The fire reportedly started in one of the ship’s starboard lifeboats, producing thick, black smoke as the fibreglass began to burn and was extinguished within three hours.
According to MSC, this has blackened much of the side of MSC Lirica, while the actual damage is contained to the area directly above the lifeboat.
“The fire has since been brought under control thanks to the intervention of the ship’s two fire brigades and the support of the local emergency services,” the cruise line said in a statement.
“From a preliminary assessment, there was no damage to the inside of the ship but only to her side due to the flames and the dense black smoke caused by the fiberglass lifeboats,” it added.
The ship has a skeleton crew of 51 aboard to maintain and operate her during the warm lay-up period, and none of them were injured during the incident.
Because of the time it can take to get marine fire response vessels to the scene of an incident, the firefighting crew aboard the ship were integral to keeping the situation under control.
It took at least 50 minutes before local coastguard and maritime rescue vessels were able to reach the ship, according to local media reports.
There were no passengers aboard MSC Lirica as she is in warm lay-up during the ongoing shutdown of much of the international cruise industry during the pandemic.
In normal operation, the ship would carry more than 1,900 passengers and 700 crew.
MSC Lirica was delivered to MSC Cruises in 2003, the cruise line’s first newbuild vessel. She is one of four sister ships that were cut in half and lengthened during a major refurbishment in 2015.
MSC Lirica is due to homeport in Dubai next season alongside MSC Seaview. The fire and required repair works are unlikely to impact those scheduled cruises.
Categories: Middle East Cruise News