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-   -   Fire on Star Princess 3/23/06 (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/princess-cruise-lines/311178-fire-star-princess-3-23-06-a.html)

NanaShrek March 23rd, 2006 10:03 AM

Fire on Star Princess 3/23/06
 
There was a fire aboard the Star Princess early this morning. Here's the news release from the website. Please post any updates to this story if you hear any. I can't find anything on any of the news sites yet.

3/23/2006
Statement on Star Princess


This morning at approximately 3:10 am local time, as Star Princess was en route from Grand Cayman to Montego Bay, a fire broke out in the passenger accommodations, and spread to adjacent cabins. Passengers were immediately notified of the fire using the public address system and requested to report to their muster stations. We are currently completing a full passenger check to account for all passengers and crew.
The fire is now out, however there is still residual smoke throughout the affected area. The cause of the fire at this time is unknown.

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

A full damage assessment is being carried out at this point.

Authorities were immediately contacted regarding the incident and we continue to work closely with all relevant parties.

Star Princess sailed from Fort Lauderdale on March 19 on a western Caribbean itinerary with calls at Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Montego Bay and Princess Cays.

A special number has been set up for inquiries from immediate family of passengers who are currently onboard: 1-800-693-7222.

DianeT March 23rd, 2006 11:07 AM

I just heard on the allnews radio station here in Los Angeles that at least one person is dead.

Darcy March 23rd, 2006 11:08 AM

I just read the news story on msn.com and they are reporting that one passenger is dead and 11 injured. How very sad. My prayers go out to all the families.

danacline March 23rd, 2006 12:00 PM

CNN had further information here:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/03/23/ship.fire/index.html

It says about 100 cabins were affected on three decks, mentions the one known dead but doesn't mention injuries.

Dana

danacline March 23rd, 2006 12:09 PM

The article on MSNBC has a pretty amazing photo - looks like a major blaze.

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

Dana

Irish Shark March 23rd, 2006 12:12 PM

Wow, this was really a big fire. It sounded like a small one, but look at the damage and the melted side.

Rob M. March 23rd, 2006 12:45 PM

Holy Cow! That picture is frightening.

From the news story it didn't sound too bad, just lots of smoke and what not.

mehawk March 23rd, 2006 01:09 PM

The passenger who lost his life did so because of a heart attack..

LisaK March 23rd, 2006 01:46 PM

the picture says it all.

NanaShrek March 23rd, 2006 03:05 PM

3/26 & 4/2 cruises cancelled for Star Princess
 
I was booked on the Star for 4/2. Received a call from the Cruise Connection (bus) that 3/26 & 4/2 cruises were cancelled. That's the only info I have on it so far. :(

Irish Shark March 23rd, 2006 03:11 PM

By the looks of the damage, I would say that is a minimun. You are going to have investigators all over that ship before any repairs can be done.

showcat March 24th, 2006 02:47 PM

Makes me think all the ships should be non smoking. Wow that is some scary damage I saw the story on the news last night. Im glad that it was not worse. Do ships have sprinkler systems? How do they deal with fires at sea?

Rev22:17 March 24th, 2006 03:01 PM

showcat,

Do ships have sprinkler systems?

Absolutely.

Ships also have automatic fire detection systems throughout that sound an alarm and that indicate the exact location of any fire on the bridge.

Ships also have compartmentation doors that shut automatically, or that the bridge can activate, to isolate a fire or flooding.

Ships also have pipes called "fire and flushing mains" fed directly from the sea by dedicated pumps, with hoses and nozzles that are ready for use, and damage control teams that are very thoroughly trained in how to use them to fight fires. The "fire and flushing mains" also supply the toilets, so somebody would know pretty quickly if the pumps were to fail.

How do they deal with fires at sea?

The cognizant damage control team has exactly two options.

>> 1. Put it out.

>> 2. Swim -- usually a very long way.

