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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Shipyard Fires: Lost Money, Lost Contracts and Lost Names

Emerald Waterways reported Tuesday that its newest Emerald Belle caught fire while under construction at the Den Breejen Shipyard in the Netherlands, causing significant damage.Unfortunately, such incidents are not entirely uncommon during cruise ship manufacturing. Natural (and in some cases, man-made) disasters can sidetrack a ship’s completion, and in at least one case, cause a ship to lose its name all together. A look through recent history shows a wide array of shipyard incidents.In regards to the Emerald Belle, authorities have said that the fire could very well delay the riverboat’s planned April launch. The line is currently looking at its bookings to best accommodate future guests.Two Tales of “Bad Things Happen in Threes”Under construction at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. in Japan, AIDA Cruises’ AIDAprima has experienced three small fires at the shipyard in January 2016 alone. After finding “cardboard and insulation material ablaze,” according to The Japan Times, authorities suspected arson as the cause. The occurrence follows an electrical wiring fire, a cabin fire and several design changes that have already delayed the 124,500-ton ship’s launch, now scheduled for April.Following what would seem to be a bizarre rule of three, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic also experienced a trio of minor fires during construction in 2010. The 153,000-ton ship was built by STX Europe in St. Nazaire, France where separate fires occurred in an air conditioning room, waterslide area and deck four, affecting cabling. The first two blazes were viewed as suspicious, and the third was also considered likely deliberate.READ MORE: Norwegian Epic Lives Up To Its Name

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