The vessel mentioned in this posting is not the "new" Prinsendam. This Prinsendam experienced an engine room fire on October 45, 1980 was owned and operated as a cruise ship by Holland America Cruise Lines. It was in the Gulf of Alaska when the fire occurred on the way from Alaska to the Orient with about 500 plus passengers and crew. The fire evenually progressed to the point wheret the passengers and crew had to abandon the vessel .This is considered to be one of the most successful in recent times at sea since all were saved. When anyone reads the accounts of the catastrophe, they need to rember this was before there were enclosed lifeboats or automatic fire sprinklers protecting the vessel.
I have researched this incident .. Recently I came across one of the better articles that I can recommenend if you are interested in maritime casualties.
I refer to "The Prinsendam Fire" "History's Greatest Sea Rescue" by going on Keyword http://www.alaska.net/-jcassidy/pop-mech.htm. The downloaded article is eight pages long.
Another source iof the incident October 5, 7 and 7 New York Times microfilm available in some public libraries. Yoyu may be able to read the New York Times Arhives on the Internet ??
We sailed the previous Volendam shortly after the fire on the Prinsendam. The Captain mentioned the incident during our life boat drill,. He stressed the importance of the drill, saying that most of the Prinsendam's passengers were elderly, but that a well trained crew was responsible that no lives were lost.
Holland America did an excellent job of getting all passengers and crew off without any loss of life. I have always felt more comfortable on cetain cruise lines than others when it comes to ships (passengers) saftey and Holland would be one of those lines. I always felt that way on Royal Caribbean ships as well. On some cruiselines staff do not seem to be taking the issue serious at all and officers supervising do little inspection of the ship or its procedures. I don't want to name lines or ships but I would rather be on certain cruiselines or ships than others if a problem happened.
My Grandparents were on the infamous lifeboat six, with my Grandfather being the last passenger to be rescued. I've heard the story from my Grandma many times, but now I'm looking for any archive footage of the incident. I know my Grandparents were interviewed on TV - finding this footage may be a stretch. I would appreciate if anyone could assist me. I am in Australia. Thank you. Brad