Saturday, March 31, 2012

News Update Cruise ship adrift in Philippine waters after fire

A luxury cruise ship with about 600 mostly Western tourists was adrift in Philippine waters Saturday after a minor fire that injured a crew member, the government said.
The fire disabled two engines of the Azamara Quest late Thursday while it was en route to the Malaysian port of Sandakan, Department of Transportation spokesman Nicasio Conti told DZBB radio in Manila.
"The fire has been put out but they cannot start the two engines so it is now adrift between Palawan (island) and Zamboanga (port)," Conti added.
None of the mostly American and European passengers were injured by the blaze, but one crew member was given medical treatment onboard, he said.
The Philippine Coast Guard dispatched a rescue vessel while the Azamara Quest's operators, Miami, Florida-based Royal Caribbean International, sent a tugboat to the area in the middle of the Sulu Sea, the spokesman added.
Robert Aurelio, local agent for Wallem Philippines Shipping that represents the cruise ship, told AFP he had no information about the reported fire.
The vessel had set sail from Manila on Wednesday and also plans to visit Indonesia, he added.
Coast guard officials in Manila also told AFP they had no immediate information on the ship fire.
The Malta-flagged cruise liner is described on its website as a 30,277-tonne vessel with 355 crew members and a maximum passenger capacity of 694.