Fire breaks out in engine room forcing ship's evacuation; 225 passengers rescued
Rescue workers evacuated a passenger ship near Drimmelen, Noord-Brabant on Tuesday evening. There were 225 passengers on board when a fire was reported in the ship's engine room just after 4 p.m., the Midden en West Brabant Security Region confirmed.
"All persons on board are safely aboard and there are no injuries," the emergency services office stated about 90 minutes later. "The fire brigade is busy fighting the fire." It said the evacuation was handled "calmly and in a controlled manner. The passengers are being returned to their home port in Drimmelen by other boats."
The fire was reported on the Gat van de Kerksloot, a waterway branching off from the Amer River in De Biesbosch National Park. The area is just north of Drimmelen, Noord-Brabant. Firefighters raced to the scene after the alarm was first reported. Dispatchers sent out more personnel less than 15 minutes later. The response was scaled up massively to a Grip 1 emergency at 4:45 p.m.
"The ship is being evacuated together with the crew members and fire brigade," the office said. Water rescue specialists from the KNRM and teams from Rijkswaterstaat, the infrastructure agency, were also traveling to the area "to safely bring the passengers ashore."
A Grip 1 emergency response increases the number of personnel at a scene. The response plan calls for a single incident commander to run a coordinated response of all emergency crews.
Reporting by ANP