(1:39pm) The Ocean Countess, a small cruise ship belonging to a Greek cruise line, has caught fire off the coast of Halkis, Greece. The cause of the fire and the extent of damage is currently unknown. The ship can be seen burning off the coastline in the video above. The video shows that the Ocean Countess is currently being aided by an unmarked cargo vessel and fire boats.
The Ocean Countess is currently owned by Majestic International Cruises and was recently chartered to Cruise & Maritime Voyages. The ship’s long term charter with Cruise & Maritime Voyages ended in 2012.
The Ocean Countess was originally built for Cunard as the Cunard Countess in 1975.
(12/1 – 11:10am) Multiple news websites are reporting that only 5 crew members were aboard the Ocean Countess at the time of the fire. All 5 crew members have been safely evacuated from the ship. As of December 1, 2013 at 11:11am, the fire aboard the Ocean Countess has not yet been extinguished.
(12/2 5:25pm) The latest reports coming from Greek news agencies state that the fire onboard the Ocean Countess has finally been controlled by local safety forces. The fire began on Saturday while laid up in a Greek ship yard. At the time of the fire’s ignition, 5 crew members were onboard the Ocean Countess, but were quickly and safely evacuated from the ship. Reports claim that Greek authorities have begun investigating the cause of the fire. At this point, the damage to the nearly 40 year old ship seems devastating and crippling.