A recent maritime emergency unfolded near Brazil’s Ilha Grande Bay, where an MSC cruise ship played a key role in rescuing six fishermen from a sinking fishing boat.
The incident began when the fishing boat with seven fishermen aboard went missing near Jorge Grego Island, Ilha Grande. On a scheduled deep-sea fishing excursion, the fishermen were due back by Sunday but failed to return, leading to concerns over their safety. A storm in the area had disrupted communication, complicating the situation.
Rescue Operation for MSC Preziosa
On a routine deep-sea fishing trip near Jorge Grego Island, Ilha Grande, a boat with seven fishermen experienced an emergency. The group, which had set out on Saturday morning, November 18, was expected to return by Sunday lunchtime.
However, a storm disrupted the fishermen’s plans, leading to unsuccessful attempts by shoreside authorities to contact them. This triggered a comprehensive search operation involving Fire Department divers, the Port Authority, and various other search and rescue resources such as boats, jet skis, and aircraft.
The SOS call was received by the 137,936 gross tons Fantasia-class cruise ship MSC Preziosa, which had been cruising in the area during a three-night cruise from Sao Paolo to Sao Paolo. Six of the seven fishermen were rescued by MSC Preziosa, and taken onboard.
The rescued fishermen, though distressed, were conscious and alert when transported to nearby Vila do Abraão by the MSC cruise ship. They received immediate medical attention, with one in a weakened state. Tragically, the body of the seventh fisherman was later recovered by firefighters.
Jorge Grego Island, where the incident occurred, is a well-known and popular tourism hotspot. The area around Ilha Grande features often on cruise itineraries in the area.
While the reason behind the incident is likely the storm that had been active in the region over the weekend, the question remains how it could happen that the fishermen were unable to radio for themselves.
Since the accident, the Brazilian Navy stated to the Brazilian newspaper O Dia that it would: “initiate an internal procedure to determine the causes, circumstances, and responsibilities of the incident, as well as to extract lessons to reduce the likelihood of similar future events and to assess whether the bad weather contributed to the incident.”
MSC Preziosa Continues Scheduled Cruises
After bringing the affected fishermen to safety, MSC Preziosa resumed her regular scheduled cruises from Sao Paolo.
The upcoming itineraries include a 3-night South American cruise starting on November 21, with a stop in Camboriu on Brazil’s southern coast. This is followed by a 4-night cruise beginning on November 24, visiting Buzios and Ilhabela.
The ship will then offer another 3-night cruise starting November 28, featuring destinations like Buzios and a return to the rescue area, Ilha Grande.
MSC Cruises, one of the world’s leading cruise operators, has established a significant presence in Brazil, catering to a growing market of cruise enthusiasts in the region. Besides MSC Preziosa, other MSC cruise ships that operate in the area include MSC Seaview, MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Grandiosa, and MSC Musica.