The Costa Allegra left Northern Madagascar, on Saturday, February 25, 2012, carrying 413 crew members and 627 passengers for a 14-day cruise of which most of the passengers paid the Costa for £5,000.
Out of the 627 passengers, 212 are Italians, 31 are British, and 8 of them are Americans.
There are also Filipino crew aboard the Costa Allegra. One of them is Gino who is working at the Ship’s bar.
On Monday, February 27, 2012, Costa Allegra through its Captain declared General Emergency after a generator caught fire while they ship is floating on the Indian Ocean. Alarm was sounded and the lifeboats were lowered. The Ship Captain, Niccolo Alba, instructed his men, on what to do.
The Costa Allegra Fire Incident
There are 3 generators in the Costa Allegra ship. When the functioning generator caught fire, the crew tried to extinguish the fire which took them to control after an hour. However, the other 2 generator that supposedly will take over during emergency, failed too.
At 1PM, the alarm was sounded.
Passengers knew that it was not a drill and that they need to disembark. They knew that there was fire, although they did not see it, but they smell it and saw the smoke coming from the engine room.
The Fear of the Passengers
Last month, Costa Concordia, capsized in Italy leaving 32 dead. Costa Concordia and Costa Allegra are operated by the same operator, the Costa Crociere SpA, which is owned by Florida-based Carnival Corp. So, when they learned that the ship had problem, Passengers immediately thought of what happened to the Costa Concordia. Besides, the Indian Ocean is where the Somali Pirates are hijacking cargo ships.
Some of the passengers were thinking of jumping off the ship.
Problems Experienced by the Passengers
The ship is floating in the Indian Ocean with no power. Rooms’ temperature rose more than 40 degree centigrade. Toilet failed to flush, causing the rooms stinky. There were no hot meals served but only cold bread. Water used to extinguish fire flooded on the first and second decks.
Passengers were forced to stay outside their room and to eat just breads.
The Costa Allegra was drifting for hours. Helicopter came for the supply of food. And then later, a French fishing boat came and towed Costa Allegra into Seychelles. The stricken ship docked at the Victoria Port, Seychelles on Thursday, March 1, 2012.
So far, there are only 2 people reportedly being injured when they fell in the dark.