msy Wind Song
Wind Song in Bora Bora
|Owner:||Windstar Cruises Ltd.|
|Port of registry:||Nassau, Bahamas|
|Builder:||Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre, Le Havre, France|
|Identification:||Call sign: C6CB2 IMO number: 8420880 MMSI: 309535000|
|Fate:||fire onboard on December 1, 2002, scuttled between Tahiti and Moorea and sunk on January 23, 2003|
|Length:||134 m (439.63 ft)|
|Beam:||15.8 m (51.84 ft)|
|Draught:||4.1 m (13.45 ft)|
|Installed power:||(3150 kW)|
|Speed:||11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)|
The Wind Song was one of an unusual class of only three vessels (msy Wind Star, msy Wind Spirit and msy Wind Song), designed as a modern cruise ship but carrying an elaborate system of computer-controlled sails on four masts. The ship's usual itinerary was an inter-island cruise in French Polynesia and in the Bahamas.
On December 1, 2002, an engine room fire forced passengers into lifeboats at 3:15 a.m. where they'd hoped to stay only until the fire was under control. At 5:04 a.m. a small explosion was heard from the front of the ship and the captain gave the order to abandon ship. All 127 passengers and 92 crew members were evacuated safely. Passengers were transported by fast ferry to Raiatea, a nearby island where they arrived at approx 8 a.m. Over the course of that day, they were flown on scheduled and charter Air Tahiti flights to Papeete.
The French Navy put out the fire and towed the ship to Papeete, where examination showed extensive damage to engineering spaces, although the passenger areas were mostly intact. Subsequently the Navy demanded compensation for its services, and French Polynesian government seized the Wind Song. However, both Holland America Line (owner of Windstar Cruises at the time, itself a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc) and Carnival Corporation & plc was unwilling to pay the costs involved, and even scrapping was uneconomical, because of the ship's small size and remoteness from shipbreakers in India, China, and elsewhere.
On January 22, 2003, with the agreement of Holland America and Carnival, the President of the Territorial Government of French Polynesia, Gaston Flosse, ordered the scuttling of the Wind Song. That night the ship was towed into the Sea of the Moon between Tahiti and Moorea and sunk in 9,843 feet of water, at latitude 17.45S, longitude 149.48W.