Reported incidents on passenger ships 2012

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2012 Passenger Ship Incidents


Cruise ship safety information for passengers. Know before you go!


Maritime incidents/accidents involving passenger injuries and/or fatalities are not a common occurrence considering the number of passenger ships sailing worldwide; It's unlikely you will experience any problems during your cruise.  Still, only a fool for a passenger would disregard the possible risks associated with a cruise vacation.

A comprehensive list of reported passenger ship incidents and accidents in 2012


Ship Prefix Index

MV = motor-driven vessel SS = steam ship RV = research vessel
MS = motor ship FV = fishing vessel SV = sailing vessel



MSC Poesia - Jan 7
Costa Concordia - Jan 13


MV Rabaul Queen - Feb 2
MV Sharden - Feb 3
Costa Allegra - Feb 27


Azamara Quest - Mar 30
Star Princess - Mar and Apr


Allure of the Seas - Apr 20


May - Dec

All quiet thankfully.. nothing to report


2013 Incidents


Allure of the Seas

Small Engine Room Fire

Posted April 21, 2012

Nervous passengers aboard the Allure of the Seas reported seeing black smoke from the stacks as the ship sailed yesterday to Port Everglades from St. Maarten. The incident was reported today on the Allure of the Seas Blog:

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, reported a “fire of short duration in the engine room,” a spokeswoman said the ship was sailing from St. Maarten to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale when an engine fire broke out at 7:45 pm on Friday, said spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez. “The ship’s high fog system was immediately activated, which contained and extinguished the fire.” No passengers or crew members were injured and the ship sailed to Port Everglades without any assistance. The cruise scheduled to return on Sunday.

Star Princess

Update: Posted April 19, 2012


Princess Cruises deeply regrets that two Panamanian men perished at sea after their boat became disabled in early March. Since we became aware of this incident, we have been investigating circumstances surrounding the claim that Star Princess failed to come to the aid of the disabled boat, after a crew member was alerted by passengers.

The preliminary results of our investigation have shown that there appeared to be a breakdown in communication in relaying the passenger’s concern. Neither Captain Edward Perrin nor the officer of the watch were notified. Understandably, Captain Perrin is devastated that he is being accused of knowingly turning his back on people in distress. Had the Captain received this information, he would have had the opportunity to respond.

We all understand that it is our responsibility and also the law of the sea to provide assistance to any vessel in distress, and it is not an uncommon occurrence for our ships to be involved in a rescue at sea. In fact, we have done so more than 30 times in the last ten years.

We deeply regret this incident and are continuing our investigation to fully understand the circumstances.

Princess Cruises Got Some Explaining to Do

Posted April 19, 2012

If this story is true, we eagerly await statements from Princess Cruises, and Captain Edward Perrin, about what exactly happened and why two young men had to die.

Alleged Incident at Sea:

Last month, a group of avid birdwatchers aboard the Star Princess stood on the outer deck with high-powered camera lenses and took photos; the ship was enroute to Costa Rica from Ecuador. One of them saw a small boat in the water through their lens and noticed people motioning for help using orange and red shirts above their heads. The passengers informed a crew member who allegedly informed the bridge. According to the passengers, they insisted they saw what they saw and asked the Captain to turn the ship back to rescue the stranded fisherman. They say their pleas were ignored and later learned that three young men were aboard the stranded fishing boat and two of them died before being rescued.

The passengers went public with their story and accused the Captain of ignoring the passengers cries for help and the distress signals sent from the fisherman. ABC NEWS Good Morning America ran the report yesterday. Click on the link to read the full story.–abc-news-topstories.html

Maritime Law – Regulation 33 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Chapter V states:

“The master of a ship at sea which is in a position to be able to provide assistance on receiving a signal from any source that persons are in distress at sea, is bound to proceed with all speed to their assistance, if possible informing them or the search and rescue service that the ship is doing so.”

Click on the link above to read the entire regulation at

We would be SHOCKED AND HORRIFIED if this incident took place. We’re not quick to judge at Shipdetective and we will wait on further comment until the investigation is complete. Princess Cruises stated in the report they are conducting their own investigation. And we can bet the Coast Guard, CLIA, and U.S. Congress will want at chance to discuss the issue with top-level leaders at Princess and Carnival Corp. (even though the U.S. Government has no power to investigate this incident.)

