On Friday October 24, 2014, a "rescue boat" on the Coral Princess was being raised on davits with two crew members aboard when a cable snapped. The vessel fell into the water. One crew member identified as Husnan Fauzan sustained mortal injuries and died. The second crew member identified as Steven Bagshaw sustained injuries and was treated in the hospital. 

The fatal accident occurred in Colon, Panama. 

Princess Cruises released this statement on Facebook:

"It is with deep sadness that I must share the news that our colleague Husnan Fauzan has passed Coral Princessaway from injuries he sustained in the tragic accident on Coral Princess yesterday. Husnan, who served as SGP1, joined Princess in 2004.

Husnan, along with Bosun Steven Bagshaw, were onboard a rescue boat that was in the process of being hoisted when it fell back into the water. Both men were taken to the hospital for treatment, but unfortunately, Husnan did not survive. Steven is currently still in the hospital in stable condition."

We also received this statement from Princess:

"On October 24 two of our crew members were in one of the ship’s rescue boats doing some maintenance work on the hull of Coral Princess. When the boat was being raised back onboard the ship, one of the cables that raises and lowers the boat parted, and the boat dropped back into the water with our two crew members inside.

We immediately responded and discovered that these crew members had, unfortunately, sustained injuries which necessitated their transfer to a shoreside hospital for evaluation and treatment.

It is with an extremely heavy heart that we confirm that one of the crew members subsequently passed away from his injuries. This has devastated everyone across the entire Princess Cruises organization.

We are, and will continue to support his family during this difficult period."

It is a dangerous practice to raise boats with crew members inside. Cable and davit failures are relatively common and cause catastrophic injuries.  

In 2012, the cruise industry’s trade group, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), adopted a new policy prohibiting crew members in lifeboats when they are being raised or lowered. But some ships still engage in this dangerous practice.

In 2013, we wrote about another cruise line which ignored the CLIA-safety policy with disastrous consequences: CLIA Safety Proposal Ignored: Lifeboat Plunges 60 Feet, 5 Dead

We will post any photographs or videos of the tragic incident if they are available.

If you have any comments about what happened, please post one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page


Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA Creative Commons 2.0

  • Yolanda

    This sickens and infuriates me. I have worked for 3 different cruise lines, where part of their training of new joiners includes loading everyone into lifeboats from deck 7. Remembering that an RCCL ship lifeboat cable broke while doing this, and crew were killed; I refused to allow my bandmates or I to participate. EVERY time, the officer doing the training scolded me in front of everyone. I was blamed for being a “troublemaker” the rest of the contract. UNBELIEVABLE bullying followed my refusal, because I wanted to protect my bandmates “just in case”. Don’t let ANYONE imply that crew members “choose” to engage in these activities willingly. The veiled threats of insubordination are rampant. I can’t believe that this kind of blatant security risk is continuing. How many more deaths and lawsuits is it going to take, before this is stopped? Sadly, I fear that the lowered value of life, and the deep pockets of the industry, will allow this to go on indefinatley.

  • first engineer

    Can you please send me this agreement. I am involve everyweek on crew drill and I am in charge of lifeboats. If this is true I will bring it onboard and refuse to be inside when raising the boats.

  • derek

    This is a tragic accident its not really fair to place blame and compare your unrelated experience at this time. Princess has very strict safty protocols to keep every passenger and crew member safe as i expérienced while working with them. Condoleances to Husnan family and friends!

  • Yolanda

    Yes, Derek, this is a very tragic accident. But how on earth are my comments unfair, or “unrelated”? I have over 12 years experience working on almost every Princess ship, including this one. Yes, the rescue boats must be lowered from the Promenade decks. I don’t know of another way around this one. But, as the above article relates, it is not only the practice of lowering the rescue boats that is of great concern, but ALSO the routine lowering of the lifeboats, with crew members onboard that happens every single day. Ship life has some amazing perks, but safety of passengers and crew is NOT given the attention it deserves. Who, among us crew, have not been on a ship up in Alaska, when the rescue boats are lowered into Glacier Bay, so that the crew members can retrieve a “chunk of ice” to be used as a center piece at that evenings buffet, much to the delight of the paying passengers. How is this unnecessary risk, demonstrating strict safety protocols, when the very act of lowering a boat from deck 7 is inherently dangerous. I think your comment is very naive.

