Costa Allegra: Second cruise disaster for mother
A MOTHER whose son was working on the Costa Concordia cruise ship when it capsized has spoken of her shock after hearing that the Costa Allegra, which her daughter is working on, has been cast adrift.
Jayne Thomas has had no news from daughter Rebecca, who was working on the Costa Allegra as a dancer, since a fire broke out on board.
She said she is more at ease now the vessel is being towed to safety but never thought she would be in a similar position to when news came through that the Costa Concordia, the ship her 19-year-old son was working on, had capsized.
Speaking from her home in Sutton Coldfield, she told the BBC: "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. 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 difficulties in the last few weeks have been the two that my children were on."
Mrs Thomas said she had tried emailing her daughter but, because of the loss of power on board the liner, she had not heard anything since a message before the fire.
"We have no information at all other than what's coming through on the television and press," she said.
"We can do nothing apart from wait for information to be relayed to us."
Even though her 19-year-old son James was still recovering from the mental trauma he sustained when the ill-fated Concordia ran aground in the Mediterranean last month, she said she did not feel any ill will towards Costa Cruises, the company that owns both the Concordia and the Allegra.
"I have no feelings towards the company," she said. "I think it's just a twist of fate that they've both been involved in two such unfortunate incidents."
Mrs Thomas said her daughter joined the Costa Allegra last May and was due to stay on until July.
The ship was making its way back to Europe, having spent three months in the Indian Ocean when the blaze broke out.
She said James had no wish to return to working on cruise ships since the Concordia disaster, when the ship struck rocks off the west coast of Italy on January 13, leaving a death toll expected to reach 32.
"He's fine physically," she said. "Mentally, it's taken its toll.
"He doesn't want to get back on a ship any time soon even though he has been offered further contracts with cruise company.
"Unfortunately, he's had to turn them down because he doesn't feel ready to get back on a ship."
She said she would not try to advise or persuade either of her children against getting back on cruise ships but would leave the decision up to them.
She added: "I'm not sure about Rebecca. We'll find out about her experience when she gets home.
"Hopefully, they will fly home very soon and she'll make a decision about whether she rejoins the ship or not."