Falling lifeboat injures three, kills five in Canary Island port

By Michelle Smoler,

Five crew members were killed and three were injured while testing lifeboats on UK-based Thomson Cruises’ “The Majesty.” The incident occurred during an emergency drill when a lifeboat fell from the ship in the port of Santa Cruz de La Palma in the Canary Islands.

According to The Guardian, Spanish reports account for three Indonesians, a Filipino and a Ghanaian among the dead. Two Greek nationals and another Filipino were also seriously harmed by the crash.

The seafarers’ trade union Nautilus International remarked that lifeboat tests are infamously dangerous, with a long history of accidents. However, no one is yet able to account for what caused the incident.

BBC News reported a statement by Thomas Cruises saying, "We are working closely with the ship owners and managers, Louis Cruises, to determine exactly what has happened and provide assistance to those affected."

The UK Foreign Office is also involved in the investigation.

The ship was due to sail on Sunday to the port of Funchal on the island of Madeira. At the time of the incident approximately 2,000 passengers were on board, but none were involved in the drill, The Guardian reported.

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