UPDATE: Fire Breaks Out On Black Watch

A fire broke out aboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s Black Watch this morning as the ship made its way to Madeira.

The fire, which has now been extinguished, started in the Auxiliary Engine Room, damaging three of the seven engines used to generate power onboard.

Some electrical power has been restored to the ship, but some areas remain without power. The four main engines are undamaged by the fire, but further investigations will need to be undertaken, before an attempt to restart them later today. Repairs are expected to be made en-route to Madeira.

In a statement released to the media, the cruise line said: “Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines can confirm that there was a fire on board its cruise ship, Black Watch, this morning, in the Auxiliary Engine Room, which was extinguished by the crew. There have been no injuries to guests or crew. The Captain is keeping guests fully informed at all times.”

There are 696 guests and 365 crew on board, the majority of whom are British nationals. All guests will be compensated for loss of enjoyment and facilities during the power outage.

Black Watch departed Dover, England on Saturday, June 25 as part of a 13-night cruise to the Azores, Madeira, and Portugal. The ship is currently approximately 260 nautical miles from Madeira, where she was due to arrive on Saturday, July 2.


02/07 @ 12:09 

Black Watch will now arrive in Madeira at 7 p.m. (local time) and is expected to stay in port until July 7, for repairs to be made.

02/07 @ 16:55

Latest statement from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines:

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines can confirm that Black Watch is due to arrive in Funchal, Madeira today [Saturday 2nd July 2016], as scheduled, at 17.00 hours, two hours earlier than previously advised. There has been some cabling damage on board, which is affecting lighting and communications, but all other services are working as normal. However, the cabling damage has prevented the other two main engines from running, and it is anticipated that the repairs will cause disruption to guests during the recabling. Therefore, we have made the decision – in the best interests of guests’ comfort and enjoyment – to fly them home from Funchal. Our intention is to charter a private aircraft for our guests back to the UK over the next few days, at Fred. Olsen’s expense.

Captain Henrik Mattsson has been keeping guests fully informed at all times and has reported this morning that guests ‘are in good spirits’.

Mike Rodwell – Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines – will be joining the ship in Funchal today [Saturday 2nd July 2016], with a support team of senior executives, and will address guests and ask for any feedback. Fred. Olsen appreciates guests’ understanding and co-operation with these new arrangements. All guests will be compensated for loss of enjoyment and facilities.

There are 696 guests and 365 crew on board, the majority of whom are British nationals.

We hope that Black Watch will be able to undertake her next cruise – an eight-night ‘Norwegian Fjords’ cruise from Tilbury on 8th July 2016 – as scheduled. Black Watch departed from Dover on Saturday 25th June 2016, on her 13-night ‘Portuguese Island & Cities’ cruise.

The safety of all guests and crew on board Black Watch is Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ utmost priority.

04/07 @ 12:33

Fred. Olsen has cancelled Black Watch‘s upcoming ‘Cruising The Fjordland’ cruise from Tilbury on July 8. The cruise line will be contacting all guests booked on the sailing this afternoon, but those due to travel are advised to call 01473 742424.


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