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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 27 January, 2020

Passengers recall 'party time' on board stricken cruise ship after engine fire

Power was cut following electrical fire, leaving ship stranded at sea for 24 hours.

A crew member working on the Azamara Quest.
A crew member working on the Azamara Quest.
Image: AP Photo/Mark Baker/PA Images

AMATEUR FOOTAGE and photographs captured by passengers on board a fire-stricken cruise ship which was stranded at sea for 24 hours have been released after the luxury ship finally docked last night.

Just over 1,000 people were on board the Azamara Quest when it became stranded off of the southern Philippines after a fire on board seriously damaged one of its engines.

In one recording, the captain calls out the instructions for passengers to gather at certain points of the ship for a roll-call and says they should not “walk around the ship or up on deck or anything” so that the crew could count everyone on board:

(Video uploaded by the AssociatedPress)

Passengers have commended the crew for their efforts in looking after their care while stuck on the ship, but said that conditions on board became very hot due to the lack of air conditioning as a result of the fire damage.

Some said they were petrified to smell smoke on board. “I never thought I would be afraid to die, but I was very much afraid,” 74-year-old passenger Dorothy Wood from Virginia told the AP. “But I didn’t tell anyone,” she added.

Passengers donned lifejackets and said they were informed that an electrical fire on board the ship on Friday night was quickly extinguished.  Five crew members were injured. The ship finally docked at Sandakan in Malaysia late last night after engineers on board restored the ship’s propulsion on Saturday night.

Some of those on board said the ship’s crew had made the remaining hours on board a “party time” for their passengers, providing free drinks and barbeques.

“”There were lots of salads and we had barbecued chicken, pork, steak and fish. There were free drinks, a band playing and singing. They made it a party time,” said Australian passenger Margaret Whawell.

In a statement, the ship’s operator said that the crew member who was most seriously injured will be transferred to a local hospital from the ship.

Passengers are being offered the option of staying on board while the Azamara Quest is docked or of staying on shore for the remainder of their trip. However, the ship will not be continuing its current voyage.

- Additional reporting by the AP

Cruise ship heads for Malaysian port after being stranded for 24 hours >

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