The 1050 passenger MV ‘Ocean Star Pacific’ was stranded six miles off the Mexican coast at Huatulco by a generator fire, forcing the evacuation of 522 passengers and 226 crew members on Saturday.
The ship was on her second cruise for a new Mexican based operator Ocean Star Cruises following a multi-million dollar refit in Curacao.
According to the line’s spokesman and the Oaxaca Civil Protection Agency, the fire was extinguished and there were no injuries to the ship’s mostly Mexican passengers, who were evacuated by catamaran at Huatulco.
The disabled ‘Ocean Star Pacific’ will be towed into port for repairs. The second ship built for Royal Caribbean Cruises, the ‘Ocean Star Pacific’ started her long career in 1971 as the 724 passenger ‘Nordic Prince’.
In 1980, the ‘Nordic Prince’ was lengthened with a new midsection and had her gross tonnage increased from 18,346 to 23,149. In 1995, she was sold to British operator Airtours and renamed ‘Carousel’. In 2004, she was sold to Louis Cruises, who renamed her ‘Aquamarine’ the following year.
Between 2006 and 2008, the ship was chartered to German-based Transocean under the name ‘Arielle’ before reverting to Louis again as ‘Aquamarine’. In late 2010, she was sold to Ocean Star for 23 million US dollars.
Between early January and late March of 2011, ‘Ocean Star Pacific’ underwent an extensive refurbishment in Curacao by Athens-based AMK (Katzourakis), who rebuilt the Lido buffet, pool area and reception. New lounges, children’s areas, shops and a casino were added along with a new spa and nightclub.
Apparently a generator fire disabled power to the vessel but was quickly controlled and there were no injuries.
Ocean Star representative Carlos Salazar said that the generator fire caused a blackout ... so the engines couldn't be restarted, and the ship was adrift.