According to the Cruise Capital website in the U.K., "a fire broke out aboard Fred Olsen Cruise Line’s Black Watch this morning as the ship made its way to Madeira."
The fire, which started in the auxiliary engine room reportedly damaged three engines used to generate power onboard the cruise ship.
Cruise Capital said that the fire was extinguished by the crew. The site stated that "the four main engines are undamaged by the fire, but further investigations will need to be undertaken, before an attempt to restart them later today. Repairs are expected to be made en-route to Madeira."
The Fred Olsen line issued a press statement: “Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines can confirm that there was a fire on board its cruise ship, Black Watch, this morning, in the Auxiliary Engine Room, which was extinguished by the crew. There have been no injuries to guests or crew. The Captain is keeping guests fully informed at all times."
A few hours ago, the cruise line provided an update on Twitter stating claiming that the Black Watch’s "two main engines are now fully operational, and the ship is en-route to Funchal, Madeira."
The Black Watch is an old ship, built in 1970-1971. It carries 820 passengers after it was refitted several times. It was formerly Royal Viking Line’s Viking Star, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Westward, and Royal Cruise Line’s Star Odyssey.
Hat Tip to Cruise Hive for reporting on the fire.
July 2 2016 Update: According to Cruise Hive, cruise passengers are flying home. "After assessing the impact, the cruise line stated ‘cabling damage has prevented the other two main engines from running, and it is anticipated that the repairs will cause disruption to guests during the recabling. Therefore, we have made the decision – in the best interests of guests’ comfort and enjoyment – to fly them home from Funchal. Our intention is to charter a private aircraft for our guests back to the UK over the next few days, at Fred. Olsen’s expense.’”
July 3 2016 Update: "A Huge Fire." The first comments from a family on the fire-stricken cruise ship according a U.K. newspaper. Passengers on the Fred.Olsen Black Watch cruise ship were 30 minutes from using lifeboats.
July 5 2016 Update: Fred Olsen cancels the nine-night Norwegian Fjords cruise from Tilbury on July 8, according to Cruise Critic.
An unhappy passenger says: (on our Facebook page) "Fred Olsen public relations…telling lies.
There were no free phone calls home, we were treated like cattle…420 old and infirm passengers had to pack one small case in the dark after 4 days of no electricity, no water for 12 hours, then cold water only, camping style food etc. etc.
The journey took from 6:30 am until 11 pm via coach, 3 hour ferry, coach, 3 hours standing queuing in a tiny airport, then plane, coach…
No senior execs at airport just 2 young women who usually sell excursions doing their best,, no wheelchairs or assistance provided.
I could go on.
It was horrendous.
I tried desperately to care for a disabled husband with the help of a friend with the endless on and off transport, queuing for hours, travelling on coaches with no air conditioning, no access to water or food for 8 hours..
What else have they lied about?
Wonder if I will ever see my luggage again or receive compensation.
And how did a fuel pipe leak unnoticed for so long that a huge fire had to be tackled for 5 hours by heroic young waiters and other staff?