UK’s National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) is demanding urgent action over lifeboat safety after an incident on a Carnival cruise ship in early January.
RMT said in a statement that five people were hurt, one seriously, during a routine training exercise involving a lifeboat on P&O Cruises’ Arcadia, while it was in the Azores.
The union said this is the “latest in a catalogue of serious incidents involving lifeboats – an issue that the union has been campaigning for change and improvements on for a number of years”.
RMT has written to safety regulators and the cruise ship industry body demanding urgent action over lifeboat safety following this incident.
In a letter to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, RMT is demanding a tighter regulatory regime and improved maintenance to ensure both crew and passenger safety. The union has also written to both Carnival Cruises and the Cruise Line Industry Association.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said “The incident on Saturday on the Carnival Cruise ship Arcadia in the Azores should serve as a wake-up call to the entire cruise industry that we need improvements and changes to the regulatory and maintenance regime and we need them now. RMT will fight with every tool at our disposal to ensure that safety of both crew and passengers is the absolute top priority the length and breadth of the industry.”
RMT national secretary Steve Todd said “RMT has raised the issue of lifeboat safety in the past and after the latest incident we will not be fobbed off with any more delays and excuses. RMT is blowing the whistle on this issue before there is a major tragedy and we expect urgent and decisive action from both the safety regulator and the cruise companies.”