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Carnival Cruise Assessment Team In TCI After Boat Caught Fire

A Carnival Cruise Line Assessment Team is now in The Turks and Caicos Islands assessing the level of damage done to Caribbean Cruise Freedom cruise ship, which caught fire while docking at the Grand Turk Cruise Center in Grand Turk on Thursday, May 26.

Thick black smoke billowing from a section of the Caribbean Cruise Freedom cruise ship

The team flew in on Friday and was met by officials on their arrival. The team would assess whether the vessel is fit to sail.

A second Carnival cruise-liner, which was docked at the port at the time of the fire, collected passengers of the ill-fated vessel, delaying its scheduled departure, according to His Excellency Governor Nigel Dakin. The second ship, according to Governor Nigel Dakin, came with 5,000 passengers, with space for another 1,000.

Governor Dakin told a press briefing on Thursday that local responders, comprising of several entities, including the TCI Regiment, quickly assembled and were at the scene ready to spring into action if needed. But the crew had indicated that they had the blaze under control.

“We stood up our emergency structures immediately. A very fast and immediate line of communication was established with the vessel by the police at the port. They communicated with us very quickly that they had the incident under control…the crew was on top of it,” the governor said.

He added: “That said, we continue, if you like, to have our structures in place. Minister, Hon. (Otis) Morris (Minister of Home Affairs) and the Deputy Governor (Her Excellency Anya Williams) left Providenciales early this morning to go to Grand Turk, so we had the senior leadership team in place.”

Governor Dakin stated also that the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority had begun working on upgrading the JAGS McCartney International Airport in Grand Turk from a Category 4 accommodation to a Category 6, that would enable 737 charters to come in, to allow for passengers to leave Grand Turk through the airport if necessary.

In the meantime, Governor Dakin had expressed his appreciation to the ship’s crew, which put out the fire in quick time, and the local response team, which assembled for action in a short space of time.

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