Koninklijke Vereniging - Société Royale




France: One killed in accident on world's biggest cruise liner

One person has been killed and four others left seriously injured in Marseille after an accident on board the HARMONY OF THE SEAS, the world's largest cruise liner. The fatal accident comes just three months after the cruise liner hit the high seas for its much-hyped inaugural voyage. According to the local Provence newspaper the accident happened when one of the ship's life boats with five people on board became detached during a "simple security exercise" while the ship was in a stop over at the port of Marseille. The life boat fell some 10 metres, according to the Julien Ruas, one of the deputy mayors of Marseille said. The victims were members of the cruise ship’s crew. Two of four injured are said to be in a critical condition after suffering multiple injuries, while the other two were not believed to be in a life threatening condition. "One person is dead and four are injured, including two whose lives are in danger," a spokesman for the fire service told AFP. The lifeboat "became detached" from the ship with five people on board, the spokesman said, but there was no immediate confirmation of reports that they had been taking part in a safety drill at the time. The 120,000-tonne HARMONY OF THE SEAS, capable of accommodating more than 8,000 passengers and crew in the most luxurious conditions. At 66 metres (217 feet), it is the widest cruise ship ever built, while its 362-metre length makes it 50 metres longer than the height of the Eiffel Tower. The immense floating town, which cost close to one billion euros (dollars), has 16 decks and will be able to carry 6,360 passengers and 2,100 crew members. The ship was built for the US-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL) by the STX France Shipyard in Saint-Nazaire on the Atlantic coast.
source : thelocal


Crew Member Dies During Rescue Boat Drill Aboard Norwegian Breakaway, Three Others Injured -Update

Four crew members of the Norwegian Breakaway have been injured in an accident during a rescue boat drill in Bermuda. 

The accident occurred Wednesday as the cruise ship was docked at the Heritage Wharf at the Royal Naval Dockyard.

Norwegian Cruise Lines has confirmed to gCaptain that one of the injured crew members has died. 

The crew was taking part in a routine drill when the rescue boat fell and was left hanging by a wire, resulting in four crew members falling into the water, according to the Royal Gazette. 

A statement from NCL said the Norwegian Breakaway was alongside in Bermuda when an incident occurred involving the ship’s rescue boat during a routine drill, affecting four crew members. After receiving immediate care by ship’s medical team, the crew members were transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment, where one crew member passed away, NCL confirmed to gCaptain.

“Norwegian is profoundly saddened by this loss and we share our deepest sympathies with the crew member’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.

“The company is providing full support and care to those involved and is working closely with the Government of Bermuda and relevant authorities to investigate the incident,” the statement said.

RCC Bermuda said that they were advised of the accident involving the “Fast Rescue Craft” at approximately 11:51 a.m., which resulted in 4 crew members entering the water.

The incident is currently under investigation by relevant authorities including the Bermuda Police Service and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

The Norwegian Breakaway is visiting Bermuda on a voyage from the U.S. east coast. The ship is expected to depart Bermuda as scheduled


Maersk Giant Lifeboat Drop: “vulnerable” brake and confusion


Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority, PSA,  says an improperly adjusted winch brake, which it refers to as ‘vulnerable’, led to the unintentionally launch of a lifeboat from the mobile unit Mærsk Giant at about 05.10 on Wednesday 14 January 2015.

This incident occurred during testing of the lifeboat systems.

During testing, one of the lifeboats unintentionally descended to the sea. Efforts were made to activate the manual brake on the lifeboat winch, but it was not working. The lifeboat entered the water and drifted beneath the unit. The steel wires holding it were eventually torn off.

After the incident, the lifeboat drifted away from Mærsk Giant, accompanied by a standby vessel. The lifeboat eventually reached land at Obrestad south of Stavanger.

Nobody was in the lifeboat when the incident occurred, and no personnel were injured.

The PSA conducted an investigation which established that the direct cause of the incident was a reduction in the braking effect of the brake on the lifeboat winch owing to faulty adjustment. If the manual brake failed during maintenance with people in the lifeboat, or during an actual evacuation, serious personal injury or deaths could have resulted.

Should the lifeboat have descended during an actual evacuation, a partially filled lifeboat could have reached the sea without a lifeboat captain on board. The PSA also considers it likely that people would have been at risk of falling from the lifeboat or the muster area should a descent have started. The potential consequence could be fatalities.