  • Melonie

    First I must say, condolence to the family and love ones. I never have the guts to get in this stupid hanging life boat and my colleague’s would say I’m a chicken reason is it happen before.

  • raljoy develos

    What happened was happen. Theres always a reason for everything that has happening… it happens that its not the two of you were in the lifeboat… you are not allowed to blame anybody….. please put that in mind… you can both argue but not i here…. im sorry but if you guys are professional you will not be acting like this..m. if you think your both good then think maturely and professionally…

  • Princess crew

    I’m an ex-crew on that ship…this what I shared regarding lowering and raising lifeboats,tenders,frc….honestly we do it every week as called crew drilled just for exercise in emergency duty…I’m one of those on the crew sitting there as they lowering it,released the hooked then put it back to raised again..it really scared but we are all assumed that it really needs to that we can never refuse the order of the bridge personnel not to be in the boat….but the shittin things is people with stripes even they are first in-charge on assigned boat they refused,they just send an email to the senior first officers that they are busy with the job were in reality they are smart they know i think it’s not obligated or you can refused so…my question thus a crew involve on this operation especially on drill can refused?if it so I suggest that is an enough campaign to inform all crew that we can refused as per mention on laws?if it’s mandated why princess cruises still practicing this bullshit?its more deaths occur on accidents during drill and exercise rather than real event…can we know our rights?hope you can help us….thanks

  • David

    Condolences to the loved ones

  • DAvid Betts

    Another tragic event from many that have occurred with Life boats/rescue boats over many years. The parting of a fall wire points to poor maintenance. However I agree that personnel should not be exposed to unnecessary hazards and this includes manning the boats during raising and lowering except in an emergency. What is Carnival’s policy regarding fall renewal and maintenance? Good practice is annual renewal for the rescue boat.

  • Anício Constantino

    That’s very sad, but not shocking!
    As a ex-member of the safety team on -board Princess Ships, during some contracts in charge of the maintenance of the Life-boats, I can say, launching and recovery of Life-boats, is a «normal» practice in Princess Cruises.
    It’s not the first time that happens with Princess, and if nothing change, will not be the last. I’m just wondering, who don’t happens more often. And i’m also glad, never happened with my self. My condolences and prays, are with the family’s!

  • Officer

    This should be lesson for all involved in safety drills which occurrs every 7 days on all ships. As well the CEO and president of Princess and Captain of the ship should go to prison for 10 years at least. We as crew members are not in the good position the guest are always first and they do not explain us our rights. We should all fight for better tomorow.

  • First officer’s wife

    If you actually want to know what ther regulations are, look them up! I did! “To facilitate training for lifeboat operations, CLIA oceangoing members have adopted a policy that at least one lifeboat on each ship is to be filled with crewmembers equal in number to its certified number of occupants at least every six months. Under this policy, for safety considerations, the loading of lifeboats for training purposes is to be performed only while the boat is waterborne and the boat should be lowered and raised with only the lifeboat crew onboard.1 Lifejackets should be worn. All lifeboat crew and embarkation/boarding station crew are to be required to attend the lifeboat loading drill. If not placed inside the lifeboat, those crew members are to observe the filling of the lifeboat to its certified number of people. “.

    That was directly from the CLIA website. Now you know! I also wanted to add that my husband has been saying these types of accidents would start happening for years. Not because of regulations, but maintenance. The cables are poorly maintained. They need to be greased and to do it properly require a gun to inject the grease into the cable. Most cruise ships don’t have this gun, because …….yup it costs too much! If they’re not properly lubricated the friction over time is of course going to cause them to fray and eventually snap. I’m very sorry to hear about this sad time for princess. My condolences to the family and friends.

