Investigation needed as second stricken Costa cruise ship seeks assistance

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Investigation needed as second stricken Costa cruise ship seeks assistance

28th February 2012

A travel claims expert has called for an investigation into why another Italian cruise liner, owned by the same firm as the Costa Concordia, has lost power mid-voyage.

Katherine Allen, head of the Travel and International Litigation department at Fentons Solicitors LLP, was speaking as the ‘Costa Allegra’ - which had been drifting without power in the Indian Ocean since yesterday - was being towed to a nearby island.

“According to media reports, it is understood that the 28,597 tonne luxury ship became stranded with over 1,000 people on board after a fire broke out in the engine room,” said Katherine. “This single incident effectively rendered what is supposed to be a state-of-the-art cruise liner into nothing more than a floating barge.

“Liners like this obviously require huge amounts of electricity to operate and as such, I am concerned that a fire, which was known to have been confined to just one area of the ship, was able to leave the ship completely without power,” added Katherine, a partner at the firm. “The waters the Costa Allegra was sailing in are known to be frequented by pirates and for a vessel of this stature to be left adrift and vulnerable to attack is disconcerting.”

The Italian coast guard have said a distress signal was sent out when power was lost and passengers and crew assembled at their muster stations. The fire has now been extinguished and all 636 passengers and 413 crew members are reported to be well. Tugboats are due to reach the stricken ship later today and the vessel is expected to arrive in the Seychelles some time on Wednesday.

“The Costa line must now ascertain how the fire started and whether on board fire-fighting systems worked effectively to ensure the fire was contained and extinguished in the quickest possible time,” said Katherine. “They must now examine how fires of this nature can so easily cripple the power systems on board their ships, how back up systems can be improved and whether emergency procedures are as efficient as they can be to prevent this kind of incident from occurring on other ships in their fleet.”

The company says it has been in touch with passengers' families via their emergency contact numbers and that contact has also been made with the relatives of crew members.

Families in the UK can call the company's emergency line on 020 7940 3300.

How can Fentons help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to holiday accidents and illness. If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.

Read more: Sky