Cruise ship leaves Seattle again following fire

Last updated 08:36 30/06/2014

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A cruise ship that returned to Seattle after a fire in its boiler room has left the port again.

Holland America says no one was injured in the fire and the Coast Guard has declared the vessel safe to continue on its journey to Alaska.

The ship originally sailed from Seattle and turned around about an hour later because of what the company described as "a small fire in one of the boiler rooms." The incident happened while the ship was still in the Puget Sound, near Kingston.

The ship with nearly 3,000 people on board returned to Seattle under its own power and all hotel systems and guest services fully operational, the company said in a statement.

The 82,348-ton ship was checked out by both the Coast Guard and Lloyd's Register, an international marine consulting company, Holland America said.

Because of the delay, Holland America has revised the 7-day sailing schedule. Passengers will miss their visit to Sitka, but will be given a credit of US$250 (NZ$284.8) per room to use during the cruise, Public Relations Vice President Sally Andrews said.

Coast Guard petty officer George Degener told The Seattle Times the ship's crew knocked the fire down, but a while later it restarted.

A combination of high-pressure mist and crew members with hoses extinguished the fire, Kyle Moore, spokesman for the Seattle Fire Department, told the paper. The city dispatched a fireboat, and a few units to the Pier 91 cruise terminal, as a precaution.

Holland America brought the ship back "out of an abundance of caution and in cooperation with the US Coast Guard," a company statement said.

No evacuations were needed, firefighters reported.

The Westerdam was beginning a 7-day Alaska cruise with 2,086 passengers and 798 crew members onboard when the blaze occurred.

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- AP

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