Cruise Ship Reported Adrift
Costa’s ”Allegra” was adrift in the Indian Ocean near the Seychelles Isles (one place where convicted Somalia maritime pirates are housed) today, (Monday), Feb. 27 after a fire in the generator room. The fire was promptly extinguished, and no injuries were reported, the company said in a statement. Costa said the fire did not spread to any other area of the ship. Crews were inspecting the engine room to determine when the equipment can be restarted.
The Italian line said the general emergency alarm was sounded as a precaution. All passengers and crew members not engaged in the management of the emergency reported to their muster stations. The ship is more than 200 miles southwest off the coast of the Seychelles Islands, and approximately 20 miles from Alphonse Island. Tugboats and other naval and aerial units have been dispatched to Costa Allegra, but the tugs which are crucial in helping to manuever the stricken vessel are not expected to arrive until Tuesday afternoon local time. Monday night passengers remained in either the outdoor decks areas or within the larger common area spaces and venues on board the ship, but not in their staterooms. Helicopters have reached the Allegra and dropped Food, Supplies, and Flashlights to the stranded on-board.
According to standard procedures, Costa Allegra transmitted a distress signal and the relevant authorities were alerted, including the Maritime Rescue Control Center in Rome, Italy. Costa Crociere and the relevant authorities are actively monitoring the situation. Costa Cruise Line (which is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines), which had a similar incident in November of 2010, when it’s ship the Carnival “Splendor” lost power in the waters off the coast of Mexico and had to be towed back to a California Port. While yet another horrid incident took place just this past week on that very same ship when about a dozen Cruise Passengers (in a motor coach) on a shore excursion from the Carnival “Splendor” where held up at gun point, by armed gang members in a jungle area near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, which makes for yet more woes for the recently stricken cruise line and the Mexico Tourist business. In response to the incidient Carnival has suspended it’s Puerto Vallarta Nature Tours until further notice. In yet another bizzare twist of fate, one of the Allegra’s crew, Rebecca Thomas (23) from Britian is aboard the adrift vessel, and her Brother 19 year old James was a survivor from the ill fated Concordia capsizing. Their Mother, Jayne Thomas told BBC news that she couldn’t believe that out of all the ships sailing the ocean, the two that met with disaster were the very two her children were aboard!
On board the Costa Allegra are passengers of various nationalities, including eight Americans, 23 Britians, 13 Canadians, and more than 230 Italians and crew members. Costa Allegra was built at T. Mariotti shipyards in Genoa in The 28,ton vessel is feet long with eight passenger decks and cabins. The vessel can carry a maximum of about 1000, including passengers and crew. Nearby Seychelles authorities are planning to evacuate people from the stricken vessel, and tugs will then tow it on to the nearby port in Victoria, which is located on the main island of Mahe. The ship departed Feb. 25, from Diego Suarez, Madagascar, and was cruising toward the port of Victoria (Mahè, Seychelles) where it was scheduled to arrive Feb. 28.
This latest incident and fire comes just six weeks after the tragic loss of the Costa “Concordia” capsized near the Italian island of Giglio. The death toll from that disaster currently stands at 25, with seven still missing and presumed dead. There are about 1000 people aboard the 28,ton, passenger Costa Allegra. Authorities in the Seychelles area, have dispatched tug boats, planes, and cargo boats to the vessel’s vicinity which are standing by in case help is needed. Presently a french fishing vessel is on the scene with the stricken vessel, and attempting to manuver it to a nearby island (see photo above left).
Please be sure to check back for updates as this story continues to develop.