A lifeboat from the Thomson Majesty cruise ship fell into the sea at the pier of Santa Cruz in La Palma, Canary Islands, on Sunday. The accident happened during an emergency drill that was being carried out by the crew.
Five people died and another three were injured, according to Washington Times. The ship was to sail on Sunday afternoon to the Portuguese port of Funchal on the mid-Atlantic island of Madeira.
Investigators were trying to determine what caused the lifeboat to plummet into the water.
Thomson Cruises stated that it “is aware of an incident involving the ship’s crew on board Thomson Majesty in La Palma.” They added, “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.”
The regional government said, “A lifeboat with occupants had fallen overboard from a cruise ship docked at the pier of Santa Cruz port in La Palma,” and then rescuers were called at 12:05 p.m. local time (7:05 a.m. EST).
Images on television depicted a small, white, two-hulled lifeboat turtled beside the Thomson Majesty cruise ship. Five of the passengers died, while three were injured and taken by ambulance to the general hospital of La Palma. All of the eight men were male crew members. The 1400 passengers on board were safe and were not in any way involved in the accident, authorities said.
Three of the men that died were Indonesian. One was Filipino and another from Ghana. Of the injured, two were aged 30, while one, a Greek national, was 32.
A Foreign Office spokesman said, “We are aware, and we are seeking further information,” reports Daily Mail.
The Thomson Majesty is a cruise ship owned by Louis Cruises and is chartered/operated by Thomson Cruises. The incident happened just 13 months after the cruise industry was rocked by the Costa Concordia tragedy, in which 32 people died.