Simon Calder: There is no real connection between the Thomson Majesty and the Costa Concordia disaster

Five lives have been tragically lost during a routine drill in the port of Santa Cruz, but this sad event is an industrial accident, not a calamity threatening all on board.

Share
Related Topics

Some may be quick to connect the deaths of five crew members aboard the Thomson Majesty on the island of La Palma with the Costa Concordia disaster just over a year ago. In fact, the only apparent link is that the crew were practising the emergency deployment of lifeboats in order to ensure a safe evacuation were the order given to abandon ship.

The chaotic scenes after Concordia struck rocks off the island of Giglio showed how important safety drills are, both for passengers and crew. Thirty-two people died that dreadful January night, and two are still unaccounted for. Five seamen's lives have been tragically lost during a routine drill in the port of Santa Cruz, but this sad event is an industrial accident rather than a calamity threatening all on board.

Naturally, it has implications for passenger safety - what if, goes the obvious question, the same fatal failure had occurred during a real evacuation? While that investigation is carried out, the main problem for Thomson Cruises is logistical.

An estimated 1,500 passengers will remain on the vessel, in port, until the preparedness of the ship for an evacuation is assured. They, and the crew, will be understandably distressed about the tragedy.

Should the stay become protracted, they will need to be flown out of La Palma - an island with a small airport and normally only one flight a week from the UK.

Thomson Majesty joined the fleet of Britain's biggest holiday company only last May. As is the case with some other cruise ships, Thomson leases the Majesty - and its officers - from a Cypriot company, Louis Cruise Line. The overwhelming number of passengers are British.

The vessel sailed on Friday from another port named Santa Cruz, the capital of the island of Tenerife. After La Palma she is due to call at Madeira, Morocco and Lanzarote before returning to Tenerife. Thomson is still selling the departure on the circuit due on 22 February.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Science versus religion in the three-parent baby debate

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Kylie has helped to boost viewing figures for the talent show  

When an Aussie calls you a ‘bastard’, you know you’ve arrived

Howard Jacobson
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee