Cruise Ship Tragic Lifeboat Accident: Investigation Report

Posted by George Backwell
Monday, May 12, 2014
Thomson Majesty: Image courtesy of Transport Malta

Transport Malta Marine Safety Unit has released its report on last year's 'MV Thomson Majesty' lifeboat exercise boat fall that killed 5 crew members and injured 3 others.

Background
On 10, February 2013, Thomson Majesty arrived in Santa Cruz de La Palma from Las Palmas as part of a seven-day cruise commencing in Tenerife. On board were 1498 passengers and a crew of 594, giving a total number of persons on board of 2092.

At around 1030, the ship commenced a general emergency and lifeboat drill for all officers, staff and crew. On completion of the General Emergency Drill, three lifeboats on the outboard (starboard) side were to be lowered to the water and sent away for training purposes.

At approximately 1154, during hoisting of lifeboat no. 9 with eight crew members on board, the forward wire rope fall parted, causing the lifeboat to swivel on the aft hook. When the lifeboat reached an angle of approximately 45° to the horizontal, the aft end of the lifeboat and the hook failed and the lifeboat dropped approximately 20 m to the sea, turning upside down, either just before or as it entered the water.

One crew member was thrown out from the lifeboat as it entered the water, and 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.

Findings

  • the wire rope fall had parted near or around the forward davit‟s upper sheave
  • the laboratory analysis revealed that the wire rope had parted at a site of pre- existing corrosion wastage and that it appeared dry and void of lubricant;
  • the cause of the corrosion was due to the wire rope strands opening up under tension, allowing seawater and other contaminants to penetrate the inner core and corrode the strands
  • the wire rope fitted was not in accordance with the manufacturer‟s recommended specifications
  • the grease with the incorrect specifications had been used to lubricate the wire rope during periodic maintenance


Core Marine Ltd. has conducted an internal investigation that has resulted in changes in its safety management system procedures, intended to enhance lifeboat safety.
Additionally, the Marine Safety Investigation Unit has made one recommendation to the managers of the vessel and two recommendations to the flag State Administration in order to raise awareness and address the management of wire rope integrity.

Transport Malta informs that Core Marine Ltd. has conducted an internal investigation that has resulted in changes in its safety management system procedures, intended to enhance lifeboat safety.

Additionally, the Marine Safety Investigation Unit has made one recommendation to the managers of the vessel and two recommendations to the flag State Administration in order to raise awareness and address the management of wire rope integrity.

 

 

 

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