Glacier Bay, Alaska
May 23, 2000
NTSB Number: MBR-01-01
NTIS Number: PB2001-916402
Adopted July 24, 2001
On the morning of May 23, 2000, while the Netherlands-registered passenger ship Nieuw Amsterdam was en route to Glacier National Park with 1,169 passengers and 542 crewmembers on board, a fire broke out in a crew cabin. A premature effort to extinguish the fire by officers lacking proper gear and backup contributed to the spread of fire and smoke. The fire did not spread beyond the deck of origin; however, the untimely closing of fire screen doors allowed the smoke to migrate up eight decks, creating hazardous conditions in crew and passenger accommodations. Properly outfitted and equipped shipboard firefighting teams subsequently extinguished the fire. One passenger sustained smoke inhalation injuries requiring evacuation to a shoreside hospital for additional medical treatment. Property damage to the vessel was estimated at more than $360,000.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the fire on board the Nieuw Amsterdam was the unauthorized use of an electrical appliance that had been left unattended and plugged into an electrical outlet in a crew cabin. Contributing to the extent of the fire damage and spread of smoke was a breakdown in firefighting command and control by the vessel's master and senior officers.
As a result of its investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board makes the following recommendations:
To the U.S. Coast Guard:
To Holland America Lines, Inc.:
To American Classic Voyages, Carnival Corporation, Inc., Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Orient Lines, P&O Princess Cruises International, Ltd., Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, Regal Cruises, Renaissance Cruises, Inc., Royal Olympic Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., and Silversea Cruises, Ltd.: