Costa’s reputation is not getting any cleaner after another mishap following the recent Concordia tragedy. Once again, Costa finds herself in treacherous waters and this time, far from land. The Costa Allegra floats adrift in the Indian Ocean due to a power failure caused by a fire in the engine room (Guardian.co.uk).
While all 1,000 passengers, guests and crew included, are reported safe, they wait in darkness in potentially dangerous waters. Pirate activity has been recorded in the area, but as of yet no large cruise ships have been attacked. Since they wait in darkness and will not receive supplies until 3 a.m., the unfortunate reality is that it will be difficult to protect the ship with the only illumination coming from emergency lighting. Since they are a mere 20 miles from Alphonose Island, an area popular with pirates, a Costa representative stated that nine Italian marines are on board as a safety precaution. Coast guard and air support also remain at the ready (Guardian.co.uk).
After supplies arrive, the guests on board will have to wait it out 16 more hours to be attached to tugboats which will haul the vessel 200 miles to Seychelles. That means even more waiting after tugboats arrive for passengers on board. And this means no comfort as passengers are currently huddled in tight quarters at their designated muster stations. When in a muster station, one is in a line surrounded by other people in lines all around them, usually touching shoulders, so this is a situation that could really be uncomfortable for passengers.
When the fire occurred, the emergency signal was activated as was safety protocol to control the fire. As of right now, the ships functionality has not been restored. The fire is believed to have been caused by faulty electrical wiring.
Costa released the following statement on their website:
Monday, February 27th 2012
“Time 6.30 pm (CET)
The number 954-266-5693 is active.
Time 4.00 pm (CET)
Costa Cruises confirms that today at 10:39 CET a fire broke out on board Costa Allegra in the electric generator room. The shipboard fire-extinguishing system and emergency procedures were activated promptly and special fire-fighting squads extinguished the fire.
The fire did not spread to any other area of the ship. There were no injuries or casualties. Inspections of the engine room are ongoing to determine if the equipment can be restarted.
As a precaution, the general emergency alarm was sounded and all passengers and crewmembers not engaged in the management of the emergency reported to their muster stations.
Currently the ship is more than 200 miles southwest of the Seychelles and approximately 20 miles from Alphonse Island. Tugboats and other naval and aerial units have been dispatched to Costa Allegra.
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 the situation.
On board Costa Allegra are 636 passengers of various nationalities and 413 crewmembers.
The ship departed Saturday, Feb. 25, from Diego Suarez, Madagascar, and was cruising toward the port of Victoria (Mahè, Seychelles) where it was scheduled to arrive tomorrow Feb. 28.”
Below is a chart of guests on board the Allegra:
NUMBER OF GUESTS
The Allegra was on course for arrival in Seychelles on Tuesday and left Madagascar on Saturday. It weighs 28,596 tons and holds a maximum of 1,400 people, so it is a very small ship in comparison with the tragic Concordia.
The Costa Concordia incident claimed lives and ended tragically as the captain, Francesco Schettino, steered too close to the coast of Giglio, running the ship aground. The captain still remains under house arrest and his fate is yet to be determined.
Costa faces a cascade of lawsuits and perhaps has lost their chance for “saving face.” After two mishaps so close to one another, one the second largest in cruising history, it may be difficult for future cruisers to put Costa on their list.
To read about the Costa Concordia tragedy, click here.
Click here to read about my experience on the Costa Concordia before the tragedy and learn of warning signs that were ignored.
Click here to read about another Costa experience.
Click here to read about the email sent out by Costa’s CEO.
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