Passengers Leaving Disabled Italian Cruise Ship in Seychelles

Posted March 1st, 2012 at 3:45 am (UTC-5)
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Passengers from a disabled Italian cruise ship are finally on dry land after it docked at a port in the Seychelles Thursday.

One passenger said their meals consisted of water, bread and salami while stranded on the Costa Allegra.

The ship had been drifting for three days in the Indian Ocean without power.

The Red Cross set up to greet the more than 1,000 people on board the Costa Allegra who endured sweltering heat without air conditioning, lights or communication.

The ship lost power and became stranded after a fire broke out in its engine room on Monday. The Costa Allegra was towed slowly by a French fishing boat to Seychelles.

Members of the Italian navy were on board the ship to protect it from pirate attacks. Somali pirates have carried out a series of attacks in the region where the vessel became stranded.

Officials in Seychelles said planes were prepared to fly the passengers and crew back to Rome. However, many are opting to accept the Costa Cruises' proposal to continue their vacation in the islands at “high quality hotels.”

No one was injured in the ship's engine room fire and the cause has yet to be determined.

The vessel is operated by the same company that operated the Costa Concordia, which capsized last month after hitting rocks off the coast of Italy. More than 4,200 passengers were on board, and at least 25 people died in that accident.