Azamara Club Cruises (www.azamaraclubcruises.com) confirmed that five crew members suffered smoke inhalation during the Friday evening fire onboard Azamara Quest, which was sailing 200 miles off the coast of Borneo. No passengers were injured.
After the fire broke out, it was contained to one engine room and extinguished. Passengers were called to their muster stations as a precaution, the line said.
The situation on the ship is described by the line as "calm." The cause of the fire is unknown.
In its 11:30 p.m. EDT statement, Azamara addressed the crew situation: “The crew members are being treated in our medical facility.
"However, one crew member is more seriously injured and requires additional and urgent medical attention that can only be provided in a hospital.
“Once the ship arrives in Sandakan (Sabah, Borneo), the crew member will be immediately transported to a local area hospital.”
In a Saturday update, the line reported: "The condition of the one crew member that was more severely injured has improved, but is still serious."
For a time after the fire, the ship was without any power. However, in its 11:30 p.m. statement, Azamara reported: “Engineers onboard Azamara Quest have restored power to one of the ship’s engines.”
That permitted the crew to restore air-conditioning, running water, plumbing, refrigeration and food preparation onboard.
On Saturday morning, Associated Press reported that the ship had restored its propulsion power and was en route to Sandakan, escorted by a Phillipine Coast Guard escort, which will stay with the vessel until it reaches Malaysian waters.
Agents may view that wire service report at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jn0UoFhi8hZasr7V0uz6jGM5my4A?docId=532701d06faa49579d28b61b765623fe
In addition, at 11:20 a.m. Saturday, Azamara also confirmed in its own update to reporters that "engineers onboard Azamara Quest have been able to restore propulsion to the ship."
The line said Azamara Quest is currently sailing directly to Sandakan (Sabah), Malaysia at between three to six knots. Based on this speed, Azamara said the ship is expected to arrive in Sandakan within 24 to 48 hours.
Assistance for Guests
Azamara said it is working with guests to determine how to best assist them with next steps and travel arrangements.
Larry Pimentel, Azamara Club Cruises’ president and chief executive officer, is flying to Sandakan to personally meet with Azamara Quest’s guests.
Pimentel is scheduled to arrive in Malaysia on Monday morning, local time.
Azamara said the damage caused by the fire will require cancellation of the remainder of Azamara Quest’s voyage once the ship arrives in Sandakan.
The line will compensate clients as follows: “As a gesture of goodwill and to thank our guests for their understanding, we will be providing all guests with a full refund for their cruise.
"Azamara Club Cruises will also be providing each guest with a future cruise certificate for 100% of the cruise fare paid for their March 26, 2012, Azamara Quest sailing."
Azamara Quest is flagged (registered as a ship) in Malta. The Marine Safety Investigation Unit within Transport Malta has confirmed it will launch an investigation.
Stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com for further updates on this developing story.