Costa Allegra under tow, with armed security detail on board

The Costa Crociere cruise ship Costa Allegra is under tow for the main island of the Seychelles by the Trevignan, a 300-ft French tuna seiner owned by Compagnie Francaise du Thon Oceanique. The fishing vessel's role pulling large, full fishing nets gives it ample towing capacity to pull the cruise ship and, according to Costa, the tow is proceeding at about 6 knots.

The ship lost power following a generator fire on the morning of February 27. The 1,000 people on board have no air conditioning, there are no cooking facilities and the BBC quotes the Italian Coast Guard as saying that an emergency generator powering the ship's communications "could fail at any moment."

A statement from Costa Cruises said that an earlier plan to disembark passenger on the nearer, but smaller, Desroches Island could not go ahead as facilities on the island were inadequate to cope with the arrival of so many people.

The cruise ship is now being towed to the island of Mahe, which is home to the capital and largest city of the Seychelles,Victoria, but will not arrive there until March 1

The ship is being monitored by helicopters which are also providing it with supplies. There are armed Italian Marine security guards on both the cruise ship and the fishing vessel as a safeguard against any attack by Somali pirates.


February 28, 20