The alternative is very strong incentive for the damage control team to put out the fire as quickly as possible. Indeed, sailors have a longstanding reputation for being the world's best firefighters.

Norm.

showcat March 24th, 2006 04:29 PM

That makes me feel a lot safer thanks Norm.

Snowbird March 24th, 2006 04:38 PM

:shock: Viwing the picture of the exterior damage to the Star Princess reminds me of fire damage in highrises wherein flames, more precisely the heat, creates extensive havoc to neighbouring areas. Had this occurred on a Transatlantic crossing, who knows what may have happened! :cry: Given the shere size of all these new mega-ships, perhaps the time has now come for a serious review of smoking abored these behemouths. It may be insurance considerations will influence change(s) more than public concerns for personal safety. Regardless, it would seem appropriate the time is long overdue for all cruise lines to take a long and serious look at this situation before an encore performance occurs on another ship :idea: .

Irish Shark March 24th, 2006 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowbird
Given the shere size of all these new mega-ships, perhaps the time has now come for a serious review of smoking abored these behemouths. It may be insurance considerations will influence change(s) more than public concerns for personal safety. Regardless, it would seem appropriate the time is long overdue for all cruise lines to take a long and serious look at this situation before an encore performance occurs on another ship :idea: .

The review boards have not released any information as to where the fire started nor the CAUSE of the fire.

The statement of a cigarette was make by some crew members not any official. So before you jump to conclusions, it is best to wiat until we hear from the review boards.

mjyanne March 24th, 2006 06:42 PM

Whether or not this particular fire was caused by someone carelessly using or disposing of smoking material (I have read it's possible that a cigarette was "tossed" from an upper deck, but let's wait and see) cruise ships may have to seriously consider banning or severely restricting smoking on ships.

Frankly (and yes I am a reformed smoker but still smoke an occasional cigar) I would like to see smoking banned on all cruise ships. Maybe the ships could establish a smoking area (similar to the cigar lounges).

No matter what we all think (Pro or Con) there will most certainly be a knee jerk reaction to this and an extreme policy will be put in place (insurance companies will require it or raise premiums).

Mike

Fieldmouse March 24th, 2006 10:29 PM

[quote="mjyanne"]Whether or not this particular fire was caused by someone carelessly using or disposing of smoking material (I have read it's possible that a cigarette was "tossed" from an upper deck, but let's wait and see) cruise ships may have to seriously consider banning or severely restricting smoking on ships.

Frankly (and yes I am a reformed smoker but still smoke an occasional cigar) I would like to see smoking banned on all cruise ships. Maybe the ships could establish a smoking area (similar to the cigar lounges).

No matter what we all think (Pro or Con) there will most certainly be a knee jerk reaction to this and an extreme policy will be put in place (insurance companies will require it or raise premiums).



We would like to see a severe policy curtailing smoking OR using irons in the cabins (enforced that is!) ...this incident sadly demonstrates how deadly serious this issue is...One careless person has cost the life of one passenger...the injury of many others and perhaps millions in damages and lost revenue. It has been an accident just waiting to happen.

This should not be looked at as an ANTI SMOKING issue ...but as safety issue. We are all affected...

JeanS March 25th, 2006 06:29 AM

Until smokers stop using the world as their ashtray, this sort of thing is going to continue to happen. It just takes one inconsiderate boob to cause such a tragedy and ruin things terribly for others....

Wouldn't this be even more weird if it happened on Carnival's Paradise...

Irish Shark March 25th, 2006 12:10 PM

I think that the cruise lines should ban smoking, knock off the booze, and shut down the casino. The ship should just sail in a circle 2 miles offshore. The only activities would be pottery and bridge lessons.

Now that we are all nice and safe, happy cruising. :roll:

Seasail March 25th, 2006 05:20 PM

There is something I don't understand about this. There are sprinklers inside all of the cabins, did they not work? My husband is a forensic fire investigator and he says something isn't right here. It should have been contained easily to one or two cabins had the sprinkling system been functional. This many turnout to be negligence on Princess's part.

