Queen of the West Fire this AM

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April 8, 2008

An engine room fire at 12:31 this morning forced an evacuation of Queen of the West.

From a Coast Guard Media Release:

SEATTLE – The Coast Guard, state and local authorities have offloaded the passengers and non-essential personnel from the Majestic Cruise Line passenger vessel, Queen of The West, after it suffered an engine fire earlier this morning.

The Queen of The West was beached in a controlled manner in the vicinity of Maryhill State Park, where the passengers were offloaded safely over the vessel’s bow ramp.

The 124 passengers were transported by bus to Skamania Lodge, Ore.

One crewmember became wet while fighting the fire, and was taken to a local hospital after exhibiting signs of hypothermia. Three of the crewmembers were checked and released on scene for smoke inhalation.

The vessel owner plans to tow the Queen of The West to the Port of Klickitat, Wash., just upstream of The Dalles Dam, with a crew of 26 essential personnel. There they will prepare the vessel for a further tow to Sundial Marine in Troutdale, Ore., for repairs.

Klickitat County emergency services personnel managed the disembarkation and processing of passengers.

The Washington Department of Ecology organized precautionary shoreline protection operations along the river to address the risk of any oil pollution from the disabled vessel.

The cause of the engine room fire is under investigation.

Cruise Critic tells us:

The fire was noticed last night around midnight and the Coast Guard was notified. The incident occurred while the boat was sailing between The Dalles and John Day Locks (map); the boat was towed to Maryhill where the passengers were safely evacuated at around 5 a.m. Three crewmembers were treated and released for smoke inhalation by paramedics on the scene.

Queen of the West is undergoing assessment at this time to determine what caused the fire. Passengers were transported to local hotels; the remainder of the cruise has been canceled and they are being assisted in their travel arrangements by Majestic America Line staff.

A Seattle Times article is here.

Coast Guard audio, of this morning’s call from the John Day Dam control room.

One Passenger’s account of the incident.

Ed. note: It was Majestic America’s Empress of the North that grounded less than a year ago in Alaska. The gCaptain post is here:Empress Of The North while our Majestic Line posts are here: Majestic Cruise Line.

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