MSC Cruises confirm ship fire started in lifeboat but everyone onboard is safe

Corfu: Smoke plumes seen rising from cruise ship off the coast

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Onlookers were left shocked as they witnessed what appeared to be a huge fire breaking out onboard an MSC Cruise ship docked off the coast of Corfu.

Earlier this afternoon, social media footage circulated of billowing smoke coming from the MSC Lirica, in the Greek port of Corfu.

However, now the cruise firm has assured that no one onboard has been injured as a result.

Furthermore, the source of the fire has also been uncovered and emergency services on hand.

An MSC Cruises spokesperson told “Today at 3:42pm local time in Corfu where she is currently in warm layup, MSC Lirica reported a fire incident into the MSC Maritime Support Centre in London, UK.

“The fire originated from one of the ship’s starboard-side fiberglass lifeboats on deck 6.

“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 incident operation was declared completed by 18:58 local time.

“There were no injuries among the 51 crew who were on board the ship at the time of the incident.

“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.

“A full investigation is now in progress.”

No passengers were onboard the ship at the time.

Though MSC Cruises is currently operating some holidays in the Mediterranean, the MSC Lirica was not in service when the fire broke out.

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Video footage of the fire showed flames coming out the side of the liner.

According to reports, the blaze broke out at around 3:30pm local time on Friday (1:30pm UK time).

Cruise Industry News reports the fire was “somewhat under control” by 4:30pm with fire fighting boats on the scene.

The MSC Lirica has been docked at the port for the last two weeks.

While MSC Cruises returned to sailing towards the end of summer 2020, UK guests have not yet been welcomed back.

MSC Grandiosa is already back and sea in the Mediterranean.

MSC Seaside are is due to join the Mediterranean itinerary with seven-night cruises starting from May 1.

The cruise line warns: “At this present time and until further notice, our two ships sailings will only welcome guests who are residents in Schengen countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland) and in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.”

However, they are hopeful UK residents will soon be welcomed back onboard.

An updated statement on the MSC Cruises website reads: “Following the UK Government’s briefing on the nations’ roadmap to recovery in which they outlined international travel restrictions will not ease before May 17, MSC Cruises UK and Ireland has taken the decision to cancel the majority of our sailings until May 31 2021, for our UK and Irish guests only.

“A report is expected from the Global Travel Taskforce on April 12 and we hope that this report will further support our optimistic outlook for Summer 2021 but in the meantime, we must ensure we study the new framework and to ensure our guests can have a seamless return to holidaying with MSC Cruises.”

Customers who are impacted by cancellations will be offered a Future Cruise Credit voucher worth 125 percent of the amount paid.

Alternatively, they can request a full refund worth 100 percent of the amount paid.

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