Aqua Amazon Sinks, No Passengers Onboard but Crew Missing

Aqua Amazon sank Saturday after an accident and explosion during its turnaround on the Amazon River. No guests were hurt but crew were injured or are missing.  // Photo by Aqua Expeditions.

After an accident and subsequent explosion, Aqua Amazon, an upscale vessel operated by Aqua Expeditions on the Amazon River in Peru, sank in the river on Saturday. While no passengers were onboard several crew members were injured. Four are also still missing.

Francesco Galli Zugaro, founder and CEO of Aqua Expeditions, announced the ship’s sinking. The company’s statement said: “During the regular Saturday supplying and turn-around hours for re-stocking of the vessel, an accident occurred that caused an explosion and resulted in the sinking of the ship. The investigation is ongoing and more information will be shared as it becomes available.

“No passengers were onboard but some of the crew have been hurt and up to four are declared missing. All efforts are being made to get a better understanding of the status of the missing crew. The entire operations team is on the ground providing logistical support with local emergency services."

The line said that passengers scheduled to sail on the Aqua Amazon on Saturday were reassigned to the Aria Amazon and other river vessels plying the river. 

Aqua Expeditions' offices in Lima, Peru and Singapore were open Sunday so guests and agents with clients on future sailings could discuss those bookings for Aqua Amazon.

Matthew Upchurch, CEO, Virtuoso, wrote on Facebook that Zugaro was en route from London and expected in Lima on Sunday night. “We hold them all in our prayers and their first priority are their missing and injured crew, the passengers on the ground and those with future bookings.”

Upchurch said Virtuoso will post a Crisis Response Kit on its site today.

It’s been a challenging year on the Amazon. Two guests died in April when fire broke out in their cabin on an International Expeditions ship.

More recently, Delfin Amazon Cruises' Amazon Discovery, an Amazon ship that had been chartered by Avalon Waterways, was boarded by robbers – who stole $20,000 in money, jewelry and valuables from guests and crew.