According to a news account in Greece, a 25 year old Filipino crew member aboard the Norwegian Jade died when the cruise ship was in Katakolo, Greece.
In addition to the skimpy information contained in the newspaper, we learned that the incident occurred early this morning when cruise passengers were preparing to disembark for sightseeing ashore (including visiting the ruins of Olympia).
A mooring line snapped while the crew member was standing on a mooring deck platform (at the level of deck 7). The crew member was violently struck by the recoiling rope. He was knocked overboard and into the water at the port. According to the news account, divers took several hours to retrieve the dead man’s body in the murky water.
The crew member was not fitted with either a harness or a life vest and he was not wearing a hard hat. (Some people say that his hard hat was subsequently found floating in the water).
This afternoon, the Norwegian Jade (previously named the Pride of Hawaii) continued on to its next port of call in Piraeus. The Jade is flagged in the Bahamas. It appears that the ship sailed without a representative of the Bahamas Maritime Authority conducting an inspection of the rope or analyzing the accident and taking statements from the crew and witnesses. The ship is now continuing to sail to Pireus this evening.
Cruise lines like NCL have worked hard to strip crew members of their rights. Crew members from the Philippines, in particular, are limited under the Philippines Overseas Employment Agreement (POEA) to very small death benefits even in cases like this where the cruise line failed to enforce basic safety procedures.
You can read our article about the POEA here. NCL took the lead in enforcing unfair arbitration clauses which deprive seafarers of their rights under maritime law.
Without significant financial consequence to the cruise line in cases like this, there is no incentive to improve safety of the ship’s hard working crew.
If you have information about this fatality, please leave a comment below.
Photo credits: Norwegian Jade – janiahola.fi; web cam – NCL; scene of accident – ekathimerini.com