News24

Brother's boat sinks, the sister's burns

2012-02-28 22:32

London - A British mother spoke on Tuesday of her shock at hearing that a cruise ship her daughter worked on was adrift in the Indian Ocean, just weeks after her son survived the sinking of another vessel.

Jayne Thomas said her daughter Rebecca was working as a dancer on the Italian cruise ship Costa Allegra when a fire broke out in the engine room on Monday, leaving its 1 000 passengers stranded on-board.

In an astonishing twist, she revealed that her son James, who is also a dancer, had survived the sinking last month of the much larger Costa Concordia off an Italian island, an accident which claimed 32 lives.

"I didn't think anything like this could happen again to my daughter. I thought it was a one-off and we wouldn't be going through this experience again," Thomas told BBC television.

"I really didn't think disaster could strike twice.

"Of all the ships that are sailing in the ocean, the two that have come into difficulty in the last few weeks have been the two that my children were on."

She said she had not heard from Rebecca since the fire broke out but was reassured by news that the Costa Allegra was being towed to a tiny Seychelles island, although it would not reach land for another 24 hours.

Thomas added: "James doesn't want to return, definitely, at the moment. I'm not sure about Rebecca, we'll find out when she gets home."