MSC Orchestra accidents and incidents

MSC Orchestra cruise ship


Length (LOA)
294 m / 965 ft

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CruiseMapper's MSC Orchestra cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 3060-passenger vessel owned by MSC Cruises. Our MSC Orchestra 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fire - 2013 (fuel tank explosion)
  • ship collision - 2019 (with MSC Poesia in Buenos Aires Argentina)
  • illness outbreaks - 2009 (flu, hundreds pax), 2012 (meningitis, 4 crew)
  • deaths - overboard (2010), crew (2012, 2022), 2016 (bus crash in Dominica)
  • injuries/crimes - drug bust (2010), 2019 (overboard/rescued)

24 March 2022Crew / Passenger Deaths

(murder?) On March 25, 2022, a 29-year-old female crew was reported dead after sustaining a severe injury. The woman was a South African national (from the country's Eastern Cape Province), recently employed and serving the Messhall (crew-only lounge/bar/dining room). She was on duty when was found dead.

According to an anonymous crew (a colleague of the dead), she was found in a pool of blood and had suffered injuries to the neck and head, bleeding to death.

Lebo Mavuso (MSC's public relations manager in South Africa) officially commented that the company would not reveal the woman's identity or further details. The police authorities in KwaZulu-Natal started an investigation.

The incident occurred during a 4-night voyage roundtrip from homeport Durban (South Africa) that visited Pomene (Mozambique).

In April 2022, during an interview by ILO (South Africa's International Labour Organization), Lulama Mafuduka revealed that the deceased was her niece - Hombisa Mafuduka. The aunt was contacted by MSC on March 24th (at ~11 pm / 1 am UTC) while the Orchestra ship was en route from Mozambique back to Durban. SAPS (South African Police Service) was contacted by MSC on the next day (March 25th). On the phone, MSC informed Lulama that Hombisa, after vomiting blood, was taken to the Infirmary, where she was resuscitated but eventually collapsed and died, so the company believed the death was of "an accidental nature". Hombisa's body was identified by a "mysterious cousin" on March 25th and Lulama was initially refused access to the body On March 28th, when she was granted permission, Lulama saw Hombisa with a broken neck and a major head injury. Hombisa was buried on April 9th.

31 December 2019Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(overboard/rescued) On December 31, 2019, a male passenger intentionally jumped overboard while the liner was navigating in the Indian Ocean, en-route from South Africa to Mauritius (between Madagascar and Mauritius). Luckily, the man was found alive (sustaining only minor injuries) and retrieved from the waters after spending ~1 hour in open sea. For the search and rescue operation, the cruise ship deployed a crewed boat and successfully salvage the passenger. He was brought back on the ship (in good condition) and taken to the Infirmary for medical evaluation.

The incident occurred at the beginning of 11-day South Africa cruise (itinerary December 28 - January 8) roundtrip from homeport Durban (South Africa) and visiting Mauritius Island (Port Louis, Jan 1-3 overnight) and Reunion Island (Saint-Denis, Jan 4-5 overnight).

20 February 2019Ship Collision / Allision

On February 20, 2019, the fleet mates Orchestra and Poesia collided at Port Buenos Aires (Argentina). MSC Poesia was docked for a scheduled port stay (7 am - 1 pm) while MSC Orchestra was maneuvering for berthing.

No injuries or pollution were reported. Both ships sustained only minor hull damages and were cleared to continue their voyages as planned. Reportedly, one of Orchestra's lifeboats (on Deck 7) was slightly damaged, while Poesia's bow had a visible scratch.

The accident occurred at the end of 9-day South America cruise (itinerary Feb 11-20) roundtrip from homeport Buenos Aires to Uruguay (Punta del Este) and Brazil (Ilhabela, Rio de Janeiro, Buzios, Ilha Grande).

14 February 2016Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On February 14, 2016, a 12-year-old female passenger was allegedly sexually assaulted and physically battered by a male crew.

The man (Rudy Samuel Santos Hernandez, working on the ship as cabin attendant) found the girl alone in her cabin and took advantage of the situation. She later shared the incident with her legal guardian (grandfather), with whom she was traveling on a 7-day Caribbean cruise from Miami.

(law news) On September 22, 2016, a lawsuit was filed against the shipowner MSC Crociere SA.

28 January 2016Crew / Passenger Deaths

On January 28, 2016, the ship was docked in call port Roseau Dominica. On an independently booked Trafalgar Falls excursion ashore, at ~ 11 am, the tour bus carrying MSC cruise ship passengers crashed. The traffic accident resulted in the dead of a 16-month-old baby boy and 7 injured passengers (2 Brazilian, 5 Italian). The injured were immediately transported by an ambulance to Queen Margaret Hospital (Trafalgar).

30 December 2013Fire Accident

On December 30, 2013, during maintenance works in port, gas escaped and caused an explosion in one of the ship’s fuel tanks. In the accident, 3 male crew were seriously injured. One sustained a head injury and was hospitalized ashore. The other 2 remained in the onboard infirmary.

The investigation showed the men were cleaning the tank without using proper equipment, and that safety equipment was not provided by the cruise company.

16 October 2012Crew / Passenger Deaths

On October 16, 2012, a 32-year-old male crew died from meningitis. The man (of Indonesian origin) worked on the ship as a mechanic in the engine room and was among the 4 infected crew. He was in septic shock and died after being in intensive care for 9 days (hospitalized in Livorno Italy on Oct 7).

The other 3 affected crew were also disembarked and hospitalized in Livorno. On the next scheduled cruise, all passengers were given prophylactic antibiotics as a precaution. During the illness outbreak, the ship operated on a Mediterranean itinerary with call ports in France (Villefranche), Spain (Valencia, Ibiza), Tunisia (La Goulette) and Italy (Catania, Naples).

22 December 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On December 22, 2010, a 19-year-old male passenger fell overboard while the ship was docked in call port Ilhabela Brazil. The accident occurred at ~4 am when he fell from Chitarra Deck 14 into the sea.

According to witnesses, the man (of Brazilian origin) was with friends and talking near the ship’s R32 disco nightclub, when after seating on the railing he fell backward. His friends threw life rings, but he didn’t respond. He was rescued from the water unconscious and transported by an ambulance to a hospital ashore, where was pronounced dead.

13 May 2010Drug Smuggling

On May 13, 2010, when docked in homeport Dover England, UKBA agents (UK Border Agency) boarded the vessel and seized 27,2 kilos of cocaine (street value GBP 4,1-5,1 million). They arrested and charged with drug smuggling 7 passengers (5 men and 2 women, of Bulgarian and Lithuanian origin).

The drugs were found after searching their 4 connecting cabins, concealed in specially made body suits. The ship just ended a Transatlantic repositioning cruise from South America to UK (Santos Brazil to Dover). The itinerary included call ports in Brazil, Canary Islands, Madeira, Portugal, and Spain.

(law news) On January 7, 2011, the defendants were sentenced from 12 to 20 years in jail, the highest one being for group’s leader (Bulgarian male). The drug bust was a result of an international operation between the Bulgarian police and UK’s SOCA (Serious Organised Crime Agency).

January 2009Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On January 9, 2009, a flu virus outbreak on the ship affected hundreds of passengers during the “Jam Cruise” (music-themed voyage) to the Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale. They all suffered from influenza, experiencing flu symptoms - high fever, headache, runny nose, coughing, feeling tired.

Even though the CDC investigated this major illness outbreak, they didn’t issue an official report because it was not a Norovirus (gastrointestinal) disease.

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