Five dead on Canary Islands cruise ship

The BBC's Tom Burridge says reports suggest a winch came loose

Related Stories

Five crew members have died after a lifeboat they were in fell from a cruise ship docked in the port of Santa Cruz de la Palma in the Canary Islands.

The accident happened on the Majesty, operated by UK-based Thomson Cruises, during a routine safety drill.

Those killed include three Indonesians, a Filipino and a Ghanaian. Three people were also hurt as the boat reportedly fell more than 20m into the sea.

The MS Thomson Majesty is believed to sail under a Maltese flag.

Map

An estimated 1,400 people were on board the cruise ship when the accident occurred around 12:00 GMT on Sunday.

None of the passengers was involved.

Two of those injured are said to be Greek, and a third Filipino.

The ship had been due to sail on Sunday to the Portuguese port of Funchal on the Atlantic island of Madeira, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Thomson Cruises said in a statement: "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 statement added.

Cable Passenger Jim McArthur sent the BBC a picture of snapped cable that had apparently held the lifeboat

The UK Foreign Office said it was aware of the incident and was "urgently looking into it".

Jim McArthur, a British passenger on the ship, said he was settling down for lunch after a walk in La Palma when "there was a sudden thud and I joked to the wife that someone had run into us".

"Then people started going to the windows and when we looked down you could see the boat in the water upside down.

"It's a very sad day, there's five lives been lost. "

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

Programmes

  • Stranded shipThe Travel Show Watch

    Stranded in the icy Northwest Passage where only the polar bears move freely

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.