Most of us have spent an evening of dinner, dancing, and drinks on an evening cruise aboard the Spirit of Norfolk, enjoying the nighttime views of downtown Norfolk. Those days may be gone forever as the ship caught fire Tuesday, and more than likely is a total loss.
NORFOLK — A fire aboard the harbor tour boat Spirit of Norfolk spread through the vessel and left it burned out above the main deck level, photos released by the U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday show.
More than 100 people, most of which were children, were evacuated from the Spirit of Norfolk as emergency crews worked to control what officials believe is an engine room fire onboard the dinner cruise ship Tuesday.
Fire and military emergency crews were dispatched just after 12:05 p.m. for a report of a boat fire near Pier 3 at Naval Station Norfolk. The U.S. Coast Guard also called 911 at 12:10 p.m., “indicating that the fire was on board the Spirit of Norfolk,” Kelly Straub, a spokesperson with the city of Norfolk, said.
The 106 passengers onboard were evacuated onto the tour boat Victory Rover and brought back to dock at Town Point Park. Two crew members remained on the ship until it was towed to Pier 4at the naval base. All 108 passengers and crew members have been accounted for. No injuries were reported.
The cruise ship is currently at Naval Station Norfolk.
Currently, officials are trying to figure out how to tow the vessel from the Navy pier to the recycling facility for a final decision of what will happen to the vessel. Officials said their main priority is to stabilize it to get people on or off, then assess the fire’s status, then safely tow it.
According to Scott Smith with the Hornblower Group, it’s “more than likely” that the Spirit of Norfolk will be a total loss.