1. #1
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    Default 1 dead, 11 hurt in cruise ship fire

    The ship was only 4 years old. And it's being reported that a cigarette started it.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,188905,00.html

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11975460/

    1 dead, 11 hurt in cruise ship fire

    Updated: 1:52 p.m. ET March 23, 2006
    MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica - Fire broke out on a cruise ship in the Caribbean early Thursday, killing one person and injuring 11 others before the crew extinguished the flames, company officials said.

    The Star Princess was en route from Grand Cayman to Jamaica when the blaze started in a cabin, according to a statement from Princess Cruises, which is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp.

    Carnival Corp. Chief Financial Officer Gerald Cahill confirmed the fatality and injuries during a conference call. He said at least two of the injured were suffering from smoke inhalation.

    The U.S. Coast Guard dispatched investigators and fire engineers to help determine the fire’s cause and whether the ship’s was seaworthy, Coast Guard Petty Officer James Judge said in Miami. Teams were expected to arrive Thursday afternoon.

    “Our No. 1 concern right now is safety,” Judge said.

    The Coast Guard said 100 cabins from decks nine through 12 were affected.

    Now in Jamaica
    The Star Princess docked in Montego Bay, Jamaica, at about 11:30 a.m. ET. No smoke was seen coming from the vessel as rescue personnel boarded. All passengers remained on the ship.

    The starboard side of the ship, which faced dockside, showed no damage. But dozens of exterior cabins on the other side were charred.

    Some passengers milled on the decks, but they were too far away from reporters to be questioned.

    The Jamaica Tourist Board was arranging for the passengers to stay in Montego Bay hotels, said Nadene Newsome, spokeswoman for the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management.

    “We haven’t found out yet where the fire in the ship started or why it started,” Newsome said.

    The fire started in a cabin and spread to other cabins nearby, Princess Cruises said in a statement.

    The ship is carrying 2,690 passengers and 1,123 crew members.

    Star Princess sailed from Fort Lauderdale on March 19.

    © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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    Wow. That's a much more significant fire than the first news stories seemed to indicate...

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    Default Update

    150 cabins damaged...That's huge.


    Cigarette Eyed in Deadly Cruise Ship Fire
    By MONIQUE HEPBURN
    Associated Press Writer

    March 23, 2006, 4:13 PM EST

    MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- A fire apparently started by a cigarette spread smoke through a cruise ship in the Caribbean early Thursday, killing an American, injuring 11 other people and damaging about 150 cabins, officials said.

    The Star Princess was en route from Grand Cayman to Jamaica when the blaze started at about 3 a.m., according to a statement from Princess Cruises, which is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp.

    Richard Liffidge, 75, of Georgia, collapsed and died on deck, said Karl Angell, communications director for the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The victim's wife was taken to a hospital in Montego Bay.

    Two passengers suffered "significant smoke inhalation injuries" and nine others had "minor complications," the cruise company said in a statement. Two people were hospitalized in Montego Bay and two others were being treated in the ship's clinic, Jamaica's disaster office said.

    Horace Peterkin, president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, toured the scorched ship after it docked in Jamaica and said crew members told him the fire apparently started on a cabin balcony. A cigarette was suspected of causing the fire, which damaged about 150 cabins, Peterkin told The Associated Press.

    The ship was carrying 2,690 passengers and 1,123 crew members. The Princess Cruises Web site said the Star Princess has more than 700 balcony staterooms and four pools.

    Peterkin said 550 passengers whose cabins were damaged will be moved to two hotels in nearby Negril and Ocho Rios. The cruise ship company was arranging to fly other passengers home, he said.

    The ship was not seriously damaged and will sail back to Fort Lauderdale on Friday, Peterkin said. There was no immediate confirmation from cruise line officials.

    Star Princess sailed from Fort Lauderdale on March 19.

    "The ship is seaworthy," Peterkin said. "They'll sail out tomorrow."

    The fire-blackened Star Princess docked in Montego Bay just before noon. No smoke was seen coming from the vessel as rescue personnel boarded. All passengers remained on the ship and some were seen milling on the decks.

    The starboard side of the ship, which faced dockside, showed no damage. But dozens of cabins on the other side appeared to be charred.

    The U.S. Coast Guard dispatched investigators and fire engineers to help in the probe, Coast Guard Petty Officer James Judge said in Miami.

    "Our No. 1 concern right now is safety," Judge said.

    Because the Star Princess carries a Bermuda flag, the lead investigative agency will be Britain's Marine Accident Investigation Branch, but the Coast Guard will "participate as a substantially interested state," Judge said.

