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Carnival Liberty Evacuated Over Shipboard Fire While Docked in St. Thomas Harbor

carnival liberty people

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – The Carnival Liberty’s own shipboard sprinkler system extinguished a fire aboard the vessel while it was docked in the St. Thomas harbor, the Virgin Islands Free Press has learned.

The fire was first reported at 11:30 a.m. Monday in the engine room of the ship.

Carnival Cruises released a statement shortly after the fire: “Earlier today, while the Carnival Liberty was docked in St. Thomas, there was a fire in the ship’s engine room. There were no reported injuries to guests or crew. All guests are ashore in St. Thomas.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Coast Guard officials said the ship was moored when the fire sparked, so everyone still aboard the ship was able to evacuate quickly.

The cruise is on the second day of a seven-day Caribbean cruise that departed Sunday from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The ship was evacuated and there were no injuries. Carnival said the ship’s guests were taken to a hotel in St. Thomas, where they stayed in a reception area.

Around 8 p.m. Monday, the Coast Guard gave permission for the passengers to reboard the ship, Carnival said.

The fire was extinguished by the ship’s sprinkler system and people were allowed back on board Monday evening.

Carnival Cruise Lines said it provided free shuttle service to destinations on St. Thomas and gave passengers a $150 shipboard credit.

The company said a team of experts was working to assess the engine while the ship remained in St. Thomas on Tuesday.  An assessment is expected to be finished this morning, Carnival said.

Carnival said it has not been determined when the ship will depart from St. Thomas.

In July, a fire broke out on Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas as it pulled into Falmouth, Jamaica. No passengers were hurt, but one crew member suffered first-degree burns.

carnival liberty statement

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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