Passengers Rescued From Fred Olsen's Black Watch After Fire

July 4, 2016

Fred Olsen’s Black Watch has reported that all passengers are safe after a fire broke out on-board.

The Black Watch arrived in Funchal at 4:30 pm Saturday 2nd of July after a fire started whilst sailing approximately 260 nautical miles from Madeira.

The ship was seven days into its 13-night Portuguese Island & Cities cruise and as of the 4th July almost 700 passengers will be flown home from Funchal to London airports by private aircraft. These flights were arranged by Fred Olsen to see that their passengers arrived back safely.

The fire reportedly started in the engine room whilst at sea and was successfully extinguished by the crew. There were no injuries, however three out of seven auxiliary engines that generate electrical power on the ship were damaged.

Fred Olsen have stated: ‘There has been some cabling damage on board which is affecting lighting and communications but all other services are working as normal. The cabling damage has prevented the other two main engines from running and it is anticipated that repairs will cause disruption to guests. Therefore we have made the decision- in the best interests of guests’ comfort and enjoyment- to fly them home from Funchal’.

The cruise line has organized three private charter flights back to London Stansted and London Gatwick to depart on Monday the 4th of July despite the challenge of securing aircraft from Funchal, Madeira at late notice.

Full compensation for each passenger has also since been confirmed: ‘In recognition of the inconvenience caused, Fred Olsen will arrange compensation as follows: 100% refund of the whole of the cruise fare, to arrive with guests shortly after their return home. Fred Olsen will also be refunding guests any reasonable out of pocket expenses connected with the curtailment of their holidays’.

An advice desk for guests was also set up in the Guest Services area of the ship for guests to be able to request further information and the cabin telephones were made available free of charge to guests to enable them to contact relatives.

Additionally, Fred Olsen are offering their guests a future cruise voucher worth up to 50% off the fare paid for this cruise, to be used with Fred Olsen’s current cruise programme and have stated that ‘the safety of all guests and crew on-board Black Watch is Fred Olsen’s utmost priority’.

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