While hundreds of innocent passengers were enjoying their vacation on a cruise ship in Spain's Canary Islands, an unforeseen malfunction of the ship's lifeboat system claimed the lives of five of crewmen. Thomson Cruises confirmed the accident aboard their ship, which occurred on Sunday, February 10, and the casualties reported, including three crewmen who were mildly injured as well.
The lifeboat was being used for a routine safety drill aboard the cruise ship. The cable being used to lower it to the water suddenly snapped and sent the small boat on a 65 foot fall where it landed upside down. The crewmembers aboard the lifeboat were trapped underneath the capsized boat. Divers raced to the lifeboat in an attempt to rescue the crewmembers involved, recovering four bodies. The fifth casualty was confirmed when attempts to revive the unconscious crewman were unsuccessful. Officials also confirmed injuries sustained by three other crewmen as a result of the accident. None of the ship's passengers were involved in the accident.
The ship was carrying about 1500 passengers and almost 600 crewmen. At the time of the drill, the ship had been docked at the island's port of Santa Cruz from its prior stop at the neighboring island of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It was scheduled to depart at 3:00 P.M. for its next stop at Funchal on the island of Madeira in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
The accident took place at around 11:30 A.M., at which time the alarm alerted port authorities and crew leaders. The captain of the ship immediately called for the divers, who were involved in the rescue attempts. According to local authorities, the deceased included three Indonesians, a Filipino and a Ghanaian. The victims injured in the accident were taken by ambulance to a local hospital in La Palma to receive treatment for their injuries. Authorities also postponed La Palma's Carnival festivities, which had been scheduled to be held that same day, until Monday as a sign of respect and in response to the accident.
In any area where marine recreation is involved, there is always the risk of accidents. Current statistics estimate that almost 700 boating accidents reported in the country every year. Those numbers have been on a steady incline for the past five years and local law enforcement is constantly stressing the importance of safe, smart boating. The ocean can be one of the most enjoyable features of our beautiful Miami community, but it can also turn into our enemy if we are not careful in how we interact with it. A majority of the boating accidents reported could have been avoided by the use of life jackets, the adherence to alcohol regulations while operating boats and the reduction of foul play on board. Staying safe on the water can help preserve the enjoyable quality that boats and cruises offer.
At the Mesa Law Firm, we understand that no matter how safe you may approach recreational activities, accidents can always happen. Whether it is due to another person's negligence or a result of a natural cause, innocent victims are injured in accidents of all kinds every day. We have made it our mission to advocate for innocent injury victims who have been hurt because of someone else's negligence. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a boating accident or any kind of event that was out of their control, we encourage you to call the Mesa Law Firm. One of our Miami personal injury lawyers is waiting to help you get the compensation you deserve.