Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeCruiseCarnival cruise ship catches fire for the second time in 2 years

Carnival cruise ship catches fire for the second time in 2 years

Fire broke out aboard the Carnival Freedom in the Bahamas Fire broke out aboard the Carnival Freedom in the Bahamas 00:26
A Carnival cruise ship will be out of commission for repairs for at least a week after its exhaust funnel caught fire and partially collapsed Saturday during a trip to the Bahamas. It marked the second time in just under two years that the funnel on this same ship, the Carnival Freedom, went up in flames while carrying passengers.
What caused the most recent incident is still being investigated, according to the cruise company. No one on board the ship was injured, but Carnival said two fire crew members were treated for minor smoke inhalation.
The Carnival Freedom left from Port Canaveral, Florida, on Thursday and was supposed to travel for several days through the Bahamas before returning Monday to Port Canaveral. It was not immediately clear how many passengers and crew were on board the Freedom when the fire erupted, but the cruise ship can accommodate 2,980 guests and 1,150 crew members at capacity. CBS News contacted Carnival for more information.
The ship initially reported a fire at around 3:15 p.m. EDT on Saturday, on the port side of the ship’s exhaust funnel as it sailed 20 miles off of the Bahamas’ Eleuthera Island en route to Freeport, the company said in a statement. It had changed course to turn toward Freeport, at the northern tip of the island chain, after cancelling a stop farther south in Princess Cays because of bad weather. Eyewitnesses said that a lightning strike may have sparked the fire, a claim that Carnival said “is being investigated but cannot yet be confirmed.”
A portion of the Carnival Freedom ship’s exhaust funnel broke off and crashed onto the deck below, after a fire broke out Saturday inside the smokestack. Carnival / Randalyn Rogers
A fire response team was activated quickly to put out the blaze once it broke out, as the Freedom’s captain shifted the cruise liner toward the heavy rain nearby in hopes that would help. The fire was extinguished by 5:20 p.m., Carnival said, including flames from a portion of the funnel that broke off and fell onto one of the ship decks. Funnels are essentially used as smokestacks or chimneys to expel fumes and engine exhaust.
The U.S. Coast Guard said the Carnival Freedom crew was able to extinguish the fire Saturday without their help. They were aware of the fire, though, and issued a Captain of the Port order to the cruise ship before it was scheduled to enter Port Canaveral, Florida, on Monday. Captain of the Port orders are broad mandates that the Marine Safety and Security Council describes as a tool granting Coast Guard crews “with operational controls over an emergent situation posing safety, security, or environmental risks.”
“We are continuing to monitor the situation,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.
Although Carnival said at first that it did not expect the fire to impact trips on the Freedom cruise set to depart Port Canaveral on Monday and Friday, a technical assessment carried out in Freeport on Sunday revealed more significant damage to the ship than they originally thought. The damage would “require an immediate repair to stabilize the funnel” after disembarking guests in Port Canaveral on Monday, the company said in an updated statement following the assessment.
“The funnel has been stabilized for the ship’s return to Port Canaveral overnight to disembark guests, and then it will go to the Freeport shipyard on Monday afternoon to begin the required repairs,” Carnival said on Sunday. “We sincerely regret the impact to our embarking guests, as we know they have been looking forward to their spring break vacation.”
Both Carnival Freedom cruises scheduled for this week have been cancelled. Carnival said guests who had booked those cruises would receive full refunds and future cruise credits.
The Carnival Freedom’s exhaust funnel last went up in flames less than two years ago, in May 2022. It was in Grand Turk at the time, during a planned five-day trip from Port Canaveral. The ship had 2,504 guests and 972 crew on board, Carnival said at the time. None of the passengers or crew were hurt.



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