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Stricken Liner nears island haven

01 March 2012 09:33

The Costa Allegra cruise ship has been disabled by an engine fire since Monday (AP)

The Costa Allegra cruise ship has been disabled by an engine fire since Monday (AP)

A cruise firm has claimed that more than 1,000 passengers and crew on board a ship disabled by a fire face "no lack of food and other comfort items" as they are towed to the Seychelle Islands through waters prowled by pirates.

The Costa Allegra was hit by a blaze in the generator room on Monday, which has left its air conditioning, engines and lights with no power. The ship is being taken to the island of Mahe and is expected to arrive on Thursday, when passengers will be able to disembark for home and start making claims on their cruise travel insurance.

Fresh food, phones and flashlights have been delivered to the ship by helicopter. Ship owner Costa Crociere said in a statement: "The speed of the ship, despite the hot and humid climate, creates a slight breeze that helps make the situation more comfortable."

Officials for the firm, which is owned by Florida-based Carnival Corporation, had originally announced that the stricken vessel would be taken to Descroches, a smaller island in the Seychelles, but later changed it to Mahe for logistical and safety reasons.

The Costa Allegra is the sister ship of the Costa Concordia, which sank off the coast of Italy after capsizing, resulting in the death of 32 people.