MSC Opera accidents and incidents

MSC Opera cruise ship
Rating:

Cabins
1071

Length (LOA)
275 m / 902 ft

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CruiseMapper's MSC Opera cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2570-passenger vessel owned by MSC Cruises. Our MSC Opera accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, Norovirus, etc.

  • redesigned/stretched by Fincantieri (Palermo Sicily) in 2015
  • pier collision/allision – 2011 (Buenos Aires Argentina)
  • propulsion/power loss – 2011
  • ship seizure – 2011 (in Southampton England, UK)
  • Norovirus – 2010 (400+ pax, Baltic Sea, Europe)
  • deaths – overboard (2013-crew, 2015)
  • injuries/crimes – drug bust (2010)
  • medevacs – 2014
DateAccident
  22 March 2018Crew / Passenger Crimes

On March 22, 2018, a 34-year-old female crew was reported missing after failing to reboard the ship in port George Town (Grand Cayman Island). The woman (Yusmaidys Ortiz Perez, Cuban, working on the ship as bartender) disembarked the liner at 8:15 am but failed to embark at 3:15 pm.

The ship was on 7-day Cuba And Antilles Cruise (itinerary March 19-24) roundtrip from homeport Havana Cuba to Jamaica (Montego Bay), Grand Cayman and Mexico (Cozumel).

(update) On April 3, 2018, the woman was found in West Bay (western Grand Cayman Island), in good health and safe. The woman was immediately arrested and sentenced to 3 months in jail for illegally remaining in the Caymans. 

  08 November 2015Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On November 8, 2015, a 75-year-old female passenger was reported missing and presumed fell overboard. The elderly woman (of Italian origin) was traveling as part of a senior group. She disappeared somewhere between port Civitavecchia-Rome and Genoa, while the ship was in the end of 5-day Mediterranean repositioning cruise (itinerary Nov 3-8) from Venice to Genoa. She was last seen the night before at dinner, and found to be missing during passenger disembarkation in Genoa.

The Italian Coastguard conducted a search operation, deploying 3 patrol boats and 2 helicopters, but didn’t find the body.

  July 2015Structural and Technical Issues

In May-July 2015, during its Palermo Sicily drydock refit, the cruise ship was stretched. An ~80 ft / 25 m long prefabricated middle-section was added. The refit resulted in an increased passenger capacity (new cabins), new shops, a Water Park with slides and waterfalls. Following the overhaul, the Opera ship re-entered service on July 4, 2015.

The list of other stretched (elongated) cruise ships includes the fleetmates MSC ArmoniaMSC LiricaMSC Sinfonia, the Phoenix Reisen’s Albatros, the Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of The Seas and the Fred Olsen ships Black WatchBalmoralBoudiccaBraemar.

  01 September 2014Coast Guard Medevacs

On September 1, 2014, a male passenger in critical condition was medevaced from the ship, anchored near Guernsey Island (UK Channel Islands) in the English Channel.

  24 September 2013Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On September 24, 2013, a 33-year-old male crew jumped overboard while the ship was in the English Channel (south of Isle of Wright, England).

The man (Fernandes Elroy, of Indian origin) worked on the ship as bartender, and was reported missing at ~5:30 am. The CCTV camera footage showed him jumping overboard at 1:30 am. The UK Coast Guard assets (2 helicopters and 2 lifeboats) conducted a search and rescue operation, but failed to find the body.

  17 September 2012Other Incidents

On September 17, 2012, the vessel’s scheduled departure from homeport Venice Italy was delayed by ~8 hours by protests. Other affected cruise ships in Venice (with delayed departures) were the fleetmate MSC Musica and Costa Favolosa.

All the Venice’s waterfront areas were blocked by numerous small boats with hundreds of local protesters. They argued that the growth of big cruise ships stopping in Venice had a negative impact on the city as a travel destination. Large cruise vessels visiting Venice pass too close to Piazza San Marco, and are deemed potential risk for environmental damages or accidents that would hugely impact the city’s historical importance. The issue grew louder since the Costa Concordia sinking (January 2012).

