Rupture of exhaust gas boiler on passenger cruise ship Island Princess with 3 people injured and loss of 2 lives

Location: Undergoing sea trials in the Bay of Naples, ltaly.

Accident Investigation Report 37/2000

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened, actions taken and subsequent recommendations:

Island Princess - Part 1 (3,498.87 kb)

Island Princess - Part 2 (1,077.79 kb)

Island Princess - Part 3 (250.67 kb)

Island Princess - Part 4 (265.32 kb)


The port exhaust gas boiler (economiser) of the UK registered Princess Cruises liner Island Princess ruptured killing two people and injuring three others during sea trials in the Bay of Naples on 7 December 1997. No passenger were onboard at the time.

Safety Issues

  • safety valves on the port economiser had remained shut throughout the entire episode and did not lift under pressure because the spindles had seized in their guides
  • poor quality boiler water and leaking safety valves created the conditions that weakened the spindles corrosion resistance
  • there was a previous history of safety valve seizures and economiser overpressure and rupture


Multiple recommendations to a number of parties have been made as a result of this investigation.

This report was published on 14 December 2000.

Published 23 January 2015