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Costa Classica

I imagine this is a week that can’t end soon enough for the captain and crew of the Costa Classica.  On Sunday, 44 Chinese passengers essentally jumped ship while docked at Korea’s Jeju Island.  Actually, they simply disembarked with everyone else, seemingly intent on enjoying a day on the resort island.  Unlike the other passengers, however, they never returned to the ship.  It was subsequently discovered that they left with their luggage, but without their passports, apparently aiming to make their way to the South Korean mainland.

Eleven of the passengers were found in local hotels and remain in police custody, awaiting deportation.  The hunt is still on for the remaining 33, who will face a similar fate when found.

Meanwhile, Costa Classica, lighter by 44 passengers, departed Jeju Island at 3PM on Sunday, bound for Shanghai.  At around 445AM on Monday, at the mouth of the Yangtze River, Costa Classica collided with 173,000 dwt bulker* Lowlands Longevity.  The Shanghai Maritime Safety Bureau has concluded, at least initially, that a power glitch caused the Classica to lose control.  The result is a 60 foot gash or crease in Classica’s hull above the water line.

Costa Classica’s next cruise has been cancelled while repairs are made.

*A bulker is a cargo vessel that carries unpackaged bulk cargo,  such as grains and coal.   The Lowland Longevity has a capacity of 173,000 metric tons of deadweight (dwt).

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