Sunday, 17 July 2016

Aqua Expeditions MV Aqua Amazon sinks in fiery accident. No passengers aboard.

#expeditioncruising

Updated

* "at least seven dead and 13 injured." This figure since confirmed by company. (see below)
* "police believe a short circuit may have detonated the large fuel tank."

Report just received indicates the luxury Amazon river cruise boat, Aqua Amazon, has sunk as a result of an as-yet-unexplained accident during the turnaround procedure. Recent anecdotal reports point to a refueling accident either with gas or liquid fuel.

The Peruvian newspaper, El Comercio, also states that "the first police investigations reveal that aquatic ship arrived to the port to fill the gas tank without any security measures. The incident caused burns to 8 people, who had to jump into the flowing and being rescued by residents and staff Enapu who was nearby . . . It is presumed that some people were trapped inside the ship."

Distressing images of the vessel on fire and sinking (Daniel Carbajal via cruiselawnews.com)

Source: Daniel Carbajal via cruiselawnews.com

According to a statement issued by the cruise company, it occurred "during the regular Saturday supplying and turn-around hours for re-stocking of the vessel"

MV Aqua Amazon, pictured here in 2010, was lost in an accident while resupplying (R Eime)
Apparently an explosion occurred, holing the hull and resulting in the sinking of the ship at the wharf in the port of Enapu, located along the Itaya River, Punchana district in Iquitos (Loreto).
"The investigation is ongoing and more information will be shared as it becomes available.

"No passengers were aboard, but some of the crew have been hurt and up to four are declared missing.

Aqua Expeditions founder and CEO,
Francesco Galli Zugaro: "much
regret and sadness"
"All efforts are being made to get a better understanding of the status of the missing crew. The entire operations team is on the ground providing logistical support with local emergency services."

Aqua said that passengers scheduled to depart Saturday on the Aqua Amazon were reassigned to the Aria Amazon and “other ships.” Cruises on the Aria Amazon launch from Iquitos, Peru, the same city from where the Aqua Amazon was scheduled to depart.

The 40m, 400 tonne MV Aqua Amazon was the first vessel launched by Aqua Expeditions in 2007 by founder and CEO, Francesco Galli Zugaro.

For reservation queries, please contact:

Lima: +511 434 5544
Singapore: +65 6270 4002
Toll Free in Australia: 1800 243 152
Email: reservations@aquaexpeditions.com


Update: 20 July 2016


A Statement from Aqua Expeditions Founder and CEO, Francesco Galli Zugaro

Iquitos, Peru - July 19, 2016: Following the tragic incident involving the Aqua Amazon on Saturday, July 16, all of our efforts at Aqua Expeditions have been focused on finding the members of our crew who were on board at the time of the accident and were reported missing after the explosion that caused the vessel to capsize.

It was first thought that four crew were unaccounted for; however, this figure rose to five on Sunday night when another crew member could not be located. In addition, there are two external suppliers who are also victims, bringing the total missing to seven people. As of 17:00 EST Monday, July 18, two of the victims have been identified and recovered. Five more remain to be found and recovered.

There are an additional eight crew members in recovery in the hospital following the explosion. Three are in intensive care and the remaining five are receiving the necessary medical attention. We are assuring them the best medical treatment possible.

We have been in close contact with their families and have been keeping them fully informed of news of their loved ones during this difficult time. Many of the crew have been with me from 2007 when we started. I considered them dear friends, not just employees.

The source of the fire and explosion is yet to be determined as preliminary investigations are still underway. We are supporting all efforts by the authorities and will continue to do so throughout the process.

Our industry partners, guests, families and friends have given me and everyone at Aqua Expeditions the strength and commitment to stay united and face this tragedy together. We are overwhelmed with the show of support that is continuing to pour in from all over the world and we will be eternally thankful.

I, along with our media and marketing teams, will be keeping the industry informed of further developments.

Sincerely,

Francesco Galli Zugaro