Five nonconformities were identified by this investigation. These related to
•           maintenance routines for the lifeboat davit system
•           training
•           procedures relating to lifeboats and evacuation
•           periodic programme for competent control and ensuring the expertise of personnel carrying out maintenance work
•           qualification and follow-up of contractors.
Mærsk Giant is operated by Maersk Drilling Norge


Alarm as five die in lifeboat drill accident

Nautilus has expressed concern over an incident in which five seafarers died during a lifeboat drill onboard the cruiseship Thomson Majesty in the port of Santa Cruz de la Palma in the Canary Islands.

The men — three Indonesians, a Filipino and a Ghanaian national — died and three others were injured when a drop cable reportedly snapped as the lifeboat was being recovered from the water, causing it to plunge more than 50ft into the sea.

The incident onboard the Maltese-flagged ship is the latest in a long list of similar accidents, with research showing that as many as 15% of all merchant seafarer fatalities involve lifeboat drills. Investigations are expected to focus on the condition of the fall wires, davits and on-load release hooks and the ease with which the wires could be greased.

Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson commented: ‘We are deeply shocked to see yet another lifeboat accident leading to loss of life and injuries, and express our sympathies to all affected by the incident.

‘The dangers associated with lifeboat drills are well known, and there is now extensive evidence to show the scale of fatalities arising from accidents. In the light of this, Nautilus has consistently advised members not to be in lifeboats when they are being raised or lowered, unless strops are in place.

‘This is an issue that we have raised directly with companies and at the International Maritime Organisation, and we believe there is a need for much more concerted action to address design shortcomings. It is not only an issue of maintenance and training — it is a question of procedures,’ he added. ‘It is also time to have some more radical thinking about the whole concept of lifeboats and to examine the potential of alternative evacuation systems.’

Bjorn-Erik Kristoffersen, the International Transport Workers’ Federation representative on the IMO’s lifeboat working group, said the ‘sad and awful accident’ underlined the risks that seafarers face every day and demonstrated the ‘burning need’ for progress on the issue of lifeboat safety. ‘In addition, the flag state, Malta, must quickly and fully investigate this accident and provide a clear report on it,’ he added.

Built in 1992, Thomson Majesty is managed by the Cyprus-based Louis Group. It is understood that flag state and classification society representatives were onboard the 40,876gt vessel at the time of the accident.


Crewmember dies after Coral Princess lifeboat accident


One crewman died and another was hospitalized after an Oct. 24 accident involving a lifeboat aboard Coral Princess. The incident reportedly occurred in Colón, Panama.

According to a Princess Cruises statement, two crewmen were in one of the rescue boats doing maintenance work on the hull of Coral Princess. When the boat was being raised back up to the ship, one of the cables parted, and the boat fell into the water with the crewmen inside. Both were taken to a hospital ashore. One of the men died from his injuries.

Princess Cruises released this statement on Facebook:
“It is with deep sadness that I must share the news that our colleague Husnan Fauzan has passed away from injuries he sustained in the tragic accident on Coral Princess yesterday. Husnan, who served as SGP1, joined Princess in 2004.

Husnan, along with Bosun Steven Bagshaw, were onboard a rescue boat that was in the process of being hoisted when it fell back into the water. Both men were taken to the hospital for treatment, but unfortunately, Husnan did not survive. Steven is currently still in the hospital in stable condition.”

We also received this statement from Princess:
“On October 24 two of our crew members were in one of the ship’s rescue boats doing some maintenance work on the hull of Coral Princess. When the boat was being raised back onboard the ship, one of the cables that raises and lowers the boat parted, and the boat dropped back into the water with our two crew members inside.
We immediately responded and discovered that these crew members had, unfortunately, sustained injuries which necessitated their transfer to a shoreside hospital for evaluation and treatment.
It is with an extremely heavy heart that we confirm that one of the crew members subsequently passed away from his injuries. This has devastated everyone across the entire Princess Cruises organization.
We are, and will continue to support his family during this difficult period.”

Princess Cruises is one of ten cruise brands owned by Carnival Corporation. The company operates 17 ships.

Lifeboat safety has been a concern across the shipping business for some time.

In similar circumstances in February 2013, five crew members died and three others were injured when a lifeboat fell into the water during a routine emergency drill for Thomson Majesty at Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands. In that case, a company spokesperson said one of the cables ‘snapped’ when the boat was being raised and it fell into the water. Thomson Cruises was chartering the ship from Louis Cruises.


Five die in cruise ship lifeboat accident

Five people have been killed after a lifeboat fell from a cruise ship into the sea at a port in the Canary Islands.

