Costa Cruise Ship Remains Adrift After Fire Near Seychelles
A Carnival Corp. (CCL) cruise liner carrying more than 1,000 people remained adrift off the Seychelles after a fire shut down its engines, six weeks after at least 25 people died in an accident aboard a sister ship, the Costa Concordia.
No one was injured in the fire on the Costa Allegra, the Miami-based company’s Italian unit, Costa Crociere SpA said in an e-mailed statement today. A general emergency alarm was declared as a precautionary measure and passengers were asked to assemble in muster areas, the company said. The fire was extinguished and didn’t spread to other parts of the cruise liner.
The ship was without engine power about 200 miles (322 kilometers) from the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, said Captain Giorgio Moretti, Costa Crociere’s nautical operations director, on a conference call today. A cargo ship is expected to reach the liner by 12 a.m. local time in Rome, and two French fishing vessels are also on the way, Moretti said. A pair of tugboats are expected to reach the vessel tomorrow afternoon, Moretti said. There’s no risk the liner may hit rocks, he said.
“When the tug boats arrive, the captain will decide whether to tug the boat with passengers on, or to board them on another ship,” Moretti said, adding that weather conditions are fine.
The Costa Allegra, from the same fleet as the Costa Concordia that ran aground off the Tuscan coast on Jan. 13, is carrying 636 passengers and 413 crew, Genoa, Italy-based Costa Crociere said. Fourteen Costa Crociere managers and technical personnel are flying to the Seychelles to assist passengers, Moretti said.
The Concordia hit rocks near Giglio Island hours after leaving a port near Rome with 4,200 passengers and crew for a Mediterranean cruise. Seven people are still missing, according to Italy’s civil-protection agency. Francesco Schettino, the ship’s captain, was placed under house arrest on Jan. 17 for allegedly causing the shipwreck.
Carnival’s shares were little changed at $29.96 at the close in New York.
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