(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) 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.
At the time, the International Transport Workers' Federation urged action on lifeboat safety. Bjørn-Erik Kristoffersen, the ITF's representative on the lifeboat working group of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee, called lifeboat accidents 'all too common' and said they 'dramatically show that this is a recurring problem.’
Addressing one aspect of lifeboat safety, under IMO regulations adopted in 2011, all new on-load release mechanisms for lifeboats were required to be evaluated against new design requirements by July 2013. The regulation requires non-compliant hooks to be replaced no later than the first scheduled drydock of the ship after July 2014 but, in any case, not later than July 2019.
"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" is a very loose description! Parting of a cable needs a reason compatible with technical details (frozen sheave? riding between sheave & block cheek? rubbing of twisted wire falls? wrong/u suitable wire? stretched kink? Corrosion? mechanical damage? other?).
If, as the description suggests ("..on of the wires...", falling of the boat must have involved subsequent failure of hooking (on load release?) or wire of the other hooking side. Normally one would expect the boat to swing from the other set of falls, suggesting other issues tobe investigated, including last mandatory maintenance of lifeboats, launching appliances & on-load release gear. Approval/Recognition of service companies, & the interface with R.O./Class may also deserve attention.
I assume we talk about the 2002 built British Flag, IMO# 9229659 Coral Princess.
According to LR: 5 YEARLY, DYNAMIC TESTS OF SURVIVAL CRAFT LAUNCHING APPLIANCE WINCH BRAKES (UNDER A 1.1 TIMES PROOF LOAD) AND OPERATIONAL TESTS OF ON-LOAD RELEASE
GEARS (UNDER A 1.1 TIMES PROOF LOAD) CARRIED OUT BY SERVICING PERSONNEL CERTIFIED IN ACCORDANCE WITH GUIDELINES CONTAINED IN MSC.1/CIRC.1206 AND COMPLETED ON BEHALF OF THE FLAG STATE ON 31.08.2012.
In this case I am confident MCA shall conduct a thorough & proper investigation - The Industry is looking forward for the report in due course.