April 17, 2011
(12:45 p.m. EDT) -- A generator fire disabled power to a Mexican cruise ship off the coast of Huatalco on Saturday, prompting the evacuation of some 750 passengers and crew.
The Associated Press is reporting that the Ocean Star Pacific, of the brand-new, Mexico-based Ocean Star Cruises, encountered issues off the coast of Huatalco. Luis Zarate Carballido, spokesman for the Oaxaca Civil Protection Agency, told the AP that the fire was quickly controlled and there were no injuries.
A press release from the line said that 515 passengers and 226 crew were transferred to Huatalco by catamaran, and that the ship would be towed there for repairs.
Ocean Star representative Carlos Salazar told the Latin American Herald Tribune that the generator fire "caused a blackout ... so the engines couldn't be restarted, and the ship was adrift." Cruise Critic was unable to reach Ocean Star by e-mail and phone.
Ocean Star Pacific was sailing just its second cruise for the fledgling line, which caters primarily to Mexican passengers.
According to ship expert Peter Knego of Maritime Matters, the ship began life in 1971 as Royal Caribbean Cruises' Nordic Prince and sailed most recently for Cypriot-based Louis Cruise Lines as Aquamarine.
--by Dan Askin, News Editor