National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC - NTSB Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker applauded the United Kingdom's Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) for issuing a Safety Bulletin alerting ship owners and managers of the potential fire risk on external areas, particularly balcony areas, arising from the use of combustible materials. Today's bulletin, including urgent safety recommendations, was issued as part of the ongoing investigation into a fire at sea aboard the cruise ship Star Princess.
"We are pleased to see these urgent safety recommendations issued so early in this investigation," said NTSB Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. "Compliance with the safety recommendations will contribute to cruise line safety worldwide"
On March 23, 2006, a fire was detected on the Star Princess, a Bermuda registered passenger ship, originating from Port Everglades, Florida and en route from Grand Cayman to Montego Bay, Jamaica with 2,690 passengers and a crew of 1,123 onboard. The fire started on an external stateroom balcony on the vessel's port side. There was one fatality and 13 persons were treated due to the smoke. The accident is being investigated by the MAIB on behalf of the Bermuda government.
The NTSB and the U.S. Coast Guard are participating in the investigation under the provisions of the International Maritime Organization's Code for Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents. While on-scene in Jamaica, an NTSB marine investigator assisted in the examination of the ship and conducted crew interviews.
The International Council of Cruise Lines (ICC) also issued a Safety Notice to its members, alerting them of the details of the fire aboard the Star Princess, and urging them to take immediate action on a number of fronts to increase safety awareness and to reduce the potential for fire aboard passenger ships.
A copy of the MAIB Safety Bulletin, including the recommendations is available at: http://www.maib.gov.uk/publications/safety_bulletins.cfm.
The ICCL Safety Notice ia available at; http://www.iccl.org/policies/safety_notice_041306.pdf. All information regarding the investigation will be released through the MAIB.
NTSB Media Contact:
Terry N. Williams
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.