As far as bad situations go, it doesn’t get more ironic or worse than this. During a safety drill on the world’s biggest cruise liner, the Harmony of the Seas, a crew member was killed. The accident happened while the cruise ship was docked at the port of Marseille, France.
The 42-year-old Filipino man and four other crew members were in a lifeboat that plunged 10 metres into the water during a safety drill in the southern French port on Tuesday. Three other Filipinos and an Indian man were hurt in the incident, and two were fighting for their lives.
Royal Caribbean said in a statement: “We are keeping our colleagues and their families in our thoughts and prayers.”
A fire service spokesman said: “One person is dead and four are injured, including two whose lives are in danger.”
Marseille’s deputy mayor Julien Ruas told AFP the five were the only people in the lifeboat at the time when it became detached from its fastenings and “fell 10 metres” into the harbour.
The city’s prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux said a similar drill is carried out every week on the ship. “It involves putting a lifeboat to sea,” he said.
An investigation has been opened to find out why “the cable or the fastenings” holding the lifeboat in place gave way, the prosecutor said. The boat “fell suddenly into the water,” he added.
The Harmony of the Seas sailed into Marseille early Tuesday from the Spanish Mediterranean island of Majorca.
The 120,000-tonne liner operated by Florida-based Royal Caribbean only had its maiden voyage in May.