67 people safely evacuated from cruise ship after engine room fire in Alaska.

Passengers Evacuated After Fire on Expedition Cruise Ship in Alaska
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67 people were rescued from the Wilderness Discoverer, a small expedition cruise ship, after it reported an engine room fire in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska on June 5. The US-flagged vessel, operated by UnCruise Adventures, was transiting the main channel when the fire alarm was reported at around 7.30am. Coast Guard cutters Pike and Anthony Petit were dispatched, and a Jayhawk helicopter crew was sent from the Air Station in Sitka, Alaska. The National Park Service also responded to the call for assistance. The 51 passengers and 16 crew members were evacuated using one of the tenders of Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess, which was in the vicinity.

The fire was reportedly caused by a generator fire, and while it is being investigated, there were no injuries. The ship was rendered disabled by the fire in calm, sheltered waters with 5-mile visibility, 15 mph winds, and 3-foot seas. The crew promptly extinguished the fire using established emergency protocols, and CO2 was deployed for everyone’s safety. The Coast Guard reports that 11 crew members remained aboard the Wilderness Discoverer and were waiting for the arrival of the tugboat Taku Wind, which will tow the vessel to Ketchikan.

Captain Dan Blanchard, Owner & CEO of UnCruise Adventures, said the crew was “highly trained” and that they worked together to control the situation. The primary concern was the safety of the passengers and crew, and the quick response of the Coast Guard and the teamwork of the Sapphire Princess helped in the timeliness of the rescue. UnCruise reports that the passengers would be transferred from the cruise ship to hotels in Juneau.

Glacier Bay sees regular ship visits, and while the cause of the fire is officially listed as unknown, the incident can serve as a reminder of the importance of emergency protocols and safety measures at sea. Even in the calmest of waters, there can be unexpected situations that require quick thinking and coordinated action to prevent harm.

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