The Philippine Navy commander responsible for the area reports that all aboard the vessel are in high spirits per a security detail from a Philippine Naval escourt vessel.
In a text message to MikeinManila – the commander of the philippine vessel says they slowly are nearing the sea border with Malaysia and that a Royal Malaysian Navy vessel will continue to escourt the Azamarah Quest which is moving at between 3 to 6 knots and also assisted by a ocean going tug on standby.
"All are well except for the 4 injured and 1 who is somewhat serious – the Philippine Navy assures that we are close by providing an escort on the sea and above" refering to a UAV which has been deployed to ensure the vessel is safe from any ‘lawless groups’ who might try and take advantage of the situation.
"They are well monitored and protected by at least four navies" the vessel commender said in text. Elements of the Philippine, US, Malaysian, and Indonesian navies are closely monitoring the progress of the cruise ship.
"It’s going to be slow – but they have electrical power and a number of passengers seme upset only that the cruise will end early." the naval officer said on condition of anonimity as he was not authorized to speak on the record to journalists.
COMPANY STATEMENT: Azamara Quest is currently sailing directly to Sandakan (Sabah), Malaysia at between three to six knots. Based on this speed, the ship is expected to arrive in Sandakan within 24 to 48 hours.
Larry Pimentel, president and chief executive officer, will be flying to Sandakan in order to meet with Azamara Quest guests and crew personally. Mr. Pimentel is scheduled to arrive in Malaysia on Monday morning, local time.
Unfortunately, five crew members onboard the ship suffered smoke inhalation during the fire. The crew members are being treated in our medical facility. The condition of the one crew member that was more severely injured has improved, but is still serious.
The damage caused by the fire will require us to cancel the rest of Azamara Quest’s voyage once the ship arrives in Sandakan.