Irish Shark March 25th, 2006 05:37 PM

Yup, there are many things that do not add up here. Yes, the sprinklers should have gone off as well as the fire alarm.

Look at the damage to the exterior of the ship. That metal melted, That is some pretty high temps even if the structure was aluminum.

Melting Point: 660.37 °C (933.52 K, 1220.666 °F)

That's pretty hot folks.

And if it were partial/total steel .... Most steel has other metals added to tune its properties, like strength, corrosion resistance, or ease of fabrication. Steel is just the element iron that has been processed to control the amount of carbon. Iron, out of the ground, melts at around 1510 degrees C (2750°F). Steel often melts at around 1370 degrees C (2500°F).

Fieldmouse March 25th, 2006 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Irish Shark
I think that the cruise lines should ban smoking, knock off the booze, and shut down the casino. The ship should just sail in a circle 2 miles offshore. The only activities would be pottery and bridge lessons.

Now that we are all nice and safe, happy cruising. :roll:

Plu-ease! You can be sure not all of us are as diplomatic as you where our personal or family safety is concerned. No one is asking for extreme unreasonable measures...but some common sense!

If there is a fire at sea...it's not like you can run out of the ship the same as you would a burning building. How many tragedies do we need? Really, isn't one enough for a wake up call? Or does the lesson we need to learn only gain importance the more that suffer? Is that the way we really want to learn?

If it was your family member that died, or was injured...or your possesions that were lost in the fire...and you found out that all this grief that affected YOU PERSONALLY was caused by a careless smoker...would that be enough for you to want something positive done to prevent this from happening again?

Irish Shark March 25th, 2006 06:10 PM

Save the violin music for another time.

Where is your PROOF that a cigarette caused the fire? Link me to the official final investigation report. :roll:

dbomar March 25th, 2006 07:37 PM

I also think that smoking on cruise ships needs to be banned or at the very least restricted to designated areas that are monitored continuosly. It has been a concern of mine that when I go on my first cruise next year that my balcony will be next to a smoker and I will have to put up with their smoke in my space. Whether a cigarette caused this fire is not important as far as I'm concerned. It is an accident waiting to happen and I think the cruise lines would be terribly negligent not to address this issue. Why should cigarette smokers be allowed to engage in an activity that puts the whole ship at risk?

The Cruise Guy March 25th, 2006 07:56 PM

OK, Costa is non-smoking, they have many itineraies. Soooooooo, for you non-smokers, theres your cruise line. If ALL cruiselines prohibited smoking entirely they would loose 2/3rds to 3/4ths of there now traveling clients. Yes you will have an abundant choice of cruises because they will only be about 1/4 full. Of course to make up the lost revenue of smokers your $500 inside cabin on a 7 day cruise will now cost you $2000 to $2500. BUT YOU WILL BE SMOKE FREE.

Fieldmouse March 25th, 2006 08:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dbomar
I also think that smoking on cruise ships needs to be banned or at the very least restricted to designated areas that are monitored continuosly. It has been a concern of mine that when I go on my first cruise next year that my balcony will be next to a smoker and I will have to put up with their smoke in my space. Whether a cigarette caused this fire is not important as far as I'm concerned. It is an accident waiting to happen and I think the cruise lines would be terribly negligent not to address this issue. Why should cigarette smokers be allowed to engage in an activity that puts the whole ship at risk?

I agree...I think it is a wake up call!

We need to be aware of the environment we're in. We're at SEA...OPEN water... on a ship. Yes we have all the wonderful amenities of a classy Hotel...but we are solely dependant on the integrity of our floating hotel, and skill of the staff and crew.

Even if it is found that a cigarette was not the cause...Why tip the odds? Why should we allow others to be flippant and play the lottery with our lives? Why be stupid?