  • Dan

    I agree things happened and it will happen again, but the question is “What will the Maritime Law do to prevent this things?” Will they force the cruise line industry to go in Dry Doc every 2 years (being mandatory, NO BUT’S excepted) for maintenance, or they will be agin gentle with them. In this situations where SAFETY should not be, but HAS to be, number ONE, lenience should not exist. If there is NOT a strict check on the cruise lines by this laws (Maritie Law, Coat Guar, Loyd’s) things will not improve. The sad part is that sometimes checks on cruise lines by this laws are tooooo SUPERFICIAL. I my 10 years working for this industry I never heard about a cruise line (Ship) being stopped from cruising because of safety issues, were stoped only for health issues. As a certified lifeboat commander I can tell you is pretty scary going up and down in a lifeboat. Yes, you can refuse to work in an area, boat, deck if you think is not SAFE, but if you do so, you will lose your job, will be called to HR for “insubordination” and all the BS that they feed you whith, because you are just another CREW that they can replace EASILY. To be fare, Princess cruise and Carnival cruise have had tooooo many incidents in the past years, no offence. Will all cruise lines care more about their hardworking crew(that work 70 to 92 hours a week at a low rate of $ 6.25/h) in the future, to make it a batter place for crew? NO, all they care is about their revenue and how can they built another ship, cut another corner in SAFETY and USPH. Will this mentality change? Who knows! Might change if the word CORRUPTION will be taken out from the dictionary and our mentality.
    Condolences to the family!

  • Yolanda

    I am very sorry if you are offended at our comments. No crew member can read the story, and not feel absolutely terrible for all the people involved in this tragedy. However, this is not a condolences page. This is hosted by a highly respected lawfirm, that advocates for the rights of crew and passengers. It is extremely difficult to make changes in an industry that often practices self-regulation. It is vital to encourage dialogue, and exchange ideas to make sure that these kind of accidents don’t continue to happen. You are correct, we were not in the lifeboat this time. If we were, then we would not be here to talk about it. But we have all been in those lifeboats far too many times. We also have families that we hope and pray to come home to at the end of a contract. So, when tragedy happens to a fellow crew member, we have every right to blame someone, when the jobsite is not a safe one. In my country, we have a worker’s compensation board that we can go to, to warn of an unsafe situation. Sadly, as you can see from other crew comments on here, many feel unsafe in the job they are being asked to perform, but have no one to voice their concerns to. It is VERY important to be able to make comments here, without feeling judgement. This is an issue that needs advocates, to argue for change in order that more crew will not be killed on the job. It is very important to speak up, so that those that lost their lives, did not do so in vain.

  • Ian Moores

    Jim. Just to clarify in this tragic event. There is nothing illegal in the raising and lowering of the FRC (Fast Rescue Craft), either at sea when underway, or in port alongside. These boats are designed to be launched with a crew of three at speeds from 6 – 10 kts to facilitate the recovery of persons in the water. The launching and recovery are practised at sea and in port. The crew are trained and qualified as per STCW regulations. These boats are not lifeboats which the majority of your comments, and you, appear to think they are. As an aside to this tragedy, lifeboats may be launched and recovered with an operating crew and are required to be proven every three months in the water.
    This tragedy would appear to have arisen from either a defective wire or an unsatisfactory planned maintenance routine. An investigation by the Flag State will determine the root cause. Until this is completed, speculation is unhelpful into this accident and tragedy.

  • JM

    First of all, my condolences to the families and also to the crew of the ship.

    I’m an officer on a cruise ship, and I can not count how many drills that I have conducted where a lifeboat had been lowered/raised into and out of the water. It’s not the cruise industry that make these rules. All these drills are conducted as per SOLAS, which is put into force by the IMO. Officers hate doing these drills more than the crew. But in that light they are a necessary evil. We all remember that accident a few years ago when a cruise ship sank… There were several stories of how the crew did not know what they were doing, even though so many lives were saved. That’s the whole purpose of these drills, to practice for the real thing. We can not be prepared for the real thing, if we do not lower these boats with the crew that needs to be there in a real emergency.

