Five crew members died in an emergency drill on a cruise ship in the Canary Islands on Sunday, reported Reuters.
The cables on a lifeboat snapped during a mock rescue exercise on the Thomson Majesty causing it to plunge 65 feet into the ocean where it fell upside down – killing the five and injuring three others aboard.
There were about 1,500 passengers onboard ship at the time of the incident. None of them was involved in the accident.
In Britain, the RMT shipping union called for better safety standards in the UK shipping and cruise industries. They are awaiting the outcome of the official investigation and recommendations that can prevent any repetition of such events.
Thomson released the following statement on the incident:
Thomson Cruises can confirm there was an incident involving the ship’s crew during a safety drill on board Thomson Majesty, in La Palma, Canary Islands yesterday at 11:50am local time.
We can also confirm that there have sadly been five crew fatalities and three crew injuries. All three have been discharged from hospital and are back on board the ship. Our thoughts are with the families of those involved.
We are working closely with the ship owners and managers, Louis Cruises, to determine exactly what has happened and provide assistance to those affected by the incident. We are also working closely with all relevant authorities and are co-operating fully with their investigations.
As the authorities are currently conducting their investigations, we are awaiting confirmation of when the ship can continue with the cruise. We hope to receive this this morning and will advise customers as soon as we have an update.