Cruise ship catches fire after suspected lightning strike

Eleuthera, Bahamas - A fire broke out on a cruise ship off the coast of the Bahamas in the Atlantic, when an exhaust funnel on the Carnival Freedom caught fire on Saturday afternoon.

Videos on X appeared to show witness videos of the Carnival ship's funnel on fire.
Videos on X appeared to show witness videos of the Carnival ship's funnel on fire.  © Screenshot/X/@spann

The fire occurred off the coast of the Bahamian island of Eleuthera, Carnival Cruise Line told the dpa, and part of the ship's funnel fell onto the port side deck.

No guests were injured, but two firefighters suffered slight smoke inhalation.

The fire was extinguished after around two hours, partly because the captain reportedly turned the ship so that the heavy rain falling at the time helped the fire protection team on board to extinguish it.

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The ship was able to continue its journey to arrive in Freeport in the Bahamas on Sunday morning, after a canceled port to the Carnival private island of Princess Cay due to inclement weather. Its next sailing is expected to leave Port Canaveral as scheduled on Monday for a five-night voyage.

Investigations into the cause of the fire were still ongoing, with the cruise line referring to eyewitness reports that a lightning strike could be responsible for the fire. This was not yet confirmed.

This is the second time a fire has broken out of the same Florida-based ship in the last two years, according to reports. In May 2022, a fire also broke out in the funnel area while the Carnival Fredom was docked in Grand Turk.

According to Carnival, the Carnival Freedom has 1490 passenger cabins and 13 decks. It was initially unclear how many passengers were on board at the time of the fire.

Cover photo: Screenshot/X/@spann

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