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Review of Cruise Ship Incidents

Review of Cruise Ship Incidents

The Costa Concordia grounding is not an isolated event for the cruise ship industry.   Here are just small list of major accidents reported in the news since 2007:

  • September 15, 2011 – The MS Nordlys had an explosion in the engine room the caused a large fire killing two crew and evacuation of the vessel at Hurtigruten, Norway.
  • April 15, 2011 – The MV Ocean Star Pacific had an engine room fire forcing  748 passengers and crew to be evacuated off the ship to Huatulco, Mexico.
  • January 31, 2011 – The Polar Star ran aground off Antarctica damaging the vessel’s outer hull with passengers evacuated to another vessel.
  • December 7, 2010 – The Clelia II was struck by a large wave off  the remote South Shetland Islands suffering engine damage.
  • December 3, 2010 – The RMS Queen Mary 2 suffered an explosion causing a short term power outage.
  • November 8, 2010 – The MV Carnival Splendor had an engine room fire resulting in a complete power loss.  The vessel towed back to San Diego with the US Navy providing food for passengers.
  • October 18, 2010 – The Costa Classica collided with a cargo vessel in the Yangtze River inflicting a 20 meter long gash between passenger decks.
  • Feb 26, 2010 – The Costa Europa allided into a quay at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt tearing a two meter hole drowning three crew and injuring four passengers.
  • June 18, 2009 – The MV Royal Princess had a fire in the engine room off Port Said, Egypt causing extensive damage.
  • February 26, 2009 – The Costa Romantica had a fire in the generator room causing a power outage.   Passengers were evacuated after crew was unable to repair the generators.
  • June 21, 2008 – The MV Princess of the Stars capsized and sank off San Fernando, Philippines when struck by a typhoon.  The vessel with 860 passengers and crew on board had only 32 survivors.
  • November 23, 2007 – The cruise ship Explorer struck a submerged object off Antarctica and sank.  No lives were lost, but over 150 individuals were forced into open lifeboats.
  • April 5, 2007 –  The MV Sea Diamond struck a reef of the Greek island of Santorini with 1195 passengers on board.  Vessel filled with water and later sank.  Two passengers lost.


For more reading on the cruise ship incidents, we recommend visiting


Clelia II

Costa Classica

Costa Europa

MS Nordlys

Princess of the Stars

Sea Diamond

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Nordlys Update

Nordlys Update

The heel LESS: A huge crane adds to the coastal steamer Northern Light at the quay in Ålesund on Friday to assist in salvage work. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen, Scanpix

Reports state the Nordlys has gotten several pumps on board and are making progress in de-watering the vessel.   The passenger ship list had steadily increased to 22 degrees and is at risk of capsizing.  Salvage crews hope that  pumps and the use of magnetic mats will halt any further water ingress.

Pollution is a concern as oil in the bunker tanks could be released into the water.

Passengers are being aided by authorities to help them return home.   Nearly all passengers and crew were forced to leave their possessions on the ship.

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MS Nordlys Fire

MS Nordlys Fire





The 123 meter long, 860 dwt MS Nordlys caught fire just prior to arriving at Alesund, Norway.   The cruise ship was traveling north with 262 people on board from Bergen on the route that takes the vessel up to Kirkenes, located above the Arctic Circle.   Reports state that two people perished and nine others were taken to hospital with some suffering from serious burns and smoke inhalation.  At least four people are reported missing and may still be on board the vessel.   The crew sealed off parts of the vessel due to the heavy smoke.   The fire started in the engine room and spread to other sections of the Nordlys.   Firefighters from Alesund called out all personnel to help bring the fire under control.


Update 1

All on board the MS Nordlys have been accounted for.  Reports now state that two died, 16 were injured of which two had severe burns (one report states these were two crewmen who were mechanics).   Pumps were brought on board the passenger ship as had developed a list.   One report stated this was due to the efforts of the fire fighters, but another states the water was caused by water ingress in the engine room via the cooling system.   One theory to the cause of the blaze, was that there was an explosion in the engine room.

Passengers reported that no alarm was sounded before the smoke appeared.   However, they did state there was no panic on board as everyone was calm when they evacuated to the lifeboats.


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