  25 May 2011Structural and Technical Issues

On May 25, 2011, the cruise vessel was detained in homeport Southampton England, after failing an MCA inspection. The ship was seized after coming from Gdynia Poland, where it spent a week for drydock repairs after suffering a total power loss near Visby Sweden.

The MCA (UK’s “Maritime and Coastguard Agency”) safety inspectors boarded the ship and after the inspection concluded that it was not fully compliant with the IMO’s safety regulations. The inspectors were concerned about the vessel’s stability and safety, found to be in violation of the ISM code (“International Safety Management” standards for marine vessels).

By the UK’s Merchant Shipping Act from 1995, passenger ships may be detained only if considered “dangerously unsafe”. Later on the same day, the cruise liner was cleared and left Southampton on an 8-day Norway Fjords cruise.

  15 May 2011Propulsion / Power Loss

On May 15, 2011, while operating in Baltic Sea (Northern Europe), the vessel suffered an electrical failure to one of its electric panels, subsequently causing total power loss and drifting.

The incident occurred approx 6 ml / 10 km off Visby Sweden, and affected the ship’s electricity (blackouts), running water and toilet systems. After the crew failed to fix the problem, the ship was towed to Nynashamn Sweden (port near Stockholm) where the ~1700 passengers were disembarked via tender boats and the same day flown from Stockholm back home.

On May 17, the vessel left Nynashamn to Gdynia Poland for drydock repairs. As compensation, all passengers received a free MSC cruise (bookable through Dec 2012). The ship was on 10-day "Baltic Capitals" cruise (itinerary May 7-17) roundtrip from homeport Southampton to Stockholm Sweden, Helsinki Finland, St Petersburg Russia, Copenhagen Denmark.

  25 March 2011Ship Collision / Allision

(pier collision) On March 25, 2011, while operating in South America and upon leaving homeport Buenos Aires Argentina, the cruise vessel collided twice with the pier. The collisions caused minor structure damages on service decks 3 and 4, affecting several of the crew cabins there. The concrete pier suffered also a minor damage (a small portion of its corner was broken). No injuries were reported. Due to repairs, the departure was delayed by ~10 hours.

Note: Actually, this type of marine accidents is called “allision” (striking a fixed object) as opposed to “collision” (striking another vessel.

  June 2010Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks

On June 23, 2010, a major Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) affected over 400 passengers on the 10-day Norwegian Fjords cruise (itinerary June 4-14) from homeport Dover UK. All sick suffered from Noro virus symptoms (severe vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours. All shore excursions and tours in call ports were fully refunded.

Note: When the itinerary doesn’t include US cruise ports, the ship is not required to report to CDC, thus no official illness report would be issued.

  21 May 2010Drug Smuggling

On May 21, 2010, the vessel docked in homeport Dover England, after a Transatlantic repositioning cruise from South America to Europe (Santos Brazil to Amsterdam Holland). The UKBA agents (UK Border Agency) boarded the cruise ship and seized 35 kilos of cocaine (street value GBP ~1,4 million). They arrested 7 passengers (4 Latvians, 3 Lithuanians) occupying 4 cabins. The passengers were charged with drug smuggling, later convicted and sentenced to a total of 84 years in jail.

  21 January 2007Structural and Technical Issues

On January 21, 2007, during passenger embarkation in call port Willemstad Curacao, the ship’s gangway (telescopic bridge) fell into the water after some of the mooring ropes snapped. Fortunately, nobody was present on the gangway when the incident occurred.

The cruise ship was about to leave the port, and obviously some of the mooring ropes were still connected to the pier. The assisting tugboat had its propeller entangled in one of the ropes, while other floating ropes tangled into the bow thrusters (propulsion units). The ship drifted approx 1 ml / 2 km out to sea before 2 tugboats pushed it back to port. Departure was delayed by ~7 hours due to the conducted by divers operation to remove the ropes under the ship.

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