Passenger recounts horror of cruise ship blaze: ‘We’re on fire in the middle of the ocean’

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 11:57 EDT
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"Stock Photo: Grand Turk, Turks &Amp; Caicos - January 21:  People Walk Along A Pier Near The Liberty Of The Seas And The Zuiderdam Ships As They Lie Moored January 21, 2008 In Grand Turk, Turks &Amp; Caicos." on Shutterstock: http://tinyurl.com/onzpfk3
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Passengers who were nearly evacuated from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that caught on fire on the high seas Monday morning are returning to the U.S. with harrowing tales and video from the scene.

Cruise-takers were roused just after 2:30 a.m. on Monday morning by the ship’s captain informing them of a fire and ordering everyone up to the deck for possible evacuation. As the blaze progressed, more than 3,000 people, passengers and crew, filed the ship’s deck wearing life vests and watching as life boats were deployed in preparation for the worst.

“When they started lowering the boats, like, our mouths just dropped,” passenger Jennifer Allen told a reporter for “CBS This Morning.” “We’re not broken down, we’re on fire in the middle of the ocean.”

The ship, which departed from Baltimore, was diverted to the Bahamas. It docked just after 5 a.m. Crew reportedly had the blaze under control within two hours.

Responding to the crisis, Royal Caribbean CEO Adam M. Goldstein personally flew out to meet with the 2,224 passengers, who were all given a full refund and voucher for another cruise. The company’s damaged vessle, Grandeur of the Seas, was recently renovated at a cost of more than $48 million.

This video is from “CBS This Morning,” aired Tuesday, May 28, 2013.


["Stock Photo: People Walk Along A Pier Near The Liberty Of The Seas And The Zuiderdam Ships As They Lie Moored January 21, 2008." on Shutterstock.]

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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