A lifeboat from a British-operated cruise ship fell upside down into the sea during a safety drill Sunday, killing five people and injuring three others, officials said. There were approximately 1,400 passengers onboard the ship, but none were involved in the accident.
The cables of the lifeboat snapped, plunging 65 feet down into the ocean during an emergency rescue exercise onboard the Thomson Majesty. Thomson Cruises confirmed the incident and said that one of the three injured in the accident has been discharged from the hospital. The other two are expected to be discharged.
Authorities said three of the dead were Indonesian men, and the other two were Filipino and Ghanian. All five were crew members. The three injured were all men, two of whom are 30 years old, and the other, a Greek national, who is 32.
A rescue helicopter and the Volunteer Fire Department of La Palma, as well as a 14-person diving crew, were dispatched to the scene. Additional rescue services were also present at the scene of the accident.
Investigators are trying to determine what caused the cables of the lifeboat to snap. Thomson said that it is working closely with the ship owners and managers, Louis Cruise Lines, which is based in Cyprus. It is unknown at the moment whether the ship will be allowed to leave the port.
The cruise ship was in La Palma, Canary Islands at the time of the accident. La Palma authorities canceled Carnival festivities that were supposed to be held on the island Sunday, but said they would go ahead as planned Monday.