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Fire on small cruise ship in Alaska forces evacuation of 67 people, Coast Guard says

<i>Susie Posson</i><br/>Not available
Susie Posson
Not available

By Raja Razek, CNN

(CNN) — A fire on a small cruise ship in Alaska forced 67 people aboard to evacuate Monday, according to the US Coast Guard.

A total of 51 passengers and 16 crew members on the 178-foot expedition vessel Wilderness Discoverer were evacuated to another passenger ship after the blaze, according to a news release from the Coast Guard.

UnCruise Adventures, which operates the ship, said there were no injuries from the fire, which was contained to the engine room.

“Our highly trained crew promptly extinguished the fire using established emergency protocols, and CO2 was successfully deployed for everyone’s safety,” said Dan Blanchard, the company’s owner and CEO.

The US Coast Guard in Juneau received a call at 7:30 am from crew aboard the vessel about the fire. The boat was traveling in Glacier Bay National Park, the news release said.

“The quick launch of our assets and the teamwork among the Sapphire Princess helped in the timeliness of this rescue,” Coast Guard Lt. Junior Grade Maximilian Carfagno said in the release.

The Coast Guard added that in addition to there being no injuries, there was no pollution in the water or impact to travel for other vessels.

The Sapphire Princess, a large Carnival cruise ship, helped the Coast Guard to evacuate passengers. Crew on that ship used a water shuttle to transfer people aboard.

A tug boat will tow the Wilderness Discover to Ketchikan with 11 crew members who remained on the damaged ship.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, according to UnCruise Adventures, which is refunding its passengers and providing hotels and flights to those impacted.

According to the company website, the ship was built in 1992. It has 34 guest cabins.

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