All those who died were male crew members. Three were from Indonesia, one from Ghana and the other from the Philippines.

Three other male crew members, two aged 30 and another aged 32, suffered minor injuries. It was not clear whether they were in the lifeboat at the time of the accident






Another Lifeboat Accident Occurs in Montenegro


By Greenberg Stone and Urbano

Recently, an Italian newspaper reported that yet another lifeboat accident had occurred aboard the Costa Mediterranea.  Thankfully this incident did not result in injuries.  Apparently, a cable broke aboard the ship while a lifeboat was being lowered in Montenegro.  Photographs depict images of the lifeboat dangling on the side of the ship.  The ship was being lowered into the sea to carry passengers to a nearby dock when it fell.  No one was onboard at the time.  While the incident did not result in injuries, had it occurred moments later, crew members or passengers may have plummeted into the sea.

This is the most recent in a line of lifeboat accidents on a cruise ship over the past two years.  In 2013, a rescue boat holding several crew members fell during a training drill, killing five.  In 2014, a rescue boat from the ship Coral Princess was being raised with two crew members aboard when a cable snapped.  One crew member was killed in the accident.  In July 2015, we previously reported on a lifeboat accident that sent two crew members to the hospital.  Two crew members aboard the Pride of America cruise ship were lowering a lifeboat when the lines suddenly gave way.  They fell into the ocean and both were injured.

Safety Issues Surrounding Lifeboats

All cruise ships are equipped with lifeboats and rescue vessels.  These vessels can be vital in the event of an emergency, but seem to result in injuries and death to many crewmembers in recent years.  The Cruise Line International Organization (CLIA) has recognized the dangers surrounding life boats and introduced a safety proposal designed to prevent these cable snapping instances.  The proposal states that cruise lines should no longer load multiple crewmembers into lifeboats during safety drills.  Instead, the ship should lower lifeboats into the water first, and then crewmembers can perform necessary drills.  Further, crewmembers should never be on board when the vessel is being raised.  Lifeboats are designed to go one way and that is down.  There is no reason to have crew members aboard when the boat is being raised.

Despite these safety recommendations, cruise lines apparently continue to place crewmembers aboard lifeboats as they are raised and lowered.  This has already resulted in deaths and injuries to several crewmembers.  Hopefully, in light of these recent accidents, cruise lines will reconsider safety measures and enact policies as suggested by CLIA.


Report of Investigation into the Fatal Accident on Inadvertent Release of Lifeboat from the Hong Kong Registered Ship “OOCL Britain” on 5 March 2006

1. Summary
1.1 At about 0845 hours on 5 March 2006 (time specified in the report refers to local time), while alongside at Seattle Container Terminal, a Hong Kong registered ship “OOCL Britain” (the Vessel) conducted a lifeboat lowering exercise during a Safety Equipment Survey by the ship’s Classification Society. During the lowering of the port side lifeboat from its stowage position, it swung and struck the side of the vessel. As it swung, the lifeboat forward skates was caught by the gangway stowed at the shipside. This acted as a pivot point on which the lifeboat overturned to almost 90∘causing the forward and aft hooks to disengage from their positions. The forward skate later detached from its securing. As a result the lifeboat unhooked from its securing and dropped approximately 20 metres into the water. The Third Officer assigned to lower the lifeboat died in the incident. Three other crewmembers managed to escape after the accident with one injury.
1.2 The port lifeboat sustained structural damage to the top canopy after dropping into the sea. At the material time, the weather was good, with a slight wind and a smooth sea.
1.3 The investigation revealed that the probable cause of the incident was due to the design of recess opening above the stowed gangway and the inadequate size of the lifeboat skates that were caught by the gangway locating at the recess opening. During launching the Third Officer might have incorrectly applied the hand brake causing the lifeboat to swing excessively.


4. Outline of Events
4.1 On 5 March 2006, “OOCL Britain” was alongside at Seattle Container Terminal No. 18. During a Safety Equipment Survey, a Class Surveyor requested the port side lifeboat to be lowered for a water-borne exercise.

4.2 At about 0834 local time the lifeboat was lowered to embarkation deck with no one inside. It was heaved back to its stowed position after verifying all equipment had been functioning properly.

4.3 On instruction of the Chief Officer, the Third Officer and three other crewmembers boarded the port side lifeboat at its stowed position. The Third Officer began lowering the lifeboat from inside using the lifeboat’s internal remote control wire.

