On Monday 27th February 2012, just six weeks after the grounding of the Costa Concordia the vessels sister ship Costa Allegra was cast adrift in the Indian Ocean and had to be towed to safety. The cruise liner experienced difficulties whilst on her voyage between Diego Suarez in Madagascar where she had departed from Saturday 25th February and Mahe, Seychelles where she was due to dock on Tuesday 28th February. The vessel was located approximately 200 miles off the southwest of Seychelles when the fire broke out.
The incident was caused by a fire in the engine room which knocked out the ships main power supply. The lights and air-conditioning were knocked out when the power went. An emergency generator was delivered to the ship to enable the command room to remain lit and also to power essential instruments such as the radio. The fire was extinguished without any injuries or casualties caused to any of the 636 passengers and 413 crew on board at the time.
Whilst waiting for a tow the vessel was battered by 5 foot waves but remained stable. A French deep sea tuna trawler mv Trevignon is currently towing the Allegra to the island of Desroches, Seychelles at a speed of six knots and is currently expected to arrive on Thursday 1st March. The Seychelles authorities are making arrangements for the evacuation of all on board and their transfer to Seychelles main island once the vessel has docked.
The passengers on board are from several different nationalities, mainly French and Italian however there are also German, Canadian, British and American passengers on board. The crew are making every attempt to ensure the passengers are as comfortable as possible despite the circumstances. Hundreds of flash lights have been dropped on to the ship by the owners and bread has been delivered by helicopter. Soft drinks, fruits, cheese and cold cuts are all being served as no hot meals can be prepared due to the lack of power. Mineral water has also been provided for personal hygiene needs. The passengers are currently sleeping in the large communal areas or on deck rather than individual cabins.
Costa have offered all passengers the option to continue holidaying in the Seychelles. 376 passengers have accepted this option and Costa is arranging flights for the remaining passengers for Thursday evening.
There is concern that the vessel may be targeted by Somali pirates as she is stranded in an area which they are known to operate in. There have not been any sightings of pirates in the area and there is an armed security on board the vessel so these fears are being played down by the vessel owners.