Skip to main content

Passengers and crew rescued from cruise ship after engine room fire

All passengers were rescued from a cruise ship in Glacier Bay, Alaska Monday morning after a fire broke out in the ship’s engine room.

Fifty-one passengers and 16 crew members were evacuated from the Wilderness Discoverer, a small expedition ship owned by California-based Adventure Smith Explorations.

Sapphire Princess, a cruise ship that departed from Vancouver Wednesday, was alerted by the U.S. Coast Guard around 9 a.m. that the Discoverer was nearby and needed help.

The Princess, also owned by a California-based cruise line, sent a water shuttle to transfer the passengers and crew to their ship.

There were no injuries, according to a statement from Princess Cruises.

“Princess Cruises continues to work with the U.S. Coast Guard and local authorities to support these passengers in their forward travel,” the company wrote.

Eleven crew members remained on board the Discoverer, which was scheduled to be towed by a tug boat to Ketchikan, Alaska, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast guard cutter ships and a helicopter were sent to the area to assist the Discoverer.

"Our primary concern is ensuring the safety of the passengers and the crew," said Lt. j.g. Maximilian Carfagno, the command duty officer at the Coast Guard’s Sector Juneau command center, in a statement.

“The quick launch of our assets and the teamwork among the Sapphire Princess helped in the timeliness of this rescue,” he continued.

“It’s been a wild day to say the least,” Laura Greenleaf, a passenger on the Sapphire Princess, told CTV News. ““Everybody seemed in good spirits for the most part.”

She said the passengers of the Discoverer were on the larger ship for less than an hour before another vessel came to transport them.

Later, another helicopter was sent to rescue a passenger having a medical emergency. Greenleaf said it was a passenger of the Princess and unrelated to the fire incident.

“It’s also a little concerning, because when they made the first announcement you’re like ‘Oh my gosh is our ship on fire?’” she recalled of the rescue.

“We've never had this kind of situation before, and then to have it compounded with somebody else needing assistance is kind of unheard of,” she said. Top Stories

Stay Connected