VIDEO: Engine Room Fire Leaves Cruise Ship Drifting off Falklands

The 10,000 tonne cruise ship Le Boreal, operated by French Compagnie du Ponant, suffered a major engine room fire on November 18 which left the ship drifting at sea and in danger of grounding on Cape Dolphin, East Falkland.

The incident forced the master of Le Boreal to order evacuation of 347 passengers and crew.

British forces based in the Falkland Islands responded to the distress call and joined a search and rescue operation involving two Royal Air Force Sea King Search and Rescue helicopters, along with two other support helicopters, a C130 Hercules and a Voyager aircraft, as well as a Royal Navy patrol vessel HMS Clyde and Dutch tugs.

The helicopters winched 79 people from the deck of the Le Boreal and from two life rafts in the water, and HMS Clyde assisted two further lifeboats with over 200 evacuees on board.

All passengers and crew from Le Boreal have been accounted for and are being looked after on the Falkland Islands. The vessel itself is now in a stable condition and two Dutch tugs, under contract with British Forces, are now assisting in bringing the vessel alongside in the Falkland Islands for a detailed assessment of its condition.

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