    On the other hand, what cruise lines need to do is have more crew onboard for maintenance of the systems. There is never enough time or manpower to do everything that is required. We obviously can’t make time, so we need more people to do that required work in that amount of time.

  • Peter MFarland

    You can correct me if I am wrong but the policy is not that there will be no crew onboard when the lifeboat is raised or lowered but rather that there will be minimal crew. No crew should be aboard while the lifeboat is being swung out from the stowed position and they should board the vessel when it is 2-3 meters above the water. There is nothing at this point to say that these rules were being ignorned but it is always good to jump to conclusions.

  • First officer’s wife

    Yolanda, I’m interested to know what it is you do on board? What’s your position?

  • Karl

    Life boats can be loaded with weight equal to the weight of 150 average passengers (in the case of Allure and Oasis it is more) without actually lowering and raising living people. Aerial riggers sysrmatically check their gear with dead weight several times before flying anyone. What would have happened in an emergency when the boat could have been full of paying passengers? Constant maintenance and testing are not being conducted and this is why crew members are being put at risk regularly on every ship out there.

  • Ian:

    The problem, as I see it, is that the IMO, flag state & foreign flag of convenience scheme is inherently flawed. The IMO is toothless. It has no authority to enforce its own recommendations. The flag states (Bahamas, Liberia, Bermuda, etc.) are a joke and are beholden to the owners/operators which register their businesses and cruise ships in such poor countries to avoid taxes, labor laws and avoid any true safety oversight.

    You say that there are no prohibitions against raising fast rescue craft (FRC) with personnel aboard. You’re technically right, but obviously there should be. It’s unquestionably dangerous to do so. But neither the IMO, CLIA, flag states, or any of the cruise lines prohibit this reckless practice.

    So we are to act like sheep and wait for a flag state to take a couple of years to issue a report? Hogwash to that. The flag state is at fault for not having a prohibition in the first place. Most flag states consider their reports to be secret. I’m not going to hold my breath for a biased organization that will never point its finger at itself and will never release its findings to the public.

    Meanwhile other seafarers will die sitting like guinea pigs in the rescue ships and lifeboats for no reason other than they are ordered to do so.

    Intense media scrutiny and timely, ongoing & vigorous debate are necessary to bring crew member safety into the spotlight.

  • Chris

    this incident in not the first time! The shipping industry should relly consider design and reliability! Can you imagine if this happens in an actual emergency? This equipmment should save lives and not take away instead! I do fully agree that crew should use these type of equipment for proficiency and familiarity, what we should actualy look at is the design and reliability of the equipment, rather all shipping companies now are into cost saving and gamble on the safety of the crew!

  • Mark

    These incidents are far too common, I worked on cruise liners in the 80’s and 90’s and heard of at leats two incidents like this which killed or injured people. one incident involved a cable giving way while a boat was fully raised which killed crew members standing on the prom deck during crew lifeboat training.

    I also took part in many crew life boat drills where lifeboats were fully loaded and then lowered.

    The problem is due to salt water corrosion on the cables and connectors, these should be inspected and changed more frequently and perhaps some form of a safety cable or line used as a back up.

  • Allan Mayes

    Allan Mayes . 8 years musician with Princess.
    Does anyone know if these poor guys were wearing crash helmets ?
    If I’m not mistaken, at some drills the rescue boat and possibly the lifeboat drivers wore hard hats.
    Would the outcome have been just as tragic whether hats were worn or not ?

  • officer

    SOLAS requires lifeboats to be lowered routinely. At some stage crew members will have to be onboard whilst lowering the boat. Some lines do it with crew in the life boats, some will lower only the rescue boat with crew and will pick up the life boat crew from the gangway and deliver them to their lifeboat once it has been lowered to water level. Unfortunately at some stage someone will have to be lowered from the deck. A change in ship design may remedy this.a great deal of jobs at sea can have potential life threatening consequences particularly for the deck department. If their are situations that crew members believe are unsafe then they must speak up. Don’t stop speaking up until something has been done about it.

