On August 17, the passenger ferry Caribbean Fantasy caught fire near San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Caribbean Fantasy was en route to San Juan from the Dominican Republic with 511 passengers and crew when a fire broke out in the vessel’s engine room and spread into other sections of the vessel. The passengers and crew evacuated the vessel using emergency slides and rescued by the Coast Guard, tugs and local authorities. Some 24 passengers suffered only minor injuries during the evacuation and were later taken to hospital. The disabled Caribbean Fantasy went adrift and eventually ran aground off Punta Salinas.
Firefighting and salvage teams boarded the vessel the following day while authorities placed booms around the hull to contain any pollution. Divers inspected the hull and found the grounding caused no damage to the hull. On August 20, tugs were able to reestablish towlines and refloated the Caribbean Fantasy and towed the ferry into San Juan. Fire fighters were able to enter the engine room and extinguish the remaining part of the fire.
Reports state the Caribbean Fantasy had been cited for 107 deficiencies by Coast Guard inspectors in recent years. One report from 2014, cited the vessel needed additional protection from fuel oil leaking onto hot surfaces.
- Caribbean Fantasy being towed to San Juan harbor (dailymail.co.uk)
- More than 500 evacuated in ferry fire (msn.com)