Five crew members aged between 30 and 32 have been killed during a lifeboat drill on the Thomson Majesty.
The tragedy happened in the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa during a routine crew exercise. The crew fell approximately 65ft into the water and were trapped underneath the upturned lifeboat.
Three Indonesians, a Filipino and a Ghanaian died, whilst two Greek and one Indonesian were seriously injured.
The older type of lifeboat deployment system requires the procedure to be carried out precisely and in the correct order leading to speculation that this could be the cause of the accident, although mechinical or cable failure are also posibilities
The Thomson Majesty was built in 1992 for the now defunct Majesty cruise line, before being bought by the NCL cruise line and renamed the Norwegian Majesty.
Thomson cruises operate a fleet of 5 ships marketed mainly at the British market. Although sailing under the Thomson flag, the Majesty is actually owned and operated by the Cyprus based Louis cruise line.
You can find further information and track the Thomson Majesty here
Cruiseasute.com says :
Whilst tragic for the crew members concerned, these crew training exercises are a standard part of the schedule and happen hundreds of times per week around the world.
Passengers are never onboard during the exercise so the only time that this would impact a passenger would be during a real emergency.