Inquiry into Deadly Cruise Ship Accident Faults Improper Maintenance

May 9, 2014

<img src="//" border="0” alt="thomson-majesty" align="right" style="margin-left:10px" width="270" height="170" alt="Thomson Majesty">

(12:00 p.m. EDT) -- An investigation into what caused a deadly accident during a lifeboat drill on Thomson Majesty has said improper maintenance and fitting of ropes are to blame.

The Marine Safety Investigation Unit of Malta, the ship's flag state, published its report this week on the February 2013 incident, where five crewmembers were killed and three were injured.

The report cited laboratory analysis that showed:

•The wire rope had parted at a site of pre-existing corrosion wastage and that it appeared dry and void of lubricant;

•The wire rope fitted was not in accordance with the manufacturer's recommended specifications; and

•Grease with incorrect specifications had been used to lubricate the wire rope during periodic maintenance.

A spokesperson for Thomson Cruises told Cruise Critic: "We were extremely saddened by the accident on the 10th February 2013 onboard the Thomson Majesty in which five crew members died. We accept the findings of the report and, together with the ship's operator, have implemented a number of changes to our procedures in response to these conclusions."

The accident occurred around mid-day local time on February 10, 2013, in the port of La Palma in the Canary Islands. A cable holding lifeboat number 9 snapped during an emergency training drill when the lifeboat was approximately 20 meters (65 feet) above the surface of the water. The cable snapped as the lifeboat was being winched back into place, causing it to flip over and fall, throwing one crewmember into the water and trapping seven others inside.

According to the report: "Two crew members managed to escape from the upturned lifeboat by their own efforts. The remaining five crew members were subsequently removed by local divers and were declared deceased at the scene."

Thomson Majesty is owned by Louis Cruise Lines and chartered by Thomson Cruises, a branch of UK-based Thomson Holidays, a subsidiary of TUI Travel.

--by Jamey Bergman, UK Production Editor