Middle East Cruise News

Saudi Arabian Navy evacuates passengers from two cruise ships off Aqaba

Two passengers have had to be evacuated from two separate cruise ships sailing in the Red Sea in recent days, with medical emergencies reported aboard both Costa Luminosa and Seven Seas Navigator.

An elderly French passenger was evacuated from the Costa Cruises ship Costa Luminosa last week after she suffered a broken leg while sailing between Salalah and Aqaba.

A French passenger was evacuated from Costa Luminosa with a broken leg

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The Saudi Border Guard received the ship’s distress call on Thursday afternoon and the naval vessel Al-Layth from the Prince Mohammed Bin Naif naval base in Jeddah was deployed.

“The ship’s captain was contacted and informed to go to a specific meeting point. Border Guard ship Al-Layth from Prince Mohammed Bin Naif maritime base was assigned to meet up with it and evacuate the injured passenger,” said spokesman Lt. Col. Misfer Bin Ghannam Al-Quraini in a statement.

Costa Luminosa was on the homeward leg of her World Cruise, sailing from Dubai to the Med

The passenger, who was not named, was taken to Prince Mohammed Bin Naif base, where she was provided medical assistance and transferred by Border Guard ambulance to Saudi German Hospital, accompanied by a shipping agent from the cruise line.

Costa Luminosa was able to call in Aqaba, the gateway to Petra, without any delays, and has continued with the homeward leg of her 2019 World Cruise.

The ship called in Dubai on April 11th and 12th, staying overnight at the Dubai Cruise Terminal, before continuing on to Muscat, Salalah and Aqaba, but she did not do a turnaround in the city as most cruise ships do on grand voyages.

The ship is currently sailing a 32-night Singapore to Venice voyage, part of her 112-night World Cruise that departed Venice on January 5th, 2019.

This is the second incident in almost as many weeks for a cruise ship in the Red Sea.

An American passenger was evacuated from Seven Seas Navigator with suspected heart trouble

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Several days ago, the Saudi Border Guard was mobilised to evacuate an American passenger from the Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ vessel Seven Seas Navigator after he suffered suspected abdominal bleeding and heart problems.

Seven Seas Navigator was also on her way from Salalah to Aqaba at the time, having departed Dubai on the 9th of April, 2019 on a 20-night cruise to Civitavecchia, the gateway port for Rome.

Like Luminosa, Seven Seas Navigator was not delayed by the medical emergency and made port in Aqaba as scheduled.

While uncommon, medical emergencies at sea are more likely during these repositioning voyages between Dubai and the Mediterranean due to the longer stretches of days at sea.

Most cruise ships will spend a week or so at sea without any port calls between Salalah and Aqaba, increasing the risk of injury or medical ailments for passengers who would otherwise be ashore in port.

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