Hundreds of passengers have been evacuated from a luxury cruise ship in the South Atlantic after a fire broke out in the engine room.
Ponant ship Le Boréal issued a distress call just after 2am local time near Cape Dolphin, to the north of the Falkland Islands.
The French company said all 347 passengers and crew were picked up by Ponant vessel L’Austral which happened to be in the vicinity. There were no injuries.
They were being taken to the Falklands capital of Port Stanley and the Antarctic cruise has been cancelled.
Royal Navy vessel HMS Clyde was in the area at the time but was not required to assist.
Ponant confirmed that Le Boréal suffered from “a fire of a technical nature” which broke out in a compartment of the engine room.
“The incident is under control. There are no injuries to the passengers or crew.
“The ship was positioned off the Falklands at the time of the incident.
“As a precaution, all passengers were evacuated from the ship. They embarked on L'Austral, which belongs to the Ponant fleet, situated nearby.
“They will reach Port Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, from where they will be directly repatriated.”
The company statement added: “The technical services of Ponant have launched investigations that will accurately evaluate the requested repairs.
“Given this event, Ponant, whose top priority is the safety of its passengers and crew, has decided to cancel the cruise.”
Ponant confirmed that there were 187 passengers and 160 crew on board Le Boréal at the time of the incident.
All passengers were evacuated using two tenders after following emergency procedures.
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