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February 26th, 2010

Three Crew Killed as Cruise Ship Rams Egyptian Pier

A Costa Cruises ship crashed into a pier early today as it was docking at the Red Sea port of Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, killing three crew members, an Indian, a Honduran and a Brazilian, and injuring four, three British women and an Italian man.  The cruise ship had 1,437 passengers on board at the time of the accident.

Costa Cruises says in a statement that the 1,494-passenger Costa Europa was pulling into the Egyptian resort town, hit the pier, and reported damage on the right side.  The collision is said by some officials to have left a two meter (yard) hole in the body of the ship.

Area meteorologists were forecasting heavy rains and hail, flooding, dangerous naval navigation conditions, and warned road travelers to avoid highways.  Several ports were closed because of bad weather and dozens of road accidents have occurred.

Costa says the vessel now is safely docked. Photos of the ship show the vessel listing notably to port.

Costa canceled the current voyage of the vessel and plans to fly its passengers home.

The 55,000-ton vessel Costa Europa has been sailing for Costa since 2002.

The cause of the crash is being blamed on “exceptionally bad weather conditions” and “an unexpected wind blow.”

Sailing in dangerous weather conditions is always a bad idea.  Cruise companies in a rush to move to the next port and not lose time on their voyage may attempt to rush through rough seas, putting both the crew and the passengers lives in jeopardy.  Working as a seaman in dangerous weather conditions is perilous as the vessel can roll violently.  We have represented numerous injured seamen who were forced to work offshore during hurricanes.  In those extreme weather conditions, the ship can lose power, the structure of ship breaks, and doors and vessel equipment slam on people.

If you would like to discuss an injury that occured while working in a maritime environment, please contact us at info@smslegal.com.

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