  • chris

    If a cruise ship is inspected by the USCG, what would the consequences be if the master refused to lower lifeboats in a drill as required by the inspectors? In my experience they expect the boats too be manned as if in a real emergency ( minus the passengers). Would the ship then be blacklisted? Or would the USCG accept the masters wishes? Ultimately the crew are training to save lives in the event of an emergency. Would they be able to perform to the standard required to evacuate the ship safely and in good time if they had not practiced lowering with crew onboard?

  • Passenger on board when happen

    I was on board the coral when this happen last week. So sad for his family and his princess family. The captain kept us informed on the men’s condition. May his family find peace and comfort as all of the crew and passengers on board were praying for him and his co worker who is recovering.

  • Walaiphorn Chartsuk

    I worked for Princess for nearly ten years and took part in many lifeboat drills, although was lowered into the water only a few times, which I didn’t enjoy, but felt was a necessary part of my training.

    I was sorry to read about this accident and the tragic effects on all those involved, but I’m confident that the lessons learnt from the investigation will ultimately lead to a safer environment for passengers and crew.

  • Well their is a cure for this issue. My company manufacturers custom fall prevention devices for lifeboats and fast rescue boats of every size. Although the parting of the fall wire would have released one end of the Lifeboat our devise would have kept the Lifeboat attached to the other non parted wire. The persons in the lifeboat (if seat-belted in properly) would be uninjured, and the Lifeboat would only sustain minor damage.

  • Valentine

    I’ve worked for rccl and you miss a drill you get a warning,at the second one you don’t attend you are fired. I was forced to attend with an injured hand. the poor guys are like slaves on those boats.

  • Concerned Parent

    I am not surprised to hear about this tragic event, I recently,while in Alask, witnessed my own son take part in fast rescue boat work and was more than a little shocked at the procarious nature of the lowering and raising of said boat. My son (24) and the cadet officer (17) should not be required to risk their lives, on an almost weekly basis, to carry out this proceedure. The ship operators have a duty of care for their crew and this known dangerous practise should no longer be carried out in it’s present form.

  • chris

    If a cruise ship is inspected by the USCG, what would the consequences be if the master refused to lower lifeboats in a drill as required by the inspectors? In my experience they expect the boats too be manned as if in a real emergency ( minus the passengers). Would the ship then be blacklisted? Or would the USCG accept the masters wishes? Ultimately the crew are training to save lives in the event of an emergency. Would they be able to perform to the standard required to evacuate the ship safely and in good time if they had not practiced lowering with crew onboard?

  • Concerned Parent

    If you want crew to carry out safety checks and we all do, then give them equipment they can feel confident in.

    Surely it’s not beyond the pocket of operators!

  • Ex Princess Purser

    As an officer from the Pursers Department for 7 years I too was made to lower and raise a life boat every 2 weeks and believe me I dreaded this experience every time. The number of tragedies experienced like this should never have gone past the first. There were times when I would call to the officer on the deck to tell him that my davit lever was not showing green but they would still wince me and my crew up, claiming that the lever must have been faulty. I never slept the night before drills and spent the entire morning in the bathroom beforehand as I dreaded this so much. I appreciate drills have to take place but I do not accept that they are at the risk of one more person’s life. Condolences to the family and best wishes to Steve for a quick recovery.

  • Mike

    First of all condoloscence to family and loves of the crewmember lost the life while performing the job.

