Tender Boat on Fred Olsen's Balmoral Malfunctions

Fred Olsen Balmoral Cruise Hive reports that a cruise ship tender boat on the Balmoral operated by Fred Olsen Lines malfunctioned a week ago, on Sunday, January 10, 2016, during a scheduled boat training drill.

At the time of the accident the cruise ship was docked in Funchal, Madeira.

The cruise line told Cruise Hive that “this incident occurred as a result of the ship’s winches lowering the tender boat at different speeds.”

Fred Olsen also said that the winches allegedly were independently surveyed in December 2015 for Flag compliance and no issues were found at the time.

Fred Olsen flags the 28 year old ship in Nassau Bahamas.

The mishap reportedly did not cause any personal injuries to the crew members.

Lifeboat or tender/rescue boat safety drills are highly dangerous. In August 2015, while an excursion boat from the Costa Mediterranea was being lowered, a cable broke.  In July 2016, during a drill involving a rescue boat on the NCL's Pride of America, two crew members were seriously injured when the boat fell from deck 6. In October 2014, a rescue boat on the Coral Princess was being raised on davits with two crew members aboard when a cable snapped and a crew member was killed.  In February 2013, 8 crew members were in a lifeboat during a drill on the Thomson Majesty cruise ship when the lifeboat plunged 60 feet into the water when it was being lifted in violation of a new CLIA safety protocol. The lifeboat landed upside down. 5 of the crew were killed. 3 were injured.

 

Balmoral Cruise Passengers Hit By Massive GI Outbreak

Fred Olsen Balmoral Cruise passengers on the Fred Olsen Balmoral cruise ship are affected by a massive viral outbreak.

The cruise ship's medical staff is overwhelmed with sick passengers who are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting. The person who contacted us says that at least 300 of 1,100 passengers, as well as crew members, are ill with the gastrointestinal sickness..

The cruise line curtailed the cruise from 8 to 7 days to return to Southampton for "Barrier Cleaning." 

News sources in the U.K. are reporting that Fred Olsen passengers hit with a "vomiting bug" which causes vomiting and diarrhea.

Fred Olsen said it was "company policy" not to reveal the number of passengers affected, but the Daily Echo says that as many as 250 had contracted the bug.

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Photo Credit: Daily Echo
 

 

Pulled from the Fog: 85 Year Old Cruise Passenger Medevaced from Balmoral in English Channel

Balmoral Cruise Ship - Helicopter MedevacThe BBC reports that a Royal Air Force helicopter winched a woman off a cruise ship in the English Channel "after becoming ill with a potentially 'life-threatening' condition."

The passenger is a 85 year old woman who was sailing on board the Balmoral cruise ship. The ship had departed Southampton and was heading to Norway.

BBC states that the medical evacuation by the helicopter took place under difficult circumstances as the helicopter from Suffolk had to flew to the ship, which was in heavy fog, 40 miles out at sea. The weather conditions caused the rescue efforts to become "extremely challenging." 

Visibility was only 165 feet and the cruise ship was describes as "completely enclosed in fog." An airman stated "we had to use radar to locate the vessel because we could barely see."

The 85-year-old woman was transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Tvabutzku1234

Titanic Memorial Cruise Delayed By High Winds & Medical Emergency

Is nature trying to tell us something?

First high winds and rough weather delayed the "Titanic Memorial Cruise" as 30 foot winds forced the Balmoral cruise ship to turn around with a little over 1,300 passengers aboard.  Now news sources area reporting that a medical emergency involving a passenger has complicated matters.  The cruise is detouring closer to shore in order for a helicopter from the Irish Coast Guard to medevac the passenger to safety.

Titanic Memorial CruiseThe cruise set sail from southern England on Sunday and stopped in Cobh, Ireland  on a cruise to retrace the Titanic voyage.  On Monday, the cruise was delayed because of foul weather. 

Once the sick passenger airlifted off the ship for medical treatment, the cruise will continue to New York as scheduled.

Two special memorial services are to take place over the weekend (1) midnight April 14, when the Titanic hit the iceberg, and (2) early April 15, when the cruise ship sank.

