Chief Prosecutor Michele DiLecceEarlier this week, we reported on the death of a 47-year-old Indonesian crew member, identified as Sahid Bin Fauzi, who worked as a mechanic on the Costa Serena cruise ship. He died after falling into a ventilation duct of one of the ship’s engines.

Today we learn that a criminal prosecutor in Genoa, Italy, where Costa is headquartered and where the cruise ship is flagged, has opened a criminal investigation into the incident.  An Italian newspaper reports that chief prosecutor Michele DiLecce has initiated an investigation under the theory that the death involved a case of involuntary manslaughter.   

The cruise ship was sailing between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Angra Ries, Brazil at the time of the crew member’s death.

Criminal investigations of crew member deaths are unusual. It appears that there must be an indication of egregious conduct by the cruise line to prompt a criminal prosecutor to initiate such an investigation.

Are there any crew members out there with information to share?  


Photo credit:

Costa Serena Cruise Ship Crew Member DeathA reader of Cruise Law News in Italy has notified us of the death this week of a crew member aboard the Costa Serena cruise ship.

The incident involved a 47-year-old Indonesian crew member, identified as Sahid Bin Fauzi, who worked as a mechanic on the Costa Serena.  He reportedly died after falling into a ventilation duct of one of the ship’s engines, apparently while working on the maintenance of fan grids.

A newspaper in Genoa where Costa is headquartered contains a short account of the crew member’s death. The accident was revealed today although it occurred last Thursday, while the cruise ship was off the coast of Argentina.  

Other crew members reported Mr. Fauzi’s "disappearance," following which the ship’s chief engineer searched and located the crew member’s lifeless body in the vertical ventilation shaft. It is less than clear how long it took before Mr. Fauzi’s body was located.

The Costa Serena is a Concordia-class cruise ship for Carnival-owned Costa Crociere. The name Serena was intended to symbolize harmony and serenity.  The cruise ship has been the cruise line’s flagship since 2007.


Photo credit of Costa Serena: reports that was a person may have gone overboard from the Costa Serena last Saturday February 27th.

A passenger informed the CruiseJunkie web site that a person was reported missing from the Costa cruise ship while in the Atlantic between the Canary Islands and Malaga.

Costa Serena Overboard? - Missing - DisappearanceThe web site stresses that this incident is not yet confirmed from the cruise line company but is based on the account from a passenger on board the ship.

We last reported on an overboard passenger last week – Passenger Reported Overboard From Holland America’s Rotterdam Cruise Ship.  There was no official confirmation from the cruise line in that case either.

This is one of the problems with overboards and crimes on cruise ships.  As matters now stand, cruise lines are under no legal obligation to report such incidents to U.S. authorities.  As a practical matter, cruise lines do not like to report incidents which tend to show that cruising is unsafe.

It has become increasingly difficult for cruise lines to engage in cover ups, with an increasing number of people using blogs and other social media tools like Twitter and FaceBook.  

Although the cruise industry refuses to disclose the actual number of people going overboard from cruise ships, the Cruise Junkie web page documents over 130 passengers and crew members have jumped, fallen, or been thrown from cruise ships in the last decade.  



Costa Serena cruise ship                     comequandofuoripiove1973 Flickr Photostream