Norwegian Breakaway Rescue Boat AccidentA number of newspapers in Bermuda are reporting that four people were injured when a lifeboat fell from the Norwegian Breakaway while the cruise ship was docked at port today.

The Royal Gazette says that one of the crew members is in critical condition at the hospital. This newspaper reports that a lifeboat had fallen from the cruise ship and “was left hanging from one wire resulting in four people falling into the water.”

Bernews reports that NCL released a statement, saying that “on July 20 while Norwegian Breakaway was alongside in Bermuda, an incident occurred involving the ship’s rescue boat during a routine drill, affecting four crew members.”

Bernews clarifies that a “rescue boat,” as opposed to a lifeboat, was involved in the mishap.  A video shows what this newspaper says is a rescue boat flipped upside down in the water with its hull partially showing.

I first became aware of the accident when PTZtv, which operates the webcam for this port, tweeted observing an unusually large EMS & police response to an incident at the port.

A year ago, two NCL crew members were injured when a rescue boat from the Pride of American fell after cables broke while the cruise ship was in Hilo.

Lifeboats accidents are not uncommon. In January of this year, a cruise ship tender boat on the Balmoral operated by Fred Olsen Lines malfunctioned, during a scheduled boat training drill while the cruise ship was docked in Funchal, Madeira. Fortunately, no one was injured. In August 2015, an excursion boat from the Costa Mediterranea apparently broke a cable while it was being lowered in Montenegro. Photographs sent to me shows what appears to be a lifeboat dangling on the side of the Costa cruise ship.  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. It was caused by a broken cable (photograph here).

Update:  One crew member injured in the accident has reportedly died, according to NCL.

Video and photo credit: Bernews


  • tinikini

    What is with the broken cables all the time?? Is this something that just happens in the business or is it poor maintenance of the cables or lack of replacing cables when needed?? It is always the cables. Could someone answer this for me????

  • John Goldsmith

    A ships’ Captain, whether on a cargo carrier or a cruise ship, who does not maintain his ship is guilty of dereliction of duty. Period.. I do not know how much training goes on for the seamen on a cruise ship. If they are ships crew then I would guess some drilling and training is required, so that crewmen can be promoted to higher ranks, much like any navy. If equipment is poorly maintained then it is the Captains fault, and just to add. A chief engineer on board any ship that doesn’t maintain his ship is not worth his salt to the maritime industry.

  • Allan Graveson

    The vessel was three years old. The type and manufactur of the wires, launching equipment and maintenance will no doubt be examined.

    To blame ship’s staff demonstrates a certain conditioning that prevents improvements in design and quality of equipment.

    Allan Graveson – Marine commentator.

  • Diomar carpio

    I thought this was a safety drill… Its a death drill… With poor maintenance, this incident will always occur and its just a matter of time… Like a time bomb waiting to explode… Either you get lucky or you die… I hope there’s a complete compensation for what happened to my brother… Especially his family and my mom who depends on my brother…