Cruise ship power outage found to be explosion

Most of the passengers on board Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 were sleeping when the ship lost power on the morning of September 23rd. What was believed to be a brief power outage has now been identified as a more serious problem.

After a complete investigation, the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) ruled this week that the event was actually the result of an engine room explosion. In a report published this week the event was described as a “catastrophic failure” of electrical capacitors caused by gradual deterioration.

While passenger safety was not compromised the explosion, deemed strong enough to damage steel doors, adds to a call for improved cruise ship safety world-wide.

Maritime attorney Jim Walker notes “The reporting of this latest incident raises the issue of the safety of foreign flagged cruise ships, and comes after a string of recent disturbing mishaps.”

Earlier this week passengers were poisoned by potentially lethal hydrogen sulphide gas on Princess Cruises Sea Princess. On Holland America, a reportedly drunken passenger got into crew-only secured area and dropped the ship’s anchor. Carnival Splendor continues repairs for an on-board fire that canceled sailings between now and January.

While cruise vacations continue to be one of the safest methods of travel, these incidents have cruise lines taking a long, hard look at existing safety policies.

Flickr photo by Dawn Encido