Royal Caribbean Opens Cruise Ship to First Responders at Surfside Condo Collapse


Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley confirmed the cruise line will offer one of its ships as a temporary home for first responders working at the scene of the Surfside condo collapse in South Florida.

Explorer of the Seas arrived at PortMiami on Thursday to host up to 600 first responders for at least a couple of weeks. The ship, which welcomed at least 80 rescue workers on Thursday, is even opening up to first responder K-9s.

The 12-story Champlain Towers South experienced a sudden partial collapse in the early morning hours on June 24. At least 18 people are dead, and 145 people are still unaccounted for as of Friday, according to CNN. Rescue efforts were put on hold Thursday as engineers assessed the structure that’s still standing. However, no one has been found alive at the site since the initial hours after the collapse late last week.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has deployed 60 staff members and an additional 400 personnel across five search and rescue teams.

Completed in 2000 as Royal Caribbean’s second Voyager-class ship, Explorer of the Seas can accommodate more than 3,000 guests.

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