A ceremony held on board MSC Fantasia on 2 April 2009 at the port of Palma de Mallorca (Spain) officially recognised the bravery of four crew members who rushed to the aid of an overboard passenger. The ceremony, involving the port authorities, the islandâ€™s council and MSC Cruisesâ€™ CEO, took place on the MSC Fantasia, the most beautiful ship in the world.
On 5 March, while the new ship was moored at the port and passengers were disembarking, three mooring bitts become detached simultaneously in strong winds, resulting in the ship moving away from the dock and causing a disembarking guest to fall into the water.
The four crew members immediately dived in to help the man, who was rapidly brought to shore and taken to a local hospital. He was subsequently transferred to his home town of Milan (Italy), where he was discharged from hospital on 22 March.
The four crew members commended for their bravery are:
- Mr Salvatore Caso â€“ Chief Crew Steward, from Italy, aged 52
- Mr Lalopua Faamoe â€“ Able Sailor, from Samoa, aged 29
- Mr Naim Samsuddin â€“ Able Fireman, from Indonesia, aged 37
- Mr Andrian Williams â€“ Housekeeping Cleaner, from Madagascar, aged 37
Attending the ceremony were Ms. Francina Armengol, President of the Mallorca Council, Mr Francesc Triay, Chairman of the Port Authority of the Balearic Islands, as well as MSC Cruisesâ€™ CEO Mr Pierfrancesco Vago, Captain Giuliano Bossi, and the companyâ€™s Country Manager for Spain, Mr Emiliano Gonzalez.
Following the traditional exchange of crests between the Port Authority and the ship, on behalf of MSC Cruises Mr Pierfrancesco Vago presented each of the four crew members with a plaque honouring their bravery. Thanking the four crew members, Mr Francesc Triay then presented each one with a further commemorative plaque.
Mr Vago said: â€œI am delighted that our guest has made a rapid recovery and is now back in his own home. I would once again like to offer my heartfelt thanks to these four courageous members of MSC Fantasiaâ€™s crew. By diving into the sea without hesitation to help our guest, not only did they show great bravery, they also demonstrated the selfless team spirit that makes MSC Cruises such a special organization. A special thanks also to Captain Giuliano Bossi, who took immediately control of the ship. The incident was living evidence of the guidance to our Crew by our Captain to be selfless, courageous and to react without a second thoughtâ€.
MSC Fantasia is the latest addition to the most modern fleet in the world. She is the largest ship ever made for a European cruise operator, carrying 3,959 guests in unprecedented comfort thanks to features such as the exclusive MSC Yacht Club area and the extensive MSC Aurea Spa wellness centre. MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasiaâ€™s sistership will be christened in a spectacular ceremony in Barcelona in July 2009.