Cruise Ship Fires

Cruise Ship Fires
M/V Scandinavian Sun Fire August 20, 1984

Two Passengers Dead - 31 Injured

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M/V Scandinavian Sun Fire August 20, 1984

Two Passengers Dead - 31 Injured

A fire that broke out in the engine room of the Scandinavian World Cruises M/V Scanadinavian Star today, took the lives of two passengers and injured at least 33 others while the ship was docked in the Port of Miami Florida.

About 2300, on August 20, 1984. a fire erupted in the auxiliary machinery (generator) room and spread to adjoining spaces of the Bahamian reFistered passenger ship Scandinavian Sun shortly after it docked at the Port of Miami, Miami, Florida.

It had just completed a daily 14-hour round trip cruise to Freeport, Bahamas, with 530 passengers and 201 crew members on board. One passenger and one crew member died as a result of smoke inhalation, 4 persons received minor injuries, and 58 persons were treated for smoke inhalation. Damage and repair cost was estimated to be $2.3 million.

With the exception of the smoke detection system in the lower trailer hold, the fire detection system on the Scandinavian Sun consisted of ionization and heat detectors with an aural alarm and indicating lights in the pilothouse. The detectors in the vicinity of the fire functioned properly and registered fire in the pilothouse detector panels.

The pilothouse was unmanned and a qualified person was not in position to take immediate action to close the automatic fire doors and to stop ventilation immediatelv upon activation of alarms in the detection panels. By the time the master arrived on the bridge, 14 of the 45 fire alarm zones on the fire detection panels already were indicating fire conditions. Although he secured the ventilation and closed the fire doors immediately upon assessing the situation, the flames already had entered the stair tower at the Bimini Deck and spread fire and smoke up to the top of the stair tower as well as outside the stair tower on the Andros and Nassau Decks where passengers were gathering to disembark.

Therefore, the effectiveness of the system was diminished because no one was on hand to take immediate action to isolate the fire and secure ventilation. The local closure of the automatic fire doors in the lobby by crew members prevented flame spread and greatly reduced the damage in the lobby.

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