On the morning of June 5th, 2023, a rather unexpected and distressing event occurred in the serene Glacier Bay National Park. UnCruise Adventures’ Wilderness Discoverer, a vessel known for its remarkable voyages through the Alaskan wilderness, suffered an engine room fire. The ship, home to seventy-eight passengers and crew at the time of the incident, instantly sprung into emergency mode. Despite the potentially terrifying scenario, the efficient response and preparedness of the crew ensured no injuries occurred.
UnCruise Adventures, revered for their small ship adventure cruise experiences, stated that the incident happened at 7:23 a.m. Alaska time, whilst the ship was still in Glacier Bay National Park. Captain Dan Blanchard, the company Owner & CEO, quickly confirmed that the ship’s highly trained crew efficiently contained the fire in the engine room.
“We are relieved to confirm that there have been no injuries resulting from the fire. Our highly trained crew promptly extinguished the fire using established emergency protocols, and CO2 was successfully deployed for everyone’s safety,” Blanchard said.
UnCruise Adventures takes pride in its commitment to environmental responsibility and conducted thorough assessments to ensure the fire did not cause any environmental damage in the park. The results were promising, with no discernible environmental impacts within the affected area. Both local and federal authorities were promptly notified, establishing a coordinated response.
The operation for passenger transfer was seamlessly executed. Additional vessels in the vicinity, namely the Sapphire Princess and Baranof Wind, immediately assisted with disembarking fifty-one passengers and sixteen crew members. Eleven crew members remained onboard the Wilderness Discoverer.
In light of the incident, UnCruise Adventures ensured full refunds for all passengers, hotel accommodations and flights back home. In the face of the daunting crisis, the team’s composure and professionalism were commendable. Captain Blanchard and his crew work closely with the guests and authorities, ensuring expedited care for all involved.
The root cause of the engine room fire remains unknown as of now. However, a thorough investigation is currently underway. The company has pledged full cooperation with the authorities in this regard.
Updates were regularly shared throughout the ongoing situation. A second update on June 7th confirmed that all guests and crew were safely transferred to the GBNP headquarters, where they would take flights back home.
Looking ahead, UnCruise Adventures plans to keep stakeholders and the general public informed with further updates on the incident. A more detailed report, especially concerning the cause of the fire, is expected to be shared on June 9th.
In these trying times, the Wilderness Discoverer guests have found temporary respite in the Baranof Wind and were provided flights home and hotel accommodations in the interim. While the unfortunate incident has temporarily put the Wilderness Discoverer out of action, it is heartening to know that it is repairable and expected to set sail again this season.
While the exact date remains uncertain, more details will be provided on June 9th. The unforeseen incident is a testament to the robust emergency protocols and exceptional teamwork displayed by UnCruise Adventures.