Cruise Ship Rescues Fishermen Thanks to Observant Passengers

The deck of a cruise ship at dusk
Updated Published

Costa Cruises’ 114,500 gross ton Costa Serena was leisurely cruising the Arabian Sea on Christmas Day, when the vessel added another distinction to its record by rescuing a group of stranded fishermen lost far out to sea. 

The cruise ship, which is operating the first program of international cruises from India in years, was sailing between Mumbai and Cochin at the time of the rescue. 

The cruise ship bridge received an urgent call from passengers who claimed they had seen several people in life jackets in the distance from their balcony, according to the report.  Under the guidance of Captain Andrea Bardi, the Costa Serena immediately took action, slowing down and deviating route to begin a search and rescue operation.

The massive 951-foot long cruise ship maneuvered into position and located the group of fisherman approximately 1 mile from their original route. After placing the ship into its position they were able to confirm the 5 fishermen were stranded. 

The cruise ship bridge notified the Indian Coast Guard regarding the rescue operation. The Coast Guard met up with the cruise ship after a few hours and took over the operation. The 5 fishermen were transferred to the Indian Coast Guard and taken to Mumbai Hospital to receive medical treatment. 

After arriving in Cochin the following day (December 26th), the Costa Serena was met by Indian Coast Guard representatives.  They presented the captain and crew of the cruise ship with a plaque of appreciation, thanking them for their rescue efforts that were made under unusual circumstances and that saved the stranded fishermen, all of which are reported to be in good health.

The Costa Serena was the last of the Costa Cruises to return to service, after she resumed sailing last year for a series of cruises around Asia. This was her first since the 2020 pandemic pause. 

As part of a pioneering program of short cruises dedicated to the Indian market, the ship arrived in India in November. Up to 450,000 people were expected to cruise on the ship between November and January 2024, as part of the program which the Indian government hopes will expand domestic tourism.