Azamara Quest

Small Engine Room Fire

Posted March 30, 2012

According to a statement by Azamara Club Cruises, on Friday, March 30, at approximately 8:19 p.m. ship time, Azamara Quest experienced a fire in the engine room. The fire was contained to the engine room and was quickly extinguished. There were no injuries of guests reported and the atmosphere aboard is calm. However, in an abundance of caution, the Captain initially mustered all guests at their assembly stations. The ship is currently running on generator power until full power can be restored to the engine room.

Azamara Quest is currently on a 17-night sailing that departed Hong Kong, China, on Monday, March 26, and includes port calls to Manila, Philippines; Sandakan (Sabah), Malaysia; Palapo (Sulawesi), Benoa (Bali), Semarang and Komodo, Indonesia and concludes in Singapore on Thursday, April 12.

Costa Allegra

Costa Allegra Engine Room Fire

Posted February 27, 2012

Costa Allegra in Shanghai - Photo Source

  A fire broke out in the generator room of the Costa Allegra as the vessel sailed more than 200 miles southwest of the Seychelles, and about 20 miles from Alphonse Island in the Southern Indian Ocean.

The crew was able to extinguish the fire, and no injuries were reported. The fire damaged the generators and the ship is adrift. About 600 passengers and 400 crew are onboard the ship.  A distress call was sent out and the Italian Coast Guard is helping to coordinate the effort. Tug boats and commercial vessels in the area have been summoned to help. 

Get Costa Allegra updates here

MV Sharden

Collision with Pier

Posted February 5, 2012

Date: February 4, 2012 
Ship: MV Sharden, 39,000 GT  Photo
Where: Civitavecchia, Italy bound for Sardinia
Incident: The 40,000 GRT, Sharden, an Italian passenger ferry owned by Tirrenia di Navigazione shipping company was damaged after hitting the pier; a 30 ft. gash in the hull above the waterline was reported. There were no injuries to any of the 262 passengers, or 53 crew members.
Disposition: The ferry was towed back to the pier and all passengers and cargo were unloaded safely without incident. Accident attributed to high winds.

 MV Rabaul Queen

Date: February 2, 2012 
Ship: MV Rabaul Queen, 259 GT Photo
Where: 9 nautical miles off Finschhafen, on her way from Kimbe to Lae, off Papua New Guinea's east coast.
Incident: The 22 year-old Japanese-built ferry sank off the coast of New Guinea with approximately 350 passengers and 12 crew aboard. Survivors told rescuers that large waves had hit the vessel just before it sank. Many survivors were rescued by six merchant vessels alerted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which had been alerted by Rabaul Shipping that the ferry had disappeared from a satellite tracking system.
Disposition:  238 rescued, 120 know missing

Costa Concordia

Date: January 13, 2012
Ship: Costa Concordia
Where: Isola del Giglio, Italy
Incident: Hit a reef and grounded very close to shore. This ship is laying on its side, resting partially on some rocks.  Approximate 150 ft. gash in the port-side hull.
Summary: Just days after making an emergency stop in the port of Marseille for minor repairs as reported in Direct marseille Plus, the Costa Concordia ran aground on a reef at around 9 pm local time (UTC+1) off , having left Civitavecchia earlier that evening at the start of a seven-day cruise to Savona, Marseilles, Barcelona, Palma, Tunis, and Palermo.

Location of Costa Concordia cruise-ship disaster
42°21′53″N 10°55′16″E / 42.36486°N 10.92124°E / 42.36486; 10.92124

At about 8 pm, passengers were in the dining hall when there was a sudden, loud bang, which a crew member (speaking over the intercom) ascribed to an "electrical failure". Passengers were later advised to put on their life-jackets. The ship tilted some 20 degrees. Amid panic, many passengers took to lifeboats, while some jumped into the water to swim to shore. Three passengers reportedly drowned after jumping overboard, and another seven were critically injured. According to the local coastguard, 3,206 passengers and 1,023 crew members were on board at the time.