    The Coast Guard regularly inspects all cruise ships that embark U.S. passengers. The Star Princess was last inspected on Oct. 25, 2005, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and had "no outstanding discrepancies," Judge said. That included a successful fire drill and abandon-ship drill.

    * Associated Press reporter Suzette Laboy in Miami and Stevenson Jacobs in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, contributed to this report.
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
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    So much for setting zebra and fire boundaries

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    Having never set foot on a cruise ship, I'm not exactly qualified to offer an expert opinion but doesn't that seem like an awful lotta damage to have been started outside on a balcony?

    What kind of fire load and protection systems exist inside the cabins?

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    You can get an idea here -- virtual room tours and deckplans...

    http://www.princess.com/ships/tp/index.html

    If the link doesn't take you there, just Google Star Princess.

    I've been on two cruises -- the rooms are compact and they have a lot of "stuff" crammed in. They're also built off the ship and then "dropped in". And of course they're close together. Think of it as a hotel on water. You also go through a mandatory drill before the ship sails.

    There was a television series last summer on a cruise ship that was being remodeled and updated. They had sprinklers, but to what extent, I can't remember.

    From another article (kudos to the crew):

    Passengers grabbed life jackets and raced to "muster stations" after the blaze started about 3 a.m., said Julie Benson, spokeswoman for Princess Cruises, which is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp. The crew put out the fire, then did a cabin-by-cabin search to check for victims and make sure everyone else was safe, she said.

    Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor of the consumer cruise information web site cruisecritic.com, said in a telephone interview that she was surprised the number of casualties was not greater.
    Last edited by DianeC; 03-23-2006 at 05:19 PM. Reason: add more stuff
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
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    I have taken two cruises, and as far as I can remember, they both had sprinklers. Wait till all those "vacation videos" start popping up on the news!

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    Would be curious to find out how many of the crew had firefighting training and what equipment they carry. Based on the size of the the fire, I'm surprised they were able to control it as I thought the training and equipment was rather limted on cruise ships, but obviously I was wrong. Seems like they did one hell of a job saving what they did.

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    From Cruise Job Line (who knew?):

    Safety Officer: US$ 3,000 - 4,000 per month. Responsible for passenger and crew safety drills, abandon ship procedures, prevention and combat of fire, crew safety training, supervision of ships tenders. Extensive experience with minimum one to two years in subordinate positions on board ships required. Diploma from an accredited maritime training school or facility and fluent English Language skills required.

    So, I would think the crew is highly trained.

    Cruise Ship Consumer Fact Sheet:

    http://www.uscg.mil/hq/gm/cruiseship.htm

    Interesting to note that this was last updated in 1998...

    SOLAS:

    http://www.imo.org/Conventions/conte...7&doc_id=647#6

    Chapter II-2 - Fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction
    Includes detailed fire safety provisions for all ships and specific measures for passenger ships, cargo ships and tankers.

    They include the following principles: division of the ship into main and vertical zones by thermal and structural boundaries; separation of accommodation spaces from the remainder of the ship by thermal and structural boundaries; restricted use of combustible materials; detection of any fire in the zone of origin; containment and extinction of any fire in the space of origin; protection of the means of escape or of access for fire-fighting purposes; ready availability of fire-extinguishing appliances; minimization of the possibility of ignition of flammable cargo vapour.
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

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    Exclamation

    Yep sir, you bet any fire is bad, but a fire on a ship is the worst place one can happen. The only way to escape completely is to get in life boats and cast away or bail over the rail into the water! Having been on as many as 10 cruises, I always scope out the ship once I get on board. I make sure that I know how to get out of harms way, get to the life boat station and how to protect myself and those that are with me, such as my wife and family.

    I also make sure the Captain and other command crew member know that I am a career firefighter from a large metro city and that I am very familiar with ship board as well as high rise fires. I am not saying that I would suggest that any and every firefighter from the newest green horn to the older veteran get involve in this type of firefighting. But, if you have the experience and know what you are doing, I would suggest that you should assist as needed.

    Having been on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War which caught fire wasn’t the best experience one can have. It was tough fighting it due to jet fuel and munitions burning or exploding.
    OUTSTANDING

    Make It Happen

    Never forget 9-11-2001
    343 Brothers Who Were MURDERED!!

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    News video -- not of the actual fire, but the aftermath and interviews with travelers, some lost everything:

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/

    Click on the movie camera link...
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

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