A fire broke out in the funnel area of a carnival freedom cruise ship moored in Grand Turk on Thursday morning.
According to Matt Rupoli, Senior Manager of Public Relations for Carnival Cruise Line, the Port Canaveral-based Carnival Freedom carried about 2,500 passengers and about 1,100 crew members. No injuries have been reported.
In a statement released by Lupoli, Carnival said: To land. We continue to evaluate the situation. “
Carnival Freedom departed Port Canaveral on a five-day cruise on Monday.
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Among the passengers on the ship were both Palm Bay’s Jenny Fleming and her mother, Carol Reich. Fleming said they were one of the first to report the fire.
“Mom and I were sitting on the balcony drinking coffee while docking. The wonderful people in the (carnival) Mardi Gras next door started yelling at us that there was a fire,” Fleming said. “Mom ran inside and called 911. It seems we first reported.”
Fleming said he reported the fire at 7:30 am. While the carnival crew was assessing the situation, everyone was told to report to the meetinghouse for 20-30 minutes. Passengers were completely cleared to land at 8:40.
“I was surprised that all the crew provided us with information and made sure we knew where we needed to go. Many passengers were suffering and initially confused. But then, when everyone arrived at the master station, order was restored. “
Katie Bushnell of Baton Rouge, Louisiana witnessed the incident on board another Port Canaveral-based vessel, Mardi Gras, anchored next to the Carnival Freedom in Grand Turk.
“I woke up around 7:30 am. I can hear people screaming outside the room,” said Bushnell, who was on a cruise with many families. “I go to our balcony, and people say,’The ship is on fire!’. Looking up, I saw black smoke erupting from the ship. It’s ours. I thought.”
Immediately, “I noticed that people were screaming from our ship to another. I started trying to get the correct view of the other ship, and certainly we were their I see the ship burning. It was furious and bigger and bigger. It was just getting started and I was so scared because the staff had been warned so I saw it and the other ships I tried to warn others on the balcony. “
In a Facebook post describing the fire, Bushnell wrote: The wind was blowing strongly and the fire seemed to be getting bigger and bigger. I didn’t know how to contain it, but the staff are very well trained. “
Cruise ship funnels typically act as chimneys, lifting emissions onto the deck and keeping them away from passengers and crew.
Grand Turk is part of the Turks and Caicos Islands, north of Hispaniola, an island that includes the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
This article was originally published in Florida Today: Port Canaveral-based Carnival Freedom broke out while docked in Grand Turk