The Costa Allegra is drifting in pirate-infested waters off the coast of Africa after an onboard engine caught fire, knocking out power. The Allegra has 1,049 passengers and crew onboard. The ship was seven days into its month long cruise of the Indian Ocean when the flames erupted. The ship’s sprinkler system and firefighting team got the flames out and kept it from spreading, but the propellers are offline.
Costa either suspended data transmission from the ship, which has webcams on the stem and stern of the ship, or they were cut off by the fire. At last known, the ship was about 260 miles off the Seychelles, and a rescue operation was underway. A plane, two tugs and a third ship are on their way to the Allegra, but it is not know if they will be repairing the damage or evacuating people from the twenty-year-old ship.
The Costa Allegra is the sister ship of the Costa Concordia, which sank after her captain engaged in some illegal maneuvers. Thirty people lost their lives in that incident.
There are 636 passengers onboard the Allegra, of which 212 were said to be Italian, although other nationalities were also among the holidaymakers but it was not known if any were British, while the crew totalled 413.
Costa informed reporters that ‘Inspections on the state of the engine room are on-going, in order to restart the necessary equipment to reactivate the functionality of the ship. . .According to the procedures, the relevant authorities were alerted, including the Maritime Rescue Control Centre in Rome, which are following the situation ready to provide the necessary support. Costa Allegra sent out the ‘distress’ signal. . .Costa Cruises and the relevant authorities are active to provide the ship with the necessary support according to the development of the situation.’