A crew member was killed in an accident which occurred during the dry dock refurbishment of the cruise ship Le Boréal in the port of Valparaiso, Chile on November 18th.

The popular Crew-Center reports that a young (25 year-old) crew member from Romania fell 75 feet after he slipped from a ladder placed on the ship’s deck.  Most cruise lines have “work aloft” policies and procedures which require that shipboard employees wear “personal protection equipment” (PPE), which includes safety harnesses, when they are required to work at a height of over six feet.

There should never be a situation where work is being performed at the extreme height mentioned in the Crew-Center article without the ship employees wearing PPE.  Such work has to be approved and supervised by senior officers who are required to enforce the work aloft procedures.

The Romanian newspaper Latercera first reported on the fatality. and identified the crew member as Andrei Madalin Circhea, from Constanta, Romania.

In other news involving Ponant, it’s Le Soléal cruise ship reportedly sustained damage to one of its propellers when the ship grounded on November 22nd while cruising through Kirke Passage in the Chilean fjords, according to the Valparaiso Daily News. The current cruise which began on November 7th has ended, and the roughly 220 passengers need to be repatriated. The cruise line cancelled the November 20th from Ushuaia, Argentina.

 

Photo credit: Top – Pjotr Mahhonin – CC BY-SA 3.0, commons / wikimedia; bottom – Latercera.

Ponant L'AustralCruise Critic reports that Ponant has diverted its cruise ship, L’Austral, because of safety concerns due to two separate accidents earlier this year when the French luxury cruise ship struck objects while sailing.

In January, the cruise ship struck a floating object in the Sub Antarctic Islands. In February, L’Austral struck an undersea rock while sailing in New Zealand, causing damage to its hull.

Ponant chose to avoid the ship sailing into the Sulu Sea. L’Austral was forced to skip its port visit to Borneo.

The vessel’s certification society reportedly requested Ponant to undergo an inspection in a port near Manila, from March 16 to 29, 2017, in order to check the ship’s hull for damage.

L’Austral has been in the news several times in the last two years. In August 2016, an excursion vessel carrying two dozen passengers from L’Austral began taking on water and eventually sank in waters near Greenland. The cruise passengers were rescued at the last minute.

In November 2015, L’Austral rescued several hundred passengers from another luxury cruise ship operated by Ponant, Le Boréal, which caught on fire when the ship was sailing north of the Falkland Islands. The fire and evacuation efforts were far more complicated than initially reported.

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Photo credit: Orlovic – CC BY-SA 3.0, commons / wikimedia.

A number of news sources are reporting that a fire broke last night on Ponant’s luxury cruise ship, Le Boréal, as the ship was sailing north of the Falkland Islands. The vessel was heading from Grave Cove to South Georgia when the alarm sounded shortly after 2:00 A.M. last night.

347 passengers and crew were on the ship. All persons were safely evacuated. 

A number of sources are saying that 90 of the 347 passengers were air-lifted to safety from life-rafts and the rest were transferred to the L’Austral. The company said that the passenger and crew were evacuated as a "precaution" although the life saving measures seem to be far from routine.  

The rest of the cruise was canceled and the passengers will be flown home once they arrive in the capital of the Falklands.

Photo Credit: Pjotr Mahhonin creative Commons 3.0 via Wikipedia

Le Boreal Cruise Ship