Vessel catches fire around 300 km south of Seychelles coast
Fishing trawlers have gone to the rescue of a Costa cruise vessel that caught fire around 300 kilometres off the coast of the Seychelles. As soon as the fire broke out in the electric generators room aboard the Costa Allegra, the emergency alarm sounded and the 636 passengers were directed to their muster stations (there are also 413 crew members). A distress signal was sent out and the coastal authorities were quickly alerted. The fire was extinguished without spreading and there were no injuries.
However, the ship began drifting and tugs and other naval and aerial units were scrambled to go to its rescue. It is now being towed to the Seychelles island of Descroches, from which passengers will be transferred to the main island. The Seychelles insists that the slow process of offloading more than a thousand people, just a few at a time due to the small size of boats able to sail to land in Descroches, presents no logistical headache. However, there is a more immediate problem – Costa Allegra is being towed in seas where piracy attacks have been common in recent years. The crippled cruise ship has a team of armed guards onboard to repel pirates.
BBC / TTG Digital
[photo courtesy Costa]