Human Error Cited as Possible Cause of Harmony of the Seas Tragic Accident

Sep 14, 2016

Preliminary investigation on Harmony of the Seas incident carried by Marseille prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux, indicate that the lifeboat lowering equipment was functioning properly. Tarabeux said the investigation had so far found no signs of "faulty equipment". He added that "The investigation is shifting towards the theory that human error was to blame." Investigators are now focusing on whether mistakes were made in the procedures of lowering the lifeboat.  Witnesses are questioned by the state prosecutor and the ship is forced to remain in Marseille while the investigation continues. 

One 42-year-old crew member working as electrical engineer was killed during safety drill, when the lifeboat plunged 10 meters into the water while Harmony of the Seas was docked in Marseille, France. Four crew members were injured in the accident, three Filipino nationals and one Indian crew member. 

Royal Caribbean, said two of the injured crewmen had been discharged from Marseille North Hospital, while two others who were in critical condition are still receiving medical treatment.

According to “The Journal” Philippines Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said they received the report on the death of the crew member from the Philippine Embassy in Paris, and they contacted with Royal Caribbean. He also added that one Filipino crew member was seriously injured while two others were in stable condition.

Only experienced sailors are operating the lowering of the lifeboats and crew members from various departments are in charge of lowering the life rafts which in case of emergency crew is lowered ito the sea. Lifeboat equipment is made to withstand extreme conditions in case of emergency and the lowering ramps are designed with simple mechanism for maneuvering.