A lifeboat did something that no cruise passenger ever wants to see, and the disturbing occurrence was caught from Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, as reported by Cruise Hive.
On December 1, 2022, a lifeboat accidentally fell from Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas during what appeared to have been crew training or tendering operations.
Social media users posted videos and pictures that capture the accident’s initial moments as well as the aftermath, which includes a wrecked lifeboat.
Lifeboat Goes Overboard
On the afternoon of December 1, a startling video from Quantum of the Seas shows the cruise ship’s number 12 lifeboat on the port side of the ship disengaging from its davits, falling overboard, aft-first, into the water, and slowly drifting astern of the cruise ship.
Two other lifeboats’ davits were extended, hanging those boats over the side, but the davits for lifeboat number 12 remained in the vertical position because they had only partially been moved from their at-rest and locked positions before the lifeboat dropped.
The rescue vessel plunged, striking the cruise ship’s deck before plummeting over the edge and into the water. The lifeboat’s bow collided with the side of the cruise ship as it sank to the bottom of the ocean.
The lifeboat was recovered, and images clearly reveal significant dings and cracks on the starboard aft corner of the lifeboat in addition to the damage to the fibreglass underneath the lifeboat. The cruise ship’s customary position allowed the rescue craft to be safely docked there.
The incident did not result in any injuries, and it is highly improbable that anyone was on board the rescue vessel at the time, which would have been a flagrant breach of safety protocol.
One crew member is visible on deck when the lifeboat plummets; he or she is holding some kind of guiding line, but rapidly lets go of it and move away because the lifeboat is obviously out of control.
Although muster stations and lifeboats are frequently used in training exercises and safety drills for cruise ship crew members, it does not appear that this incident occurred during a training procedure.
Unlike if lifeboat protocols were being presented or demonstrated at the time, there aren’t any crew groups gathered on the deck.
Furthermore, it is evident that Quantum of the Seas was still moving forward, if slowly when the lifeboat was lowered since it immediately drifted astern rather than bouncing at the location where it was dropped.
The Quantum of the Seas was visiting Mystery Island in Vanuatu on the day of the incident as part of a 10-night roundtrip South Pacific voyage leaving Brisbane, Australia.
Since Mystery Island is a tender port, visitors must be transported by small boats from the cruise ship to piers or docks as they disembark to enjoy time ashore.
Many tiny port cities do not have enough ferry boats to match the demand when a large cruise ship stops, so cruise ships frequently utilise their own lifeboats for this purpose. The lifeboats that will be deployed are frequently prepared just before the ship drops anchor for the port of call to speed up tendering.
The lifeboats would have been fully lowered into the sea after the cruise liner was at rest for tendering. Guests would have boarded using a gangway between the cruise ship and the lifeboat, which was tied off and kept in a close, secure position for embarkation and debarkation using thrusters.
Aneityum Island, which has a population of slightly under 1,000 people, is two-thirds of a mile (one kilometre) south of Mystery Island, which is deserted.
In contrast, the Quantum-class cruise ship can accommodate 1,500 officers and staff members, 4,180 passengers, and up to 4,905 passengers when it is fully booked.
No Delays Reported
The Quantum of the Seas’ passengers report slightly longer lineups while tendering to Mystery Island, but there doesn’t seem to have been a significant change to the ship’s schedule.
The cruise ship had plenty of time to recover and secure the lifeboat because the port hours at Mystery Island were scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In order to complete its itinerary, Quantum of the Seas will spend a day at sea on Friday, make an overnight stop in Port Vila, Vanuatu, from Saturday to Sunday, spend two more days at sea, and arrive back in Brisbane on Wednesday, December 7.
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Source: Cruise Hive