DFA Continues To Investigate Identity Of Filipino Crewmember Killed In Thomson Cruises Lifeboat Drill Accident

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Sunday’s tragic lifeboat safety drill accident onboard Thomson Cruises has shaken the cruise industry, leading maritime safety organizations to question whether lines will ever fully adopt safety protocols onboard their vessels. But while investigators continue to search for answers as to what exactly led a lifeboat filled with eight crewmembers to plummet 60 feet into the water, the loved ones of those who were killed are also on standby, waiting for the identities of their loved ones to be revealed.

While the identities of three Indonesian crewmembers who were killed in the accident were announced, the other two deceased victims have yet to be accounted for. Reports state that one of the victims was a Filipino man, but not much more information has been released in regards to his name or age.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that it was still verifying reports that a Filipino man was among the five crewmembers killed in a lifeboat accident onboard the Thomson Majesty. The lifeboat fell into the sea while it was docked at the port of Santa Cruz in the Canary Islands.

“Our Philippine Embassy in Madrid, who has jurisdiction over the area, is already aware of the incident and of the news reports about the incident but they would like to verify these reports with the local authorities in Canary Islands,” said Raul Hernandez, Assistant Secretary and DFA spokesperson on Monday.

Earlier reports charged that three of the crewmembers were Indonesian men, one was a Ghanaian and the other was Filipino. Three other workers sustained injuries, but their names have yet to be revealed as well.

Following the Costa Concordia tragedy on Jan. 13, 2012, maritime safety organizations have been working diligently to improve protocols onboard vessels to avoid future injuries and fatalities, but it appears as though cruise companies continue to disregard important safety regulations.

One of the main criticisms of the Costa cruise ship accident was the fact that crewmembers seemed to be running around in a panic, not knowing what to do. Survivors recount a very hectic evacuation experience, claiming crews could not even properly communicate with each other.

As a result of the Costa incident, specific life boat drill policies were proposed to avoid any mishaps during real emergencies, which state that the boats will not be loaded with more than the absolute minimum number of crewmembers required to operate them. The policies, released by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and European Cruise Council (ECC), also stated that lifeboats will be raised empty, and according to authorities, Sunday’s accident took place after cables on the lifeboat snapped with crewmembers onboard the lifeboats.

“Cables snapped on a lifeboat and it plunged 20 meters (65 feet) to the ocean and fell upside down, killing the five and injuring three others aboard,” explained the cruise ship accident reports.

A total of 1,498 passengers were onboard the 20-year-old Majesty when the accident took place, but luckily, none of them sustained injuries.

Anytime an accident takes place, whether it leads to serious injuries or not, victims are entitled to seek legal counsel to protect their rights and fight for the compensation they deserve. Our cruise ship accident lawyers are here to help victims and their loved ones obtain the justice they deserve for their pain and suffering, whether the victims are crewmembers or passengers.

If you or a loved one were hurt while onboard a cruise vessel, call our firm today to schedule a consultation and discuss your options in filing a case.

Photo Credits:

Top Right: DFA Assistant Secretary & Spokesman, Raul Hernandez – dipity.com
Bottom Left: Snapped Lifeboat Cable Onboard Thomson Majesty – digitaljournal.com