Falling lifeboat kills Thomson cruise ship crew in Canary Islands

By Peter Walker, The Guardian
Sunday, February 10, 2013 12:04 EDT
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Five die and three injured in incident during emergency drill on Thomson Majesty moored at Santa Cruz on island of La Palma

Five people have died on a cruise ship operated by the holiday firm Thomson after a lifeboat fell from the vessel during an emergency drill at La Palma in the Canary islands, according to Spanish officials and reports.

Three other people were injured in the incident on the Thomson Majesty, the most modern addition to the company’s fleet of cruise liners, which was moored at the island’s capital, Santa Cruz.

Government officials quoted emergency services as saying crews were sent to the dock just after midday local time (12pm GMT) after “a lifeboat with occupants had fallen overboard from a cruise ship docked at the pier”.

Spanish reports identified the ship as the Majesty and said those dead were believed to be three Indonesians, a Filipino and a Ghanaian.

The country’s media quoted police as saying the boat, carrying eight members of the ship’s crew, dropped around 30 metres into the water before overturning. It was not known what caused the boat to fall. Those injured, two of whom were badly hurt, were identified as being two Greek nationals and one Filipino.

According to the report about 2,000 passengers were on board the Majesty, which is based in the port and usually undertakes cruises around the Canaries and Madeira. No passengers were involved in the exercise.

A spokesman for Thomson, which is owned by the German travel giant TUI, said: “Thomson Cruises is aware of an incident involving the ship’s crew on board Thomson Majesty, in La Palma, Canary Islands this afternoon.

“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.More information will be released as it becomes available.”

© Guardian News and Media 2013

[Elderly Couple Walking On Cruise Ship Deck in Evening via Shutterstock.com.]

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