The Seychelles coast guard is presently mounting a support and rescue operation for Italian cruiseliner Costa Allegra, a ship from the same operators as the recently sunk Costa Concordia, which reportedly got disabled at sea after successfully fighting a fire in the engine room.
The incident happened near the Seychellois atoll of Alphonse Island, some 250 miles off the main island of Mahe. It is understood that ocean going tugs have been dispatched from Victoria harbour to assist the vessel and take her to the nearest port for repairs, and that the Seychelles armed forces air-wing is flying patrol over the area to assist the ships now racing towards the Costa Allegra to find the cruiseliner without delay.
Fears over a possible pirate attack on the disabled ship have been immediately dismissed by Seychelles authorities which have extensive monitoring and surveillance assets in place to prevent any such incidents and one source wishing not to be identified said late last evening:The Seychelles maritime authorities and our coast guard and air wing are on top of things. A full mission is underway to bring the cruiseliner to port for repairs. Port Victoria has the facilities to deal with such issues and the Seychelles will extend all assistance and support to bring this incident, which happened in our territorial waters, to a positive conclusion.
The Costa Allegra reportedly sailed late last week from Mauritius and was enroute to Egypt before returning to Italy, when the fire broke out in the engine room. The fire cut the engine power, causing the ship to float in the ocean current. According to reports from Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, there are more than 600 passengers aboard and a crew of over 400 and there are no reports of any injuries to passengers. As this report is going to press there is no clear indication when the Costa Allegra will be expected in Victoria port.