4.4 The Chief Officer stated that he had briefed the boat crew of the safety precautions and the proper procedures in handling the lifeboat before the lowering. He also reminded the Third Officer not to make any “‘inching’” operation in the course of lowering, i.e. not to apply the hand brake intermittently while descent, as it might shake the boat. After the Third Officer confirmed his understanding, the Chief Officer granted the “Permission to lower”.

4.5 During lowering, the lifeboat was intermittently stopped twice. The lifeboat began to swing violently and banged against the shipside for at least twice as the lowering continued.

4.6 As the lifeboat lowered to the level beneath the embarkation deck, at least one of the lifeboat skates was caught on the stowed gangway at the shipside. This acted as a pivot point on which the lifeboat overturned to almost 90∘causing the forward and aft hooks to disengage from their positions. The forward skate later detached from its securing. As a result the lifeboat unhooked from its securing and dropped approximately 20 metres into the water.

4.7 The impact was so severe that it broke open one of the slide-hatch doors. The lifeboat began to fill with water and slowly capsized.

4.8 The crewmembers tried to escape from the capsizing boat but the Third Officer was entangled by the safety harness inside. The survived crew attempted to rescue him but without success. The Chief Officer jumped into the water and joined the rescue. He managed to retrieve the Third Officer from the capsized boat and pulled him out of water in an unconscious condition. He was immediately sent to hospital and was pronounced dead upon arrival. The cause of death was later determined to be drowning.


Measures to Stop Accidents on Lifeboats

By Anish | In: Marine Safety

Lifeboats, though designed with a view to saving you from trouble at sea, are not infallible. Nothing is. Of course, they do their job and they do it well, but this is not to say that they cannot themselves be involved in an accident.

Thankfully, the vast majority of accidents on lifeboat occur during drills, perhaps because people are less alert than they’d normally be, because it’s not a “real” situation. People can become lax when partaking in something that is more or less a routine operation.

The fact that these accidents more frequently take place during practices means that fatalities tend to be lower, although they do still occur, taking the lives of trained professionals.

You will never be able to prevent all accidents on lifeboats from occurring; the best you can do is come prepared and know the main causes of them – forewarned is forearmed


The Main Causes of Lifeboat Accidents                                    
A recent study published by the International Maritime Organization and the Maritime Safety Committee stated that the following categories cover the overwhelming majority of lifeboat accidents that involved the injury or death of a crew person:
•the failure of the on-load release mechanism;
•the accidental usage of the on-load release mechanism;
•the insufficient maintenance of lifeboats, launch equipment and davits;
•failures in communication;
•a lack of familiarity with lifeboats and the associated equipment;
•unsafe practices during lifeboat inspections and drills; and
•other design faults.

All of the above causes of accidents on lifeboats are easily preventable. But the question that still remains: how do you prevent these accidents from occurring altogether?


How to Prevent Lifeboat Accidents?

The Committee came up with several methods in which they could increase the safety of lifeboat operation and cut down on the potential accidents on lifeboats. The first thing they did was to write a circular, then they asked Member Governments to bring said circular to the attention of any and all relevant parties, such as industry organizations and ship crew-members.


Included in that circular were the following instructions:

•ensure that the on-load release mechanism is in compliance with the various requirements of the LSA Code (specifically paragraphs –;
•make sure that all relevant information regarding the adjustment and maintenance of lifeboats and associated equipment is available on board;
•all personnel carrying out inspections and maintenance of the lifeboat and associated equipment must be both fully trained in and familiar with said duties;
•the maintenance of lifeboats and associated equipment must be carried out in adherence to the approved practices;
•health and safety requirements apply to drills as they do to “real” procedures;
•lifeboat drills must be conducted in accordance with the SOLAS regulation III/19.3.3;
•any personnel carrying out maintenance or repair must be qualified for the job;
•hanging-off pennants should be used only for maintenance, not during training;
•lifeboat inspection must be regular and thorough;
•all equipment must be durable in rough conditions and easily accessible; and
•all tests for safety and life-saving equipment must be conducted rigorously to guidelines, newly created by the International Maritime Organisation.

What Else Can Be Done?

For the most part, accidents on lifeboats can be prevented simply by exercising some caution and common sense.
Make sure that everything on your lifeboats – both fixed and loose – is functioning as it should, and give the boat an inspection to ensure that the power supply, the engine, the steering and the bailing mechanism are all working correctly.
Keep crew down to a sensible level to avoid over-crowding, and regularly check over the davits; if you see any corrosion or defamation, set to work repairing them and ensure they’re well-lubricated.




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