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@#&@ man thats a mess.they should ban smoking on there.just imagine if that was a oil tanker (EEK) but i know you cant smoke there.
 

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Star Princess Fire

It is so easy for fire to take place on board by cigarette I still cannot understand why it is not banned on ships. I know it is a habit but in the name of safety it should just be like in restaurants and on planes.

The ship was lucky not to be in more serious trouble and have more fatalities , apart from costing the company thousands of dollars.It must have been frightening to hear the fire alarm go off in the middle of the night and see smoke .It sounds that the Captain had everything under control and kept passengers informed on the situation.

I have experienced fire on board ship and smoke and it still lives with me .

It is good that today they have more sophisticated fire control systems lets hope we see less fires on board and maybe at some stage smoking maybe banned.


Bob ( Sydney )
 

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I wrote about my concerns of fire at sea in previous threads having been on Oriana, and Pride of Bilbao. On both occasions I told passengers off for throwing lighted fags overboard. None had any idea that the fag blows onto the deck below and could start a fire. I wrote to P&O stating my concerns and that there should be more warnings, otherwise they would have a serious fire possibly with loss of life. They replied saying they were happy with their safety procedure. Saying that I told them so does not make me feel any better. I feel so sad that I predicted something they could not seem to foresee.

On this occasion however, it may not have been a fag thrown from a higher deck. A passenger could have fallen asleep seeing that is affected 120 cabins. Although it could have been thrown from a top deck onto a balcony?.

The passenger who died most likely died as a result of stress. It always angers me when people speculate that a person died of a heart attack prior to an autopsy. As a Morbid Anatomist, I would never speculate until we had proved a person died of coronary thrombosis. That is the medical term. We medics never use the term heart attack because it is a loose term that can mean many conditons of the heart, some not fatal. But it would seem that stress killed this person which is very common possibly direct or after a meal or tiredness due to travel, or a combination of the lot so common in holidaymakers causing a clot to form blocking one of the main coronary arteries. It is a snowball effect beginning with extra pressure such as stress, that lead to others factors kicking in.

66 of the British passengers were flown home from Montego bay and will get theeir money back plus 25% off a future cruise. David
 

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Sorry that had to happen..... One question puzzles me though.... Are there no sprinklers on cruise ships these days? So much damage from a cigarette? 1 hour after the fire, they knew this? I'm eager to see the report on the incident in a few months time.

Smoking is banned in Restaurants mostly for air reasons, not safety. On planes, We can all see why. I wonder how the gentlemen in the cigar room would react with no smoking regulations....

I'm a smoker, I've traveled and have never flicked my fag overboard or on the street. Common sense and responsability is what matters. Many people don't have this.

Regards
 

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I agree Lanaud. Sadly, other smokers are not as responsible as you are. Therefore, for that reason, smoking must be banned on deck and in cabins on a ship. It is so unfair for people like yourself, but what choice is there?. It only takes one idiot to kill many. David
 

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I agree with your comments gentlemen. however, here in the philippines we have a non smoking policy even in the streets of Davao city. But, there are places where smokers can go, like a special room at a restaurant where the air condition is good, they are called smoke regulated areas. surely a smoke regulatd room could be established on board cruise ships. we even have them on ferrys here. (Shhhh I even worked in an operating theatr complex at one time in the UK and we even had a smoke room there!)
as David so rightly says, it only takes one irresponsible person to affect the lives of many.
 

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I think that we all have sympathy for the dead/injured passengers.

I noticed that the company (Carnival) are worried that this accident may affect their future profit,

The following peice is from an American newspaper.. " Cruise safety is an important economic issue for South Florida, where the three largest global cruise brands are headquartered.

Already, the industry is under some pressure from investors because of weaker than expected results. On Thursday, the largest firm in the industry, Carnival Corp., reported lower earnings because of weak demand for Caribbean cruises.

Carnival vice chairman Howard Frank had to break the news of the Star Princess fire on a conference call meant to brief investors on financial matters. Princess Cruises is a subsidiary brand of Carnival Corp."

Frank
 

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Its very concerning where you read a story on a vessel where any human life is lost what ever the cir***stances. Yet looking between the lines a fire of this size and magnitude started by a disregarded cigarrette seems to be way over the top. The extent of the damage afterwards seems horrendous, surely with a trained firefighting crew or fire systems onboard this should have been contained far earlier. It will be interesting to read the investigation reports.
 

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I don't think the disregarded cigarette is over the top. If it is dropped onto a bed it would flare up pretty quickly, although having said that I thought bedding and armchairs these days were supposed to be flame proof?. Whatever, the fire seemed to spread pretty quickly. Having seen crew drill on modern cruise ships I am not in the least surprised that is was not contained earlier. When I wrote about this last year including a letter to P&O, I felt I was on my own with my concerns and that all others seemed to think modern cruise ships were equipped to handle all these emergencies. I said at the time that the proof would be in the pudding. Well, desert has been served?!. Loss of human life Gydnia in any cir***stances happens on just about every cruise or holiday shore side. None of these deaths hit the headlines, but all are avoidable as I have written about before. I named it the 'Holidaymaker Syndrome' because the cause and mode of death was identical in every case. Millions die this way every year. If such deaths were as the result of an accident it would be headlines every day. But just like accidents, all these deaths are avoidable. All it needs it better health education for those who go on holiday. Bascially, they abandon their stable lifestyle at home and go totally mad putting their bodies through it's worst nightmare. I have tried for years for such information to be made public, but as always, it falls on deaf ears. David
 

