Cruise Ship Azamara Quest Adrift South Of Philippines

A cruise ship carrying 1,001 people is adrift south of the Philippines after a fire disabled its engines, the Philippine coast guard says.

The fire gutted one of the ship's engine rooms, according to a coast guard spokesman

A cruise ship carrying 1,001 people is adrift south of the Philippines after a fire disabled its engines, the Philippine coast guard says.

Five crew were injured in the fire, which broke out on Friday, a day after the ship left Manila for Sandakan, Malaysia.

None of the passengers was injured, according to the ship's operator, Azamara Club Cruises.

The ship is owned by the world's second largest cruise firm, Royal Caribbean.

A coast guard spokesman, Lt Cdr Algier Ricafrente, said the Azamara Quest was carrying 590 passengers and 411 crew.

Azamara Club Cruises said the blaze - in one of the ship's engine rooms - had been immediately extinguished.

The injured crew members suffered smoke inhalation and one of them needed hospital care.

'Calm seas'

Azamara Club Cruises said engineers had restored power to one of the ship's engines to restart air conditioning, running water, refrigeration and food preparation and the vessel was in "calm seas".

"While the ship does not have propulsion capabilities at this time, it is in the process of being repaired," it said.

Lt Cdr Ricafrente said a Manila-based ferry and towage company had alerted the coastguard to the fire but there had been no direct contact with the ship's crew.

He said the coastguard would investigate why the Azamara Quest's crew had not issued a distress call.

The boat had been 139km (75 nautical miles) south-west of the Philippines' Tubbataha Reef when the coastguard heard of the incident.

Lt Cdr Ricafrente said two coastguard vessels and a patrol boat were expected to reach the ship later on Saturday.

Azamara Club Cruises said the rest of the ship's voyage would be cancelled. Up to 60 Britons are reported to be on board.

Earlier this year, 32 people died when a cruise ship owned by another firm - Carnival - ran aground off the coast of Italy. A month later another Carnival ship lost power for three days in the Indian Ocean.