I have been alerted that another fire has broken out on board another passenger cruise ship, this time on the cruise ship SeaDream I, which is operated by SeaDream Yacht Club. The vessel was sailing in Italy this afternoon when a fire broke out, reportedly from the engine room. I have been told that the vessel lost power and is currently being towed.
I heard there was a lot of turmoil and that the passengers had to be evacuated at sea onto a high-speed ferry. Passengers were, understandably so, very scared. I did not hear of any personal injuries. I am only aware that it has been posted in an Italian newspaper so I do not have much more details to report at this time.
However, I can say that I have warned repeatedly about the dangers on cruise ships, which include fires. There have been numerous fires reported on board cruises. Although this SeaDream I cruise ship is a small petite cruise ship and does not carry that many passengers, the newer cruise ships are getting bigger and bigger. They are referred to as mega-cruise ships, carrying over 6000 passengers.
The danger of a fire breaking out when one of these mega-cruise ships is on the high seas is quite scary. These are floating hotels! Again, on land we have fire departments to respond to a fire and work on controlling it with available sophisticated equipment. However, at sea, we only have crew members that are not extensively trained in firefighting. The challenges of containing a fire and avoiding injuries at sea is much greater than on land. In addition, as I have heard happened in this case, a fire usually causes a cruise ship to lose power. If this happens, the ship is then at the mercy of the seas, adding to the already dangerous condition.
At this time, I am grateful to hear that no one was injured. However, I do not have full details yet on this case and as soon as I do I will report further.
I have warned Congress when I spoke before them on the topic of cruise ship safety that cruise ships are moving hotels with many dangers that need to be addressed by our government. There needs to be stricter regulations on the cruise ship industry. They have gone too long being mostly self-regulated. There is a need for additional legislation to guarantee the safety of all those who decide to go on board a cruise ship.
Our Miami admiralty and maritime law firm has been assisting victims of cruise ship fires, sexual assaults, slip and fall accidents, and all types of incidents that occur at sea and cause harm. We represented the families of those involved in the tragic fire on board the Scandinavian Star. We are available if you or a loved one was involved in any kind of accident on the water. Call us today for a free consultation.