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Eugenio Costa

It is a very sad story of a beautiful liner falling victim of financial disaster and fraud.
In December 1994 Eugenio Costa was sold to Bremer Vulcan, in part payment for the sister ship to Costa Victoria, which was to be called Costa Olympia. She was then chartered back and operated by Costa. In July 1996 however, Bremer Vulkan were found to be running their Bremen shipyard on illegal subsidies and money intended for the rebuilding of East German shipyards. They were made bankrupt and the Costa Olympia was cancelled. Costa continued to operate Eugenio Costa until November 1996, when she was laid-up in Genoa.
The ship was auctioned by the creditors of Bremer Vulcan and she was bought by a small British company, Lowland Shipping and began cruise operations as Edinburgh Castle. Unfortunately she was not well maintained and became increasingly unreliable, driving Lowland Shipping into bankruptcy.
The ship was again auctioned and was bought by a rapidly expanding British shiprepair group using the old shipbuilding name of Cammell Laird. There is not space to detail the many financial manipulations of this company, but in the case of Edinburgh Castle they carried out a useless refit on the ship, sold her to a Bermudan company, which Cammell Laird financed but claimed they did not own and pretended that she was suddenly worth three times the value they had paid for her in the auction.
The ship was chartered to Commodore Cruise Line as Big Red Boat II, but was delivered late to New York to begin operations. Commodore found that, except for a new coat of red paint, she was in very bad condition and delayed her entry into service by two weeks for emergency work to be carried out. Big Red Boat II broke down on almost every voyage and after six weeks she had driven Commodore into bankruptcy. Shortly afterwards Cammell Laird was declared bankrupt.
Big Red Boat II was laid up and offered for sale. No one was interested in her. The receiver could not accept that a ship valued at £36 million was only fit for scrap, so she remained in lay-up, looking for a buyer. When the decision was finally taken to sell her for scrap it was found that she was worth less than the cost of towing her to India.
Work was done to make her seaworthy and last year Big Red Boat II made her slow and difficult last voyage, calling at most ship repair yards between Bahamas and India for further emergency work

Fred :mad:
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