Lifeboat Breaks Free From Grandeur of the Seas

Grandeur of the Seas LifeboatA lifeboat accident occurred this afternoon while the Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas was in the port of Charleston.

A passenger aboard the cruise ship (who wishes to remain anonymous) informed me that a lifeboat had fallen from the cruise ship and was upside down in the water. He sent photographs of the lifeboat taken by other passengers. One photograph shows a cable which is are obviously frayed (bottom photo) and suggests that the cables may have broken and dropped the lifeboat into the water.

This raises obvious concerns that the other cables to the remaining lifeboats may be in a state of disrepair. These lifeboats carry as many as 150 guests. 

It is currently unknown whether the accident occurred during a lifeboat drill or whether there were crew members in the lifeboat when it fell. 

A newspaper in Charleston says that a "life raft" fell off the cruise ship, but this appears to clearly be an error. The photo above of the lifeboat upside down in the water which was sent to me can be compared to an online photo of a Grandeur lifeboat on davits (below); the metal rails on the side in both photos can be readily observed.  

The newspaper reports that the U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said "staff from the ship are attempting Grandeur of the Seas Lifeboatto retrieve the life raft and a team from the Coast Guard will assess any potential pollution impacts."

There are no reports at this time whether there are any crew member injuries at this time. The newspaper says that "there was no one was on the raft."

This is not the first lifeboat accident on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. In September, two crew members were killed and other crew members were critically injured after a lifeboat fell from the Harmony of the Seas, which was docked in Marseilles, France. Five members of the ship's navigation crew were on board during a drill when the lifeboat became detached and fell ten meters into the water. 

I boarded the Grandeur of the Seas last month with a maritime expert to inspect the lifeboats in a case where a crew member was seriously injured. One observation I left with was that this twenty-year old ship is a victim of deferred maintenance. You can see very heavy rust in the metal throughout the ship, particularly around the windows. Some of the rust is so serious that the windows near the upper, Granddeur of the Seas Lifeboatstarboard side near the stern have been replaced with temporary covers. (See photo at bottom). Earlier this year, another 20 year-old Royal Caribbean ship in the same Vision class, the Rhapsody of the Seas, suffered five windows on deck three breaking, injuring cruise passengers and partially flooding the cabins on decks two and three when the ship encountered rough weather. You can see the rusted windows here and on our Facebook page

Have a thought? Please leave  a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

January 17, 2017 Update: The Grandeur of the Seas arrives today at the port of Miami, without a lifeboat. The Grandeur apparently left the fallen lifeboat in Charleston. Has the Coast Guard inspected the other lifeboats? Photo (above) via @PTZtv.behind  

Photo Credit: middle - shipspotting

Top - Kenneth Kozak via News2-Charleston.

Below - Anonymous.

Bottom - Jim Walker.Grandeur of the Seas

Grandeur of the Seas Lifeboat

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Comments (7) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Tim - January 16, 2017 8:25 PM

I've seen many pictures recently of rust and general disrepair. She's scheduled for refit this year.

Mike Mundy - January 17, 2017 4:30 AM

I hope that the US authorities carry out a thorough inspection next time it is in a US port.

Trevor Mills - January 17, 2017 7:10 AM

Another accident, poor maintenance and ill trained crews. Cheap labour might be easily sourced but it does have a cost. Obviously with the current climate, the cruise ship companies are cutting back on safety. They safety has no budget but this is obvious proof that corners are being cut everywhere. Its not just the crew allowance being used to feed the passengers, cuts across the board are happening everywhere.

RCLast - January 17, 2017 1:40 PM

Great work staying on top of this, but there is way more. The water has been shut off multiple nights, no hot water stil through this morning, feces sitting in toilets all night, no water to barely any water to wash hands, cold showers when you could and water wasn't working on deck to drink either. During breakfast, fire alarms went off and all the fire doors deployed. We are just idling into Port Canaveral now, over 3 hours late and still counting. Shore excursions cancelled. Many problems on ship. Some think they may be intentionally delaying to cover up health and safety hazards before Orlando Coast Guard inspection.

tinikini - January 18, 2017 1:08 AM

Wow Jim, the big wigs actually let you board the ship??? Were you looking over your shoulder while aboard??? I am sure they don't like ya so much!!! (:

Ron Studd - January 18, 2017 4:43 PM

Moments ago, I spoke with the ship's Safety Officer - still no replacement for the lifeboat lost during the Charleston accident. When asked, he claimed that the remaining life boats were inspected today - here in Maimi, two days and two ports after the Charleston incident. I have requested to speak directly with the ship's captain. When asked when the lost life boat would be replaced, he simply replied that he did not know. This needs thorough and prompt attention by all US and international authorities.

James Berger - April 23, 2017 11:03 AM

I was on the ship when we lost the lifeboat in Charleston. We had just left deck 5 three min prior to go to deck 9 to get a bite to eat. Still have the pitures of it floating away.

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