5 Dead In Lifeboat Drill: Thomson Majesty Boat Capsizes During Drill In Canary Islands
By Jill Heller | February 12, 2013 2:20 AM EST
A lifeboat drill in Spain’s Canary Islands, off the island of La Palma, went fatally amiss on Sunday when the boat unexpectedly fell from the ship and capsized in the water, killing five crewmembers and injuring three more.
The Spanish national radio broadcaster RTVE reported that the lifeboat, owned by the British-run Thomson Majesty cruise ship, fell from the cruise ship and plummeted roughly 55 ft. while undergoing an emergency drill.
A spokesman for the company confirmed the accident, saying, "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 today at 11:50am local time.”
The Guardian reported that the fatalities were believed to be three Indonesians, a Filipino, and a Ghanaian. Local Spanish reports indicated that the injured parties were two Greek nations, and another Filipino.
Andrew Linington, a spokesman for Nautilus International, an international trade union of maritime workers, said that testing lifeboats is notoriously dangerous activity that the industry has failed to adequately address. "We've had this happen so often and the industry has moved lamentably slowly to deal with the problem,” Linington said, adding that the union has cautioned members not to sit in the lifeboats during drills.
"There's been research which suggests that more people are dying in lifeboat drills than are being saved by lifeboats. It's that serious,” Linington said. “The death toll has been such that we advise our members: if you're doing a drill the drill is about raising and lowering the lifeboats. It shouldn't be about people actually getting into them. We advise them to do it without people in the lifeboats."
Linington said that while safety aboard cruise ships is moderately better than in other parts of the industry, there are was still a litany of preventable accidents and that deaths at sea are disproportionately higher than in other vocations.
"We would say there are still too many preventable accidents on cruise ships, and lifeboats is a classic example of that,” Linington said. “It's an inherently dangerous life, even in the 21st century, and we'd say too dangerous. For British seafarers, and they tend to be working at the higher end of the industry, the workplace death and injury rate is over 50 times what it is on average for all land-based workers."
As of now, investigators are still working to determine what caused the accident, according to the Thomson spokesman.
"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,” the spokesman said. "We are also working closely with all relevant authorities and will be co-operating fully with their investigations."
"We can also confirm that there have sadly been five crew fatalities and three crew members injured. One person has been discharged from hospital and we expect the other two people to be released from hospital imminently. Our thoughts are with the families of those involved,” he added.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Kate Middleton Suffocated in Kensington Palace, Queen Elizabeth Reported War With The Duchess [PHOTOS]
- Chris Martin Dating Reports: Jennifer Lawrence Vs Gwyneth Paltrow [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MTV Video Music Awards: Everything To Know [PHOTOS]
- British Style Icon Kate Middleton Fashion Talk With Camilla Parker-Bowles Daughter-In-Law [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- The Burka Avenger Educates Children While Fighting For Girls' Education Rights In New Pakistan TV Show
- Christopher Walken To Play Mob Boss In Film Adaptation Of Four Seasons Musical 'Jersey Boys'
- William Cantrell Mistakes Human Ashes For Cocaine, May Have Snorted Remains
- Giant Alligator Eats 80-Pound Dog In North Carolina, Gator May Still Be Alive
- Steve McQueen's Last Ride, 1952 Custom Chevy Pickup Truck, Hits The Auction Block
- 4.7-Inch, 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 Models Confirmed with Similar Build, Cam Features & 300+ Screen Pixels on Release Date
- James Foley Beheading Video Has Play-Acting Portions – Video Experts Say
- Apple iPhone 6 Release Date, iPhone 6C or 6L Anticipation: Three Things Should Matter To New Phone Shoppers
- Xiaomi Mi4 vs iPhone 6: Why Forecasts Favor Mi4 as The Next Best Phone Against iPhone 6
- James Foley: More Chilling Information Revealed By Escaped Journalists
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3 LTE Android 4.4.2, Android 4.4.4Guide: Installation and When to Hit Your Region
- Companies Push Back IPO Plans Due to Mega Alibaba Share Launch