Friday night “a small and short-lived engine fire” occurred aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. The ship was on its way back to Port Everglades from St Maarten when the fire broke out at about 7:45 p.m. The fire was immediately extinguished and no injuries were reported. In addition, the fire did not delay the voyage. Sadly this is not the first time this has occurred. During a hearing before the U.S. Senate last month following the Costa Concordia disaster, Ross A. Klein, PhD, who is a leading authority in the cruise area, testified saying that since 1990, 79 cruise ships have experienced a fire.
Only a month ago another Royal Caribbean Cruise the Azamara Quest experienced a fire in its engine room which disabled the ship. In addition, the Costa Allegra also experienced a fire which left it floating in the middle of the Indian Ocean until it could be towed to the Seychelles.
Although none of the fires discussed above resulted in serious injuries or deaths, this is not always the case. Our firm previously represented the families from the Scandinavian Star who lost loved ones in a fire aboard a cruise ship. 159 people died.
As disasters happen, more safety rules and policies get developed. Sadly, it takes a disaster for the cruise line industry to act. Today, CNN travel reported that the cruise ship industry has adopted new safety policies in response to the Costa Concordia disaster.
In 2010 president Obama signed into law the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act this large was in large part spearheaded by a series of congressional hearings addressing cruise ship safety concerns which came to light after the disappearance of George Smith during his honeymoon cruise. My firm represented the family of George Smith. I also spoke at the congressional hearings as a maritime legal expert.
Our firm acts as safety advocates for those harmed at sea.