Five die after cruise ship incident
Published 10/02/2013 | 15:36
Five crew members have died and three others were hurt after a lifeboat from a British-operated cruise ship fell into the sea at port in Spain's Canary Islands during a safety drill.
About 1,400 passengers were aboard at the time, but none were involved in the accident on the Thomson Majesty, berthed at the island of La Palma.
Thomson Cruises confirmed the incident, saying: "There have sadly been five crew fatalities and three crew injuries."
All of the dead were men - three were from Indonesia, one was from the Philippines and the fifth was from Ghana.
One of the three injured was discharged from hospital, with the other two also expected to be allowed to leave shortly.
Investigators are trying to determine what caused the lifeboat to plummet into the water before capsizing.
Rescue personnel were called to the dockside after "a lifeboat with occupants had fallen overboard from a cruise ship docked at the pier of Santa Cruz port in La Palma," a regional government statement said.
A small, white two-hulled lifeboat could be seen capsized beside the large ship.
The ship had been due to sail on Sunday afternoon to the Portuguese port of Funchal on the mid-Atlantic island of Madeira.
The injured were all men, two aged 30 and another, a Greek national, aged 32. They were taken by ambulance to the general hospital of La Palma. The local authorities of La Palma cancelled Carnival festivities that had been due to be held on the island, but said they would go ahead as planned on Monday.