After the cruise ship Costa Allegra lost power two days ago when a fire broke out in its generator room, passengers are now facing an extra day and a half on board, with very limited lighting and no air conditioning. Marine experts decided yesterday that the nearest place to dock (the island of Desroches in the Indian Ocean) was too small and the island’s one hotel isn’t large enough to take in the 1,000 people on board.
Instead, Allegra has had to switch course and is being towed to the main island in the Seychelles (Mahe) where it is expected to arrive at 6am on Thursday local time.
Costa Allegra belongs to the same fleet as the ill-fated Costa Concordia which remains partially submerged off the coast of Italy. 31 Britons are among those on board the Allegra and helicopters are delivering regular food, torches and emergency supplies until Allegra arrives in Mahe on Thursday morning. Two tugs were sent out to help tow Costa Allegra to the main Seychelles island to speed up the ship’s arrival.
A statement on the company’s website said: "Costa Cruises is working with all the Authorities responsible for the coordination of the emergency, to ensure the best possible assistance to all our guests and make their discomfort as short as possible and to reach their next destination. The Company is sincerely sorry for the inconvenience: the absolute priority is to make it as short as possible."
The Daily Telegraph reports that the Allegra has been drifting without power and light off the Seychelles in waters “known for piracy” although luckily the sea has been calm and the ship was only 20 miles from land so it is not in any immediate danger.
A similar incident happened in 2012 when a fire on Carnival Splendor was left drifting without power off the coast of Mexico.