The crew remained aboard and the shipping line initially insisted there was no danger of sinking. The first daylight pictures showed the ship lying on its right side and half submerged, not far outside Giglio Harbour. Other reports indicated the ship had developed a major electrical fault. According to the local coast guard, the ship has a 30-metre (100 ft) gash on its port side. The Daily Mail showed images of a large gash.


Update: Posted May 18, 2012

The plan to refloat the hull in one piece gives top priority to minimizing environmental
impact, protecting Giglio’s economy and tourism industry, and maximizing safety according to a statement released today by Costa Cruises.

Once removal is complete, the sea bottom will be cleaned and marine flora replanted.
The plan also includes measures to safeguard Isola del Giglio’s tourism industry and
wider economy. Salvage workers’ presence will not have a significant impact on the
availability of hotel accommodations for the island’s summer season. The operating
base will be located on the mainland near Piombino, where equipment and materials
will be stored, avoiding impact on the island’s port activities.

Operations will be divided into four basic stages:
● After stabilizing the ship, a subsea platform will be built and caissons that can be
filled with water will be fixed to the side of the ship that is out of the water
● Two cranes fixed to the platform will pull the ship upright, helped by the caissons,
which will be filled with water
● When the ship is upright, caissons will also be fixed to the other side of the hull
● The caissons on both sides will then be emptied, after treating and purifying the
water to protect the marine environment, and filled with air.

Once floated, the wreck will be towed to an Italian port and dealt with in accordance with
the requirements of Italian authorities.

The plan was selected by an evaluation team with specialist representatives from Costa
Crociere, Carnival Corporation & plc, London Offshore Consultants and Standard P&I
Club, with the collaboration of RINA and Fincantieri, because it best fulfills the main
objectives of the operation — removal of the wreck in one piece, minimal risk, minimal
environmental impact, protection of Giglio’s economy and tourism industry, and
maximum safety.

Update: Posted April 22, 2012

Costa Crociere and the Costa Concordia Emergency Commissioner's Office announced on Friday that the contract for the removal of the ship from Giglio Island has been awarded to Titan Salvage (American company) in partnership with the Italian firm Micoperi. According to the proposal, the wreck will be moved in one piece. The work is scheduled to begin in early May subject to final approval from the Italian authorities and is expected to take about 12 months.

The proposal specifies the wreck will be removed with minimal risk to the environment, the community of Giglio and the salvage workers. “As was the case with the removal of the fuel, we have sought to identify the best solution to safeguard the island and its marine environment and to protect its tourism said Costa Crociere S.p.A. Chairman & CEO Pier Luigi Foschi.”

The plan also includes measures to safeguard the island of Giglio's tourism and wider economy.  The main operating base will be located on the mainland at nearby Civitavecchia, where equipment and materials will be stored, thereby avoiding any impact on Giglio's port activities.

Once floated, the wreck will be towed to an Italian port and dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Italian authorities. See below for updates


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Update: Posted Feb 7, 2012

The Giglio, Italy Webcam is back up and running. Allow time for page to load.

Update: Posted January 31, 2012

Italian authorities officially ended the underwater search for bodies today due to safety concerns.  Technical experts recommended the search end due to weather conditions and instability of the ship. No bodies have been recovered since the last update - 17 confirmed dead and 16 know missing. Salvage efforts are estimated to take up to a year to complete.

Note: At last check, the Giglio Yacht Club Webcam is still unavailable.

Update: Posted January 28, 2012 Read Initial Report

Two weeks after the tragedy, the ship remains on its side and rescue crews continue the search for bodies. As of today, 17 is the number of confirmed dead with 16 known missing.

On January 23, port officials gave the go-ahead to begin the process of pumping fuel from the stricken ship despite the on-going recovery effort. According to reports, the ship has rested firmly on the reef and is not in danger of sinking any further.  Giglio,Italy Yacht Club Webcam

costa concordia 

Working crane barge "Meloria" alongside while SMIT divers inspect the ship; date 25/01/2012. Source: SMIT

In the days following the accident, a contract was awarded by the Owners to SMIT and local partners Tito Neri for the removal of the bunker oil and pollution control. The estimated amount of bunkers in the vessel is 2200 MT of IFO (intermediate fuel oil), 185 MT of MGO (marine gas oil/diesel) and lubricants, distributed over 17 tanks.

