Cruise liner limps in to Malaysian port after a day drifting in the South China Sea following engine-room fire
The Azamara Quest drifted off the southern Philippines with 1,000 people aboard after flames engulfed one of its engine rooms, injuring five crew members. Propulsion was restored by ship's engineers a day later and she limped in at maximum speed 6 kts to the harbor of Sandakan city in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah on Borneo island, according to the Jakarta Post newspaper.
The fire on the Azamara Quest had been extinguished immediately, but five crew members suffered smoke inhalation, including one who was seriously injured and needed hospital care, the ship's operator has said.
The 11-deck cruise ship, was carrying 590 passengers and 411 crew members. Over one-third, or 201, of the passengers were American, according to lists of passenger and crew nationalities provided by the ship captain to the Philippine coast guard.
Passengers from 25 countries also included 98 from Britain, 89 from Australia, 45 from Canada, 39 from Germany, 32 from Austria, 16 from Belgium, 14 from New Zealand and 14 from Switzerland.
The owners of the vessel said the rest of the cruise would be canceled. It said it would fully refund the passengers and provide each guest with a future cruise certificate for the amount paid for the aborted voyage. Azamara Club Cruises is part of Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
The ship is registered in Malta, and its marine safety investigation unit will carry out an investigation of the accident.