This week the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Harmony of the Seas suffered a tragic accident while docked in Marseille, France.  As is routine when docked with a side of the ship unobstructed, to conduct drills with the boats.  A lifeboat detached from it's winch and fell to the water below.  One crew member died of it's injuries and four others were hurt.  

The video shown is provided by Cruise Aficionados from Independence of the Seas in 2014 at St. Kitts.  You see the port side lifeboats which have cast off from the ship.  A mechanic shuttles between the boats on demand to check or fix issues found with any motors and other systems.  Eventually the crew returns the fleet of boats to the ship and they are hoisted back tot he divots before leaving port.

Such drills are essential in keeping the passengers safe in the event of the need to evacuate the ship.  The loss of a crew member should sharply felt by any passenger precisely because the effort was being made for their safety.  The physical act of having to man and launch boats is a involved process even while the ship is docked, as we see here.  There is no word as yet for the exact cause of the accident. Despite the incident the ship retains ample space aboard the unaffected boats.  Cruise ships carry enough boats to accommodate all passengers but also have secondary rafts which deploy in the event of a major accident. 

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