    I have more than 16 years on the sea start ans young deck boy until reach a certain position,I use work both on cargo and cruise industry both newest that old ship ( the old one was 35 years old) an always my concern were the lifeboat fall wire rescue boat hoisting wire and also when I was on cargo vessel fitted with Cranes the cranes wire and pulley ( they play a major game). I read all comment on this blog regarding the incident, but no one mentioned the revision/check of the wire. It’s also true that as per Solas the wire must be replaced every 5 years and turn end to end every 30 month, but also is true to following the instructionsupply by constrction, as my personal experience that I like to share with all of you, same ears ago on a cargo vessel that at time she had only 18 month of life (new biulding)while we were recovering the gangway sunddently the wire parted plashing the gangway on the pier (I just joined that vessels) after recovering the gangway using the manual bowsing we fix it and we sail. during the next day I went to check all constraction manual and certificate of the wire on board, and I discovery that the manufacturing suggest to change the wire at least every years, but the certificate was valid for 5 years,that before blame something try to thing our self, how many of seamen/office/or other person are to lazy to do it, or you heard the comment ok I am done for today tomorrow some one will think about, and that is not fare. Now what it went wrong on Coral Princess I don’t know, one thing is certain that others worker lost the life while perform his job,and never can’t hug again the family, or if he had a child, never can give advise or guide tem while grown up. Guy please before do something think about and try to do your best and if you are concern about raise your voice, and if you are not able to perform a job ask to some one that have more experience to help you to do it. think always that from your action depend the life of someother else.

  • Mike

    Firstly,I would like to pass my condolences to the families of the seaman& injured seaman.
    It is a statutory requirement that a lifeboat must be launched and returned with the crew assigned to that lifeboat at least every 2months and officially logged that this has been done.
    However,there are more accidents happening on all types of lifeboats I.e.more lives lost than saved.
    How safe is safe?are lifeboats safe?To make sure they are,they are subject to survey at regular intervals and part of the safety issue is to regularly participate in lifeboat drill and continuous maintain anne.
    Many passenger vessels are using Marine Escape Systems(MES)which are basically like aircraft shuts,but even these have a safety risk.(A lady got stuck in the Shute and died.)So there is a risk with these.But are they safe enough?

  • tim

    My condolences to all involved, especially the family and those responsible for holding the drill/training session.

    Many fingers are very pointed above as to who is responsible. As the full investigation has not been released to the public, no-one has the right to point fingers.

    I have worked in the industry both on cargo ships and cruise vessels for 30+ years, I have also been in the position of investigating exactly the same incident as this.

    In the particular case I was involved in, the crew needed more practice and although a little daunted at the height of the RB above the water, they embarked, went away in the boat and all was well.
    When the boat was hoisted, the wire parted at the embarkation deck, one death and 3 other persons injured.
    After much investigation, many things were found to be wrong, none of them attributable to failure of an individual part of the system.
    These accidents are not caused by doing drills, more likely due to lack of doing them.
    Experienced professional crew will see problems (things out of the ordinary) more often than inexperienced.

    As a young officer with my first company at sea we used the rescue boat almost daily and in 4 years with the company never had an accident.
    As a cadet with an oil major, cadets regularly launched lifeboats (not rescue boats) and took them away for training and drills along with an AB or OS, we would then take the boats to a beach for some R and R. Good practice, good training and good fun.
    The idea of fun has now gone from training as most crew see drills and training as another chore, it is no longer for their benefit, but that of the company and a checklist to be ticked.

    Some companies had good systems before ISM came along, now we all have the same ISM system to abide by, and it doesn’t work, one size does not fit all.

    Although ISM is to be adapted and written by the company, it is checked and re-designed by flags and class societies to mould it back to a basic format.

    Without the ability to adapt and change, companies and their employees are forced to follow routines they don’t want to do.

    Left to the ships personnel and a more open plan, ISM could be the catch all it attempts to be.

    With all it’s restrictions under SOLAS, STCW and others our personnel are constrained to meet minimum requirements at all times rather than strive to be the best at everything.

    I would like to suggest that the cruise industry and the offshore industry, including tankers/gas carriers work at a generally higher level than most in terms of safety.

    If you look at the statistics I would also warrant that overall, launching a lifeboat is still safer than driving a car, crossing a road and many other things we do on a day to day basis.

    We should wait and see what the report on this says before making any conclusions and remember the family of those directly affected. The more speculation here, the less focus on the needs of the family and those involved.

    God rest his soul.

  • rene

    has any children died on the princess cruises.