Costa Cruise Line yesterday reportedly offered every Costa Concordia passenger sailing at the time of the tragedy about $14,500 to cover expenses and emotional distress. Some experts suggest the passengers can receive as much as 150,000 and many passengers say they will refuse Costa's offer according to reports.

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Update: Posted January 22, 2012

Recovery Effort Continues   Read Initial Report

Nine days after the accident, the recovery effort continues.

• In the past two days, two bodies have been recovered bringing the confirmed death toll to 13, with a reported 20 more missing. There is some speculation that unregistered passengers were onboard the Concordia at the time of the accident making the number missing unclear.

• Recent video has emerged showing a member of the Costa Concordia crew telling frightened passengers in life jackets that "the situation is under control", even as the liner was taking on water.

• Italian officials are scrambling to get on with the recovery in spite of the weather. Complicating matters is the fact the ship is slowly inching its way down the rocks. Salvage efforts will not begin until the rescue effort is complete or abandoned.

• The investigation continues into allegations of criminal behavior by the Concordia Captain who insists he informed the Costa Command Center of the situation immediately after the accident, and the actions he took were at the advisement of the Costa Cruises Command Center Captain. He also stated he did not abandon ship but rather tripped and fell into the lifeboat - even though on the evening of the accident, the Captain was heard on audio tape telling the Port Authority Captain he was "catapulted into the water" when the ship turned on its side. The Captain has made contradictory statements and now seems to be calling out Costa Cruise Line officials to share the blame. Costa Cruise Line responded to the allegation by saying the Captain was not truthful during the initial call to the Command Center, and reported an electrical failure rather than a disastrous breach to the hull.

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Update: Posted January 18, 2012

Carnival Corporation Issues Press Release:

Costa Cruise Lines and its parent company, Carnival Corporation & plc, today confirmed their commitment to provide full support to those passengers, crew and families of the victims of the Costa Concordia grounding.

“I give my personal assurance that we will take care of each and every one of our guests, crew and their families affected by this tragic event. Our company was founded on this principle and it will remain our focus,” said Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc.

In this spirit, Costa has been arranging lodging and transportation for affected passengers and crew members to return home. Every passenger and crew member or their family is being contacted and the company has offered its assistance and counseling as needed, and will be addressing personal possessions lost on board. Costa has also begun the process of refunding all voyage costs including both passenger cruise fares and all costs incurred while on board. Our senior management teams are working together to determine additional support.

“During this time of tragedy, we are doing our very best to provide the needed support to the Costa Concordia passengers, crew and their families,” said Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Costa Cruises.

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Update: Posted January, 15, 2012

A day after the incident, January 14, 2012, the Captain of the Costa Concordia was arrested by Italian Police and is being interrogated about the accident. Passengers reported that the Captain left the ship without all passengers safely on land. 3 people, 2 passengers and 1 crew member confirmed dead. More passengers are still missing. Three people were rescued off the ship yesterday, 2 identified as a honeymooning couple from South Korea, and a crew member.

Costa releases statement about the accident:

"While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary indications are that there may have been significant human error on the part of the ship's master, Captain Francesco Schettino, which resulted in these grave consequences," Costa Cruises, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Carnival Corp., stated. "The route of the vessel appears to have been too close to the shore, and in handling the emergency the captain appears not to have followed standard Costa procedures."

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Costa Halts Plan to Float Concordia

posted May 1, 2014

After the supervisory body overseeing the Costa Concordia salvage raised concerns about the environmental impact and the need to select a scraping port, the Italian media reported that Costa halted plans to float the partially submerged vessel on Wednesday. Read more...

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MSC Poesia

Date: January 7, 2012 
Ship: MSC Poesia
Where: Port Lucaya, Freeport Grand Bahama
Incident: Ran aground on a sanbar
Disposition: The ship floated free at high tide with the help of 4 tug boats and continued sailing to her next port call.

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Related Links:

Weather Updates
Travel Warnings
Safety Overview
Cruise Ship Fires
Sunken Passenger Ships
Sudden Lists/Rogue Waves
Unclassified Incidents
Incidents 2012
Incidents 2013
Incidents 2014
Incidents 2015

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