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As a mere sideline observor, the extent of this fire from small beginnings, demonstrates an unfortunate downside to the economics (or corporate greed) of modern cruiseships - the more cabins you can stack above the waterline the greater the return. To achieve this, modern high-tech lightweight materials are used - many of which burn rapidly at high temperatures, melt and/or distort and give off large volumes of thick acrid smoke. In the meantime, fire-regulations covering these vessels have only advanced slowly and seem to be somewhat lacking; and as emergency equipment is non-revenue generating, shipowners tend to spend only on what is required to meet the rules. One can only imagine the outcome (probably very tragic) if this fire had occurred in winds of force 6 or more.
 

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Pompeyfan said:
I don't think the disregarded cigarette is over the top. If it is dropped onto a bed it would flare up pretty quickly, although having said that I thought bedding and armchairs these days were supposed to be flame proof?. Whatever, the fire seemed to spread pretty quickly. Having seen crew drill on modern cruise ships I am not in the least surprised that is was not contained earlier. When I wrote about this last year including a letter to P&O, I felt I was on my own with my concerns and that all others seemed to think modern cruise ships were equipped to handle all these emergencies. I said at the time that the proof would be in the pudding. Well, desert has been served?!. Loss of human life Gydnia in any cir***stances happens on just about every cruise or holiday shore side. None of these deaths hit the headlines, but all are avoidable as I have written about before. I named it the 'Holidaymaker Syndrome' because the cause and mode of death was identical in every case. Millions die this way every year. If such deaths were as the result of an accident it would be headlines every day. But just like accidents, all these deaths are avoidable. All it needs it better health education for those who go on holiday. Bascially, they abandon their stable lifestyle at home and go totally mad putting their bodies through it's worst nightmare. I have tried for years for such information to be made public, but as always, it falls on deaf ears. David
David

I agree with your sentiments. Having already been in a major fire this January in Egypt(Red Sea) on a construction barge where fortunatly there were no fatalities or injuries and having to abandon by helicopter. Reason it never made headlines was the tragedy of the Egyptian Ferry around the same period of time. We are just small fish in an ocean David and sadly we dont have the powers to go up against these large cruise companies as they have you lost straight away in their Legal Departments. As you said it goes up against deaf ears as my interview after the incident took 20 minutes and with it being a Government connection critisism was not to be accepted.Even SN members who work in the adjacent area on this website quoted they had not heard of the incident so it shows how these things can be swept under a carpet.
 

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I agree Gdynia, and being involved in such a recent incident you can speak with more authority. I often wonder why we are fighting wars to stop dictators when we have them on our own doorstep?!. I always said the NHS was worse than the old Soviet Union because if we spoke our minds in public we were sacked. It now seems the entire country is under Soviet style rule?!. As for cruise companies, although their legal departments would beat us, bad publicity is not good for them and it is within their own best interest to listen sometimes. That is why I make copies of all letters when warning about something including their replies if that something eventually happens. In fact, in the latest magazine from P&O they say thay have made some changes when we are on board by upgrading cabin information. I suggested this last year, but whether they have taken up any of my ideas remains to be seen. I doubt it very much, but they did say this is due to passengers helping identify areas and ways to improve. So perhaps they do listen?!!. David
 

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Discussion Starter #16
This was on the Hi-Fog website, the company that made the sprinklers for the Star Princess.

Fire onboard M/S Star Princess

On Thursday 23 March 2006 around 08:10 GMT a fire broke out on the cruise ship M/S Star Princess. Star Princess belongs to Princess Cruises, which is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corporation. According to a statement by Princess Cruises, the vessel is presently safe and fully operational and continues to provide passengers with full services.


The vessel is equipped with an approved HI-FOG water mist fire protection system. Based on the limited information presently available to Marioff, it appears that the
HI-FOG system has performed as intended. The fire seems to have started on a cabin balcony, an area not required by SOLAS to be protected by a fixed fire protection system. The fire has spread along the outside balcony structure and has not spread into the interior of the vessel.


Marioff Group is naturally shocked by this incident and very sad because of the fatality of one passenger. As the safety of passengers and protection of property are of paramount importance, Marioff Group will continue to support the enhancement of fire safety.


Marioff want to emphasize that this statement is based on public and unofficial information, not on confirmed information from the ship owner. More information will be provided, as it becomes available.
 

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That is useful information Newda898, and looks very much like my original fear that a fag was thrown from a deck above landing on the balcony. David
 

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It is probably the furnishings & fittings that spread the fire.
I am currently in process of constructing an extension to my house - I wanted to incorporate a balcony but gave up on the idea because of all the regulations, and that is a private house, not a ship! I cannot imagine that the structure would be inflamable but I might be wrong.

On the point mentioned by David about death on holiday I can say that when the British Transport Police worked Southamton docks virtualy every major cruise ship had to be met to deal with the 'sudden death(s)' which had occured on the voyage. That was never ever news.
 

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You are right Clockman. My colleagues at Southampton General were busy due to cruise ships. But during the line voyage era we did the autopsy on board and burried the body at sea. This no longer happens as the ship as proper storage facilities enabling the body to come home. Countries were not too keen to let us in if we had a body in the cold store?!!. David
 
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