Last updated: 05:27 PM ET, Wed April 13 2016

Fathom On Track For Inaugural Dominican Republic Cruise After Inspection Delays

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Jason Leppert | April 13, 2016

Fathom On Track For Inaugural Dominican Republic Cruise After Inspection Delays

Photo courtesy of Fathom

Fathom had to cancel the new cruise line’s first soft-launch sailing due to a lack of approval from the U.S. Coast Guard to set sail, and now the cause of the agency’s concern is known.

There is a technical difficulty relating to fire doors that is not expected to affect the official inaugural cruise from Miami, Florida scheduled for this Sunday, April 17, 2016.

"We are working closely with U.S. Coast Guard officials to resolve a technical issue involving fire doors," a Fathom spokesperson said. "The issue was identified during a rigorous U.S. Coast Guard inspection following dry dock. We hope to receive final authorization from U.S. Coast Guard this week, and plan to operate the April 17 sailing as scheduled.”

Seatrade Cruise News is reporting in more detail, saying that the specific issue is the current inability of the fire screen doors to close under transitional battery backup power as would be necessary if there was a main power loss.

Cmdr. Bradley Clare, chief of prevention for Coast Guard Sector Miami, is quoted as saying, “I don't think there's any initial exam that doesn't uncover some minor deficiencies. This deficiency, the sliding fire screen doors, is a very significant deficiency.”

Otherwise, the issues that were discovered during last week’s certificate of compliance inspection have been rectified. Clare said other initial concerns included crew unfamiliarity with lifeboat duties, some expired life jacket lights, some lifeboat provisions, and marking, all of which have since been corrected. All issues were resolved before the planned pre-inaugural April 10 sailing, save for the fire doors.

Adonia visited the U.S. in transit in the recent past but was not subject to such thorough inspection until embarking guests from its shores. The cruise line is now working to repair the remaining fire door problem, but Clare does not know when they will be ready. Fathom believes everything will be in working order in time for its April 17 departure for the Dominican Republic.

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