| Date Published: December 5, 2013 |
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|Update: Cruise Ship Ablaze Off The Coast of Greece|
(Update: December 5, 2013, 12:00 p.m. EST) -- Photographs and video indicate that the fire onboard the ship was centered on the midships pool area, and the observation lounge located immediately forward of this, according to a leading cruise blog, Travels With Anthony. An investigation into the cause of the fire has begun, but at this stage it is no clearer how it started nor the extent of the damage. Most media commentators have concluded that this incident will mark the end of the career of the 37-year-old ship.
(Nov. 30, 2013, 3:00 p.m. EST) -- Majestic International Cruises' Ocean Countess is currently ablaze off the coast of Greece.
The former Cunard Countess has been laid up in port since her charter to UK-based Cruise & Maritime Voyages ended last year. The five crew onboard have all been accounted for, according to a report from Travels With Anthony.
A spokesperson for CMV said: "Having operated and chartered the 17,500-ton Ocean Countess on the British cruise market for three summer seasons between 2010-12, Cruise & Maritime Voyages are saddened to learn of the fire and damage sustained yesterday (Nov. 30) to the vessel while moored at her lay over berth in Chalkis, Greece.
Commercial Director, Chris Coates added: "Ocean Countess was a very popular vessel with a vast majority of our passengers and while she was replaced this year with the 700-passenger Discovery, she will be fondly remembered by many especially being the first cruise liner to sail from Liverpool's new Pier Head Cruise Terminal. Fortunately the skeleton crew were all safely evacuated."
The ship was launched in 1976 as Cunard Countess, and spent twenty years with Cunard.
Ocean Countess left CMV last year, after a final call in Liverpool, and sailed to Halkis, where the ship has been based ever since. According to reports it was scheduled to return to service next year.
The extent of the damage and the cause of the fire is not yet known.
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--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor
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