the crew was unable to extinguish the major fire forcing the passengers and crew to evacuate the cruise ship into rafts as well as to be medevaced aboard helicopters. The Telegraph newspaper shows dramatic film of British helicopter crews winching people from the Le Boréal

The Telegraph says that all 347 passengers and crew were rescued from the stricken ship which had lost power and was in danger of grounding on East Falkland on Wednesday. "Two Royal Air Force Sea King helicopters and two other support helicopters winched passengers and crew members the deck of the cruise ship and from two life rafts in the water."

The Telegraph further states that the "Royal Navy patrol vessel HMS Clyde was also dispatched to the scene to ensure two further lifeboats with more than 200 evacuees were brought to safety."

The Commander of British Forces in the South Atlantic Islands characterized the emergency evacuation as "an extremely complex and hazardous rescue operation in difficult conditions."

Yesterday, the cruise operator Ponant said simply that the passengers and crew were evacuated only as a "precaution."

Photo Credit: U.K. Ministry of Defence via gCaptain

  • Interesting

    Total chaos on board according to passengers in Stanley. Smoke in the accommodation, lifeboat embarkation chaotic and uncontrolled, lifeboats not manned with experienced crew. Excellent response from MOD and civilian helicopters and local emergency services.

  • Richard West

    No minor incident as indicated by the Cruise company A major evacuation of the ship in terrible conditions Where they’re enough lifeboats for the passengers it appears that some where in lifer rafts. Our cruise ships supposed to have life boats for all the passengers and crew. I would hate to be in one of those life rafts

    They were very lucky that the Royal Navy seem to be right on the spot to save the situation

    There have Ben too many ingine room fires recently
    Who will investigate this incident Is very it is very concerning are there no international standards for ships.

    Richard West

  • Chipshot

    Ponant reported passengers in tenders/lifeboats and crew in rafts. They labeled the fire as being “of a technical nature”, apparently to imply it was not set intentionally. Royal Navy was on station due to oil activities in the area.

    This fire reminds me of one many years ago in M/S Wind Song engine room. Severe enough that she was scuttled rather than being towed from remote location for repair.

  • bebe witjaksono

    to all, the grateful and thankful to God you are save. dont critique. it is a chaos because it is emergency, a not usual and relax situation

  • Stuart

    How old is this ship? I thought it was relatively new in today’s standards? So how come it suffered a fire?