MANILA, Philippines—A drill that was supposed to save lives in the event of an emergency at sea resulted in the death of five crew members, including a Filipino, of a cruise ship docked in Spain’s Canary Islands on Sunday, Agence France Presse reported Monday.
A crew member from the Philippines, one from Ghana and three from Indonesia died after they were trapped under a lifeboat that had fallen into the water from a height of 20 meters off the Thomson Majesty during a safety drill at around 11:30 a.m., Sunday (Manila time).
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Philippine Embassy in Madrid was confirming details of the incident.
“Our embassy in Madrid is aware of this incident but is still verifying it with authorities in the Canary Islands,” said Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez, DFA spokesman.
The ship’s owner, Thomson Cruises based in the United Kingdom, did not return queries sent via e-mail.
Reports said the cable pulling the lifeboat back up after the drill snapped as it was being raised. The boat with the crewmen had earlier been lowered to the sea without incident.
As the cable broke, the lifeboat fell to the water upside down, trapping the crewmen under it, reports said.
Three other crewmen were injured but none of nearly 1,500 passengers were hurt.
The ship had docked at the port of Santa Cruz in Las Palmas on Sunday morning after sailing from neighboring Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The ship was supposed to leave at 3 p.m. for the Portuguese island of Madeira.
The ship was manned by an international crew of 594. The Filipino fatality was unidentified as of press time.