Safety onboard cruise ships has often been questioned, but year after year, it seems as though not much is being done to decrease the likelihood of accidents and injuries on the high seas. While a lot of attention is placed on incidents involving passengers, there are numerous accidents involving a ship’s crew that often go unreported.
Our crewmember accident lawyers have defended many cruise ship workers who have suffered injuries on the high seas, and the vast majority have been due to negligence by other workers or by the cruise line operators themselves. Not only is the cruise line supposed to protect workers from harm and provide a safe working environment, but whenever a crewmember onboard a cruise vessel becomes ill or injured, it is the line’s duty to make sure the victim obtains prudent medical attention. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.
There are several instances in which the equipment on vessels is unsafe or crewmembers are obligated to work on deck during unfavorable weather conditions. There are also times in which the victim becomes sick and does not obtain the proper medical assistance, leading to further complications and even death.
Cruise companies often try to cover up these incidents in order to avoid taking responsibility for the victim’s medical bills, money damages or lost wages, but there are times in which tragic accidents do get the attention they deserve.
One such incident took place this weekend, ironically, during a cruise ship safety drill.
The accident occurred on Sunday onboard a Thomson Cruises vessel. The ship was docked in the island of La Palma, the smallest of the Canary Islands in Spain, when a safety drill went horribly wrong.
Just before noon, crewmembers onboard the Thomson Majesty, were executing a safety drill when a lifeboat fell from the cruise ship, leading to the deaths of five crewmembers and injuring three others.
According to authorities, three of the deceased victims were Indonesian men, one was a Filipino man and the other was a man from Ghana. The injured crewmembers were also all men, two aged 30 and another, a Greek national, age 32.
The injured victims were transported by ambulance to the general hospital of La Palma for treatment, but the injuries are not believed to be severe.
Investigators are currently trying to determine what caused the accident. Officials explain the lifeboat fell 65 feet into the water, leaving some crewmembers trapped underneath.
Rescue teams were called to the accident site at the pier of Santa Cruz to aid in treating the victims. The Majesty was scheduled to sail to the Portuguese port of Funchal on the island of Madeira on Sunday but was delayed.
A spokesman for the Thomson Cruises commented on the incident, saying: “Thomson Cruises is 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 by the incident.”
The tragic crewmember accident occurred just 13 months after the disastrous Costa Concordia tragedy, which led to the deaths of 32 people. Safety onboard cruise lines has especially been questioned following the Concordia capsizing, but it seems as though the cruise industry still has a long way to go before these types of incidents will be prevented.
Top Right: Thomson lifeboat capsizes – mirror.co.ukaccident
Bottom Left: Rescue Teams and onlookers at Thomson accident site – thesun.co.uk