Boiler room fire delays Alaska-bound cruise ship


Holland America’s Westerdam anchors up in Gastineau Channel last summer. (Casey Kelly/KTOO)

An Alaska-bound cruise ship had to return to Seattle late Saturday after a small fire broke out on board. But it was able to restart its voyage.

No one was injured in the incident.

According to the Coast Guard, the crew of the Holland America cruise ship Westerdam reported a fire in a boiler room around 5 p.m. Saturday. That was about an hour after the cruise ship left its summertime homeport of Seattle for a seven-night Alaska cruise.

Coast Guard petty officer George Degener says tugboats escorted the Westerdam back to its pier with no injuries reported.

“Thankfully, the crew members on board the vessel were able to safely extinguish the fire and they were able to make it back to port on their own,” he says.

Degener says Coast Guard investigators boarded the cruise ship to assess the damage. It resumed sailing after inspection and repairs.

The scheduled route called for stops in Juneau, Glacier Bay, Sitka and Ketchikan.

Holland America said in the statement that the Westerdam was fully booked with more than 2,800 passengers and crew.


Recent headlines

  • (Creative Commons photo by Velkr0/Flickr)

    Ask the Energy Desk: Are plastic bag bans better for the environment?

    Bans on plastic grocery bags have been cropping up across Alaska’s remote communities. Cordova’s ban went into effect last year. But so far, the larger cities in the state have yet to adopt one.
  • The Haines state trooper car parked outside of the courthouse. (Photo by Emily Files/KHNS)

    Alaska State Troopers plan to move Haines position to Bethel

    Things are not looking good for Haines’ Alaska State Trooper post. Trooper Director Col. James Cockrell intends to reassign Haines’ one trooper position to Bethel. The decision isn’t final yet, but the community conversation about how to handle the loss continued at a Public Safety Commission meeting this week.
  • Study shows rise in some prenatal exposure to opiates

    A new study from a Alaskan epidemiologist looks at infants who were exposed to opiates before birth. Unlike previous studies, it goes beyond the sharp rise in cases for a portion of the population to explore what happens next.
  • The dark areas are pink salmon between the falls in the Anan Creek south of Wrangell, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Troy Thynes)

    State cuts bring changes to Southeast commercial fisheries

    Commercial fisheries in Southeast Alaska have survived two years of state budget cuts but not without some changes. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Commercial Fisheries has cut some positions, ended some monitoring programs, and found some new funding sources.