This definitely fits into the category of things that should never happen: Five crew members of the Thomson Cruises ship Majesty died and three others hurt when their lifeboat snapped from its winch near the end of a drill, plunging the boat and its occupants into the water - about 65 feet, or six stories of a typical building. Read more on the BBC website.
Among the many alarming aspects to this tragedy is that the accident would not have been deadly had the cruise line adopted one of the proposals by the Cruise Line International Organization last year in the wake of the Costa Concordia disaster, according to cruise safety expert Jim Walker, who publishes the Cruise Law News blog. “One proposal was that cruise lines would no longer load crew members in the lifeboats during safety drills. Instead, cruise lines were suppose to lower the lifeboats into the water first, load the crew members in next, and then practice motoring the lifeboat around,” said Walker in his post on this latest accident.
The cruise line issued this brief statement:
Thomson Cruises can confirm there was an incident involving the ship’s crew during a safety drill on board Thomson Majesty, in La Palma, Canary Islands on Sunday at 11:50am local time.
We can also confirm that there have sadly been five crew fatalities and three crew injuries. All three have been discharged from hospital and are back on board the ship. Our
thoughts are with the families of those involved.
We are working closely with the ship owners and managers, Louis Cruises, to determine exactly what has happened and provide assistance to those affected by the incident. We are also working closely with all relevant authorities and will be co-operating fully with their investigations.