A twenty-six year old crew member reportedly fell off of the side of the Vision of the Seas while performing maintenance work this morning, according to an Italian news source.
The news source states that the crew member died and that divers subsequently located his body.
The cruise line was not following “work aloft” procedures which required the crew member to wear personal protection equipment (PPE), which should have included a safety harness among other safety equipment. The procedures outlined in the Royal Caribbean safety quality manual (SQM) should have obligated the crew member’s supervisor, department head and safety officer to have signed off that the crew member was adequately trained and familar with the necessary safety equipment.
The company was also required to have completed a job safety analysis (JSA) which should have outlined the risks of injury and/or death which the job presented and the steps taken by the cruis eline to mitigate against the risks.
The last crew member who went overboard and was apparently was not wearing PPE involved a Carnival crew member who fell off of the Carnival Victory last year.
This is the 349th person who has gone overboard from a cruise ship since 2000, according to Dr. Ross Klein’s data.
This crew member was a Filipino national, like many Royal Caribbean crew members. Filipino seafarers are subject to the Philippines Overseas Employment Act (POEA) which heavily restricts the compensation owed to Filipino crew members who are killed due to the negligence of their employers. The loved ones of a Filipino crew member cannot file a lawsuit in the U.S. before a judge and a jury and must pusue “arbitration” in Manila pursuant to the POEA. The maximum recovery for the estate of a dead Filipino mariner is just $50,000 and $7,500 for each surviving child.
Such compensation is hardly adequate to hold negligent cruise lines responsible for their negligence.
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I first learned of this accident upon reading Fleetmon.com account by Mikhail Voytenko.
September 13, 2019 Update: This article (translate with Google Chrome) states that the deceased Royal Caribbean crew member was identified as Marvin Galero, who reportedly was the third of 9 siblings, married with a 3-year-old child. The article states that “four people including the captain of the ship will also be investigated in a possible manslaughter case.”
September 14. 2019 Update: The Inquirer in the Philippines published a photograph (left) of Marvin Galero and indicated that he allegedly worked as a seafarer for three years.
Photo credit: Vision of the Seas – Livorno Fire Brigade; Marvin Galero – Inquirer.