Rev22:17 March 25th, 2006 09:54 PM

Seasail,

There is something I don't understand about this. There are sprinklers inside all of the cabins, did they not work? My husband is a forensic fire investigator and he says something isn't right here. It should have been contained easily to one or two cabins had the sprinkling system been functional. This many turnout to be negligence on Princess's part.

Actually, you seem to have nailed the essential point -- the sprinklers and the smoke detectors are inside the cabins. The fire, unfortunately, was outside of the cabins, so the sprinklers and the smoke detectors were totally irrelevant. The fire probably melted the glass panes in the sliding doors between the cabins and their balconies before enough smoke and heat got into a cabin to set anything off.

This incident may well lead to an amendment to the SOLAS treaty. An explicit requirement for smoke detectors and sprinklers in recesses in the exterior of the vessel, such as stateroom balconies, should be fairly easy to retrofit into existing ships during their next yard periods, so all ships could be brought into compliance within two or three years.

Norm.

Rev22:17 March 25th, 2006 10:15 PM

Fieldmouse,

One careless person has cost the life of one passenger...

Let's be careful here. We know that one person died of a heart attack but we don't know what caused the heart attack.

>> It's possible that the fire might have caused the heart attack.

>> It's equally possible that the heart attack might have caused the fire.

Amplifying on the second point, it's entirely possible that a passenger had a fatal heart attack while smoking a cigarette, that the heart attack caused its victim to drop the cigarette, and that the dropped cigarette happened to land on something that was highly combustible. Thus, we can't blame the death on the fire until we know that the fire actually caused the death, if indeed that is the case.

OTOH, we do know that all of the injuries were smoke inhalation, so it's reasonable to blame the injuries on the fire in any case.

This should not be looked at as an ANTI SMOKING issue ...but as safety issue. We are all affected...

As I have pointed out in the past, every failure to enforce rules is a safety issue. Failure to enforce rules gives the impression that the rules don't matter, breeding disregard for the rules and also for the authority behind them. In a casualty situation, that can be the difference between life and death.

The reports of this fire say explicitly that it took over three hours to account for all of the passengers. The casualty occurred at 3:00 AM -- a time when nearly all passengers would have been in their cabins (probably sleeping). The only sendible explanation as to why it took so long is that some passengers either did not respond to the general alarm by proceeding to their muster stations or did not follow the directions of the crew who were trying to account for all of the passengers. During a causalty, it is absolutely imperative for EVERY passenger to comply PROMPTLY with the directions of the crew because failure to do so may put other passengers and members of the crew at risk unnecesssarily.

Norm.

Rev22:17 March 25th, 2006 10:25 PM

Irish Shark,

Yup, there are many things that do not add up here. Yes, the sprinklers should have gone off as well as the fire alarm.

The problem here is that the sprinklers and the sensors for the alarms were inside the cabins, while the fire was outside. The glass doors between the cabins and the balconies may probably remained entact, keeping the smoke and the heat out of the cabins, until the side of the ship was pretty well engulfed.

Look at the damage to the exterior of the ship. That metal melted, That is some pretty high temps even if the structure was aluminum.

Melting Point: 660.37 °C (933.52 K, 1220.666 °F)

That's pretty hot folks.

And if it were partial/total steel .... Most steel has other metals added to tune its properties, like strength, corrosion resistance, or ease of fabrication. Steel is just the element iron that has been processed to control the amount of carbon. Iron, out of the ground, melts at around 1510 degrees C (2750°F). Steel often melts at around 1370 degrees C (2500°F).


Yes, there was something involved in the fire that had a VERY high temperature of combustion. The ship's fuel probably has a temperature of combustion that high, but there should not have been any fuel lines in the vicinity of the affected cabins. The explanation of paint, mentioned in Anne's feature article does not add up, either, because this ship is relatively new so the bulkhead should not have had enough paint to burn long enough to heat a reasonable thickness of metal to that degree. It's pretty clear, in any case, that something got ignited that should not have been anywhere near that location.

Norm.


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