Grand Princess Fire, Princess Cruise Lines Runaway Bay, St Ann Jamaica – March 31, 2008, the fire broke as the Grand Princess was engulfed in smoke. Citizens in the town of Runaway Bay, St Ann Jamaica became alarmed, when they witnessed the air filled with thick black smoke surrounding the Princess Cruises Grand Princess, while she was in port.
Residents in the area reported that shortly after 1620 hours they saw the cruise ship come to a halt and thick black smoke billowing from the vessel.
This resulted in the citizens of the town of Runaway Bay, St Ann Jamaica becoming alarmed, when they witnessed the air filled with thick black smoke surrounding the Princess Cruises Grand Princess, while she was in port.
Residents in the area reported that shortly after 1620 hours they saw the cruise ship come to a halt and thick black smoke billowing from the vessel. The incident took place shortly after The Grand Princess left the Ocho Rios port.
The vessel was heading in a westerly direction. On reaching an area off the coast of Salem, Runaway Bay, the vessel came to a halt for about 25 minutes with the thick black smoke pouring from the ship.
Some eyewitnesses said at one stage almost the entire vessel was covered in smoke. After the smoke died down the ship appeared to be turning back towards the Ocho Rios area. It then changed course and headed in a northerly direction and after sailing some miles off the coast it again came to a halt and was docked at that location for some time.
The Navigator of the Seas, which was visiting Ocho Rios at the same time, was heading westerly when it stopped briefly near the Grand Princess before continuing on its way. It assumed, the ship stopped, prepared to take Grand Princess’s passengers and crew aboard, if an evacuation was required. From outside the ship, the scene did indeed look dire.
A small vessel which looked like a coastguard boat was in the area close to The Grand Princess for a long while before heading out to sea.
Princess spokesperson Julie Benson, said there was no fire, instead labeling it a engine malfunction, which resulted in the thick black smoke seen from shore by residents.
Princess says that a turbo charger casing on engine five unexpectedly failed, while the ship was sailing on four the six engines, and the engine was automatically stopped. The transfer of electrical load to the ship’s other engines resulted in further turbo charger problems and, as a result, one turbo charger on engine No. 3 seized, causing smoke in the engine spaces.
The engine room filled with thick black smoke, which was then removed from the area by the ventilation system, which in return sent the smoke out the stack.
The ship stopped to stabilize the problem, then sailed away on three of her six engines.
Another Princess Cruises ship, Star Princess was ablaze, two years ago, nearly to the day, in Montego Bay, Jamaica where a man died aboard, Richard Liffridge, while she was en-route to Jamaica on March 23, 2006. The damage to the ship was severe, and thick black smoke billowed from that vessel as well.