Lifeboat Drill Accident: One Killed, Four Injured in Fall Aboard Harmony of the Seas

The Harmony of the Seas (Oasis 3) class ship leaves the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, France, May 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

The Harmony of the Seas (Oasis 3) class ship leaves the STX Les Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, France, May 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

One crew member was killed and four others were injured Tuesday in an accident during lifeboat drill aboard the world’s largest cruise ship.

Royal Caribbean confirmed that a Harmony of the Seas crew member had died of injuries sustained during a lifeboat drill conducted in Marseille, France. For other Harmony of the Seascrew members are receiving medical treatment, the cruise company said.

BBC reports that the five crew members were inside the lifeboat when it became detached from the fifth deck during a safety drill and fell 10 meters into the water below. Two of the injured suffered life-threatening injuries, BBC reported.

Harmony of the Seas is the world’s biggest cruise ship at more than 227,000 gross tons. The ship has capacity to carry 5,479 guests and is home to about 2,100 crew.

The cruise ship was delivered in May following 32 months of construction at the STX France shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France.

“We’re keeping our colleagues & their families in our thoughts & prayers,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement posted to Twitter.

The incident is the latest accident to occur during lifeboat safety drills on board cruise ships. In July, one crew member was killed and three others were injured aboard the Norwegian Breakaway were injured during a rescue boat drill in Bermuda. In 2013, five crew members died and three were injured during a drill aboard the cruise ship Thomson Majesty in the Canary Islands.

Accidents such as these have prompted the Cruise Lines International Association, the largest trade organization serving the international cruise industry, to adopt a policy requiring that “the loading of lifeboats for training purposes is to be performed only while the boat is waterborne and the boat should be lowered and raised with only the lifeboat crew onboard.”

The policy calls for at least one lifeboat on each ship to be filled with crew members equal in number to its certified number of occupants at least every six months for ships with more than 300 crew members.

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Five dead on Canary Islands cruise ship

Five dead on Canary Islands cruise ship

Footage of the accidentFootage shot from the cruise ship showed the lifeboat in the water

Five crew members have died after a lifeboat they were in fell from a cruise ship docked in the port of Santa Cruz de la Palma in the Canary Islands.

The accident happened on the Majesty, operated by UK-based Thomson Cruises, during a routine safety drill.

Those killed include three Indonesians, a Filipino and a Ghanaian. Three people were also hurt as the boat reportedly fell more than 20m into the sea.

The MS Thomson Majesty is believed to sail under a Maltese flag.

About 2,000 people were on board the cruise ship when the accident occurred around 12:00 GMT on Sunday, local media say.

Two of those injured are said to be Greek, and a third Filipino.

The UK Foreign Office said it was aware of the incident and was “urgently looking into it”.

No passengers were involved, local reports say.

Thomson Cruises said in a statement that it was “aware of an incident involving the ship’s crew on board Thomson Majesty, in La Palma, Canary Islands this afternoon”.

“We are working closely with the ship owners and managers, Louis Cruises, to determine exactly what has happened and provide assistance to those affected,” the statement added.

All of our thoughts and prays are with the crews family and loved ones, and the remaining crew who will be devastated by this accident. All Thomson’s  Cruise ships should be safety checked before any sailings, and the ship owners Louis Cruise need to step up to the plate and compensate the family of the crew members, and pay for some needed repairs and up-dates.