I am wondering if the Balmoral has a web cam or whether other cruise ships or vessels will be streaming video live?

 

Photo credit:  ibiblio.org

Another Passenger Disappears from Fred Olsen "Balmoral" Cruise Ship

Mail Online in the U.K. is reporting on the disappearance of what is described as an "elderly" passenger who was traveling alone on the Balmoral cruise ship operated by Fred Olsen Lines.

The story made the news when the cruise ship returned to the port of Southampton after an eight day cruise in the Norwegian fjords.  Around 1,000 passengers were detained on the cruise ship while authorities showed photographs of the missing passenger and questioned them whether Balmoral Cruise Ship - Missing Passenger - Overboardthey had any knowledge about the passenger.

The detaining of passengers is somewhat unusual because most cruise lines and investigating agencies let the passengers disembark without ever questioning them.

The newspaper article indicated that the passenger was in his late 70's or early 80's and also referenced a "note which was discovered by a cabin stewardess."

The passenger was apparently last seen around 9:00 PM on Sunday night, and was discovered missing yesterday morning.

Does the presence of a "note" and the fact that the passenger was elderly suggest that he committed suicide?  I don't know.  What is the height of the rails?  Was he over-served alcohol?  Where are the CCTV images if the passenger went overboard, voluntarily or involuntarily?

We reported on the disappearance of an eighty year old passenger last year from the Balmoral, without explanation.  Did the cruise line improve its CCTV capacities following that incident?

This incident occurred as the parents of missing Disney Cruise youth counselor Rebecca Coriam appealed to the U.K. Shipping Minister to introduce tougher laws to protect British citizens from crimes at sea, as we mentioned in an article yesterday.

Last year, the Balmoral was dubbed the "Cursed Cruise Ship of the High Seas" following a series of norovirus bouts which sickened hundred of passengers and crew.  The Balmoral also narrowly averted disaster when it was attacked by pirates last year.   

Passenger Missing from Balmoral Cruise Ship

Fred Olsen - Balmoral Cruise Ship - Missing PassengerBBC News reports that a passenger is missing from the Fred Olsen 1,350 passenger cruise ship Balmoral, which is due to return to Dover tomorrow after a 21-day Adriatic cruise.

The cruise ship was in the English Channel when the unidentified passenger was noticed to be missing.  A Royal Navy frigate, the HMS Westminster, is taking part in the search for the passenger, along with a U.K. Coast Guard helicopter, a French Coast Guard aircraft and a French warship.

The Daily Mail in the U.K reports that a "man overboard" alert was issued after the 80-year-old's wife reported him missing to staff on the cruise ship in the early hours of October 11th. His wife is beleived to have woken in their cabin on the ship to find he was no longer in bed. 

Were you on the Balmoral and have information to share?  Please leave a comment below or post your information or photos at Cruise Law News' facebook page.

"Cursed Cruise Ship" Balmoral At Risk of Being Impounded As Hundreds More Suffer Vomiting Bug

Noro Virus - Balmoral Cruise Ship The U.K.'s Daily Mail reports that the Balmoral cruise ship - dubbed the "Cursed Cruise Ship of the High Seas" - is facing the prospect of being impounded after it was hit by a vomiting bug for the third time in less than a year.

The Australian newspaper also reports that the Balmoral could be detained after 250 passengers fell ill with the dreaded norovirus.  In an article entitled "Cursed Cruise Ship Balmoral to be Investigated," the newspaper reports that the sick cruise ship is currently making its way from the Canary Islands to Dover, England.

Health official have threatened to detain the cruise ship.  Sandra Westacott, chief executive of the Association of Port Health Authorities, confirmed the cruise ship could be detained by Maritime and Coastguard Agency staff on the advice of health officials:

"It is one of the sanctions available to us - detaining the ship in port so that it cannot do any Balmoral - Noro Virus - Fred Olsen Linefurther harm."

We reported that earlier this year that the Balmoral was attacked by pirates.

The Australian newspaper also reports that in 2009 the cruise ship suffered multiple injuries in storm force gales and was infected with two previous bouts of the vomiting bug.

 

 

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