Cruise ship diverted to Bahamas port after fire

National/World News
A cruise ship was diverted to the Bahamas on May 27, 2013 after catching fire. (Photo: CNN)

A cruise ship was diverted to the Bahamas on May 27, 2013 after catching fire. (Photo: CNN)

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(CNN) — A Royal Caribbean International ship was diverted to a Bahamas port Monday after an early morning fire sent guests to the decks with life jackets under the night sky.

The Grandeur of the Seas cruise ship, under its own power but escorted by the U.S. Coast Guard, arrived in Freeport hours after the fire, which the company said began in a mooring area about 2:50 a.m. and was extinguished just before 5 a.m.

The ship, with 2,224 guests and 796 crew members, initially was headed to CocoCay, Bahamas, but was redirected to Freeport for evaluation, Royal Caribbean said.

Two guests were treated after fainting, and medical staff also responded to reports of high blood pressure and an ankle sprain, Royal Caribbean said.

Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said she didn’t have further information about the medical reports, “but the ship has told us that there are no medical emergencies onboard.”

Video captured by passengers Danielle Miller and Katie Coleman shows guests gathered on a deck, wearing orange life jackets.

“We’re on deck right now, 3 a.m., in our life jackets. Not a drill, not a joke,” a narrator in Miller’s video says.

The fire started on the aft mooring deck and spread to the fourth deck at the crew lounge area before it was extinguished, Coast Guard spokeswoman Marilyn Fajardo said. Information on the fire’s cause wasn’t available, she said.

The ship arrived at Freeport at about 10:15 a.m., Royal Caribbean said. Throughout, the ship’s power, propulsion and communications systems were uninterrupted, the company said.

“In an abundance of caution, the captain deemed it necessary to muster all guests at their assembly stations,” the company said in a news release. “All … guests and … crew have been accounted for, and there have been no injuries of guests or crew reported.”

Passengers will be able to get off the ship at Freeport if they choose, Martinez said. The company’s president and CEO, Adam Goldstein, and another Royal Caribbean officials were heading to Freeport Monday morning to meet guests, she said.

Grandeur of the Seas departed Baltimore, Maryland, on Friday for a seven-day trip with scheduled port calls to Port Canaveral, Florida; CocoCay; and Nassau in the Bahamas, the company said.

CocoCay is Royal Caribbean’s “private island paradise” in the Bahamas, according to its website.

The 916-foot-long ship was launched in December 1996 and refurbished in May 2012, the company said.

A number of cruise ship incidents have made headlines in the past year and a half.

In January 2012, 32 people died when the Costa Concordia capsized off Italy’s coast.

In February this year, an engine room fire left the Carnival Triumph adrift in the Gulf of Mexico, with passengers reporting overflowing toilets and human waste running down the walls in some parts of the ship.

On a March cruise, the Carnival Dream lost power and some toilets stopped working. And this month, authorities say, a man and a woman on the Carnival Spirit fell overboard off Australia’s coast; they are presumed dead.

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