January 26, 2015
Burnham couple on fire-hit cruise ship describe how incident unfolded

A Burnham-On-Sea couple who are onboard a cruise ship that reportedly starting listing after a fire broke out early on Sunday morning (January 25th) have described how the incident unfolded.

The couple's son, David Tonkin, contacted his father by mobile phone after hearing about the fire in the engine room of The Boudicca, run by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

The blaze began at 4am and the ship then drifted off the coast of Casablanca, Morocco, for five hours.

David told "My dad and step mother were woken up at 4am by alarms onboard. There was no power and it was pitch black."

"The ship started listing due to an intake of water to put the fire out. The ship was then without propulsion for a few hours and started drifting until one of the many engines was restarted."

"It was then pumped out to regain its upright position and the ship is now limping towards the Canaries. They are both safe and well, but it was quite nervy."

The ship’s owners issued a statement on Sunday saying that The Boudicca was fully operational. "There have been no injuries to any of Boudicca’s 784 guests and 356 crew members, and there is reported to be a good atmosphere on board," said a spokesperson.

"The ship’s Master has confirmed that at no point were guests asked to don their lifejackets and gather at the muster stations, as the situation was contained within the Engine Room by our crew members."

"Services are operating normally, and guests are enjoying the usual activities on board, both inside and out on deck."

"We are reviewing the itinerary and assessing the extent of the damage to the two main engines and electrical cables, and will make any repairs necessary at the next port of call."

"The safety and well-being of all guests and crew on board Boudicca is Fred Olsen Cruise Line’s utmost priority, and we continue to liaise with the relevant maritime authorities."

Pictured: The Boudicca, run by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines (pic Pjotr Mahhonin)

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