Second Cruise Ship Crew Member Dies as Result of July 20th Lifeboat Drill Accident

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  • A second cruise ship worker has died as a result of the July 20 Norwegian Breakaway lifeboat drill accident.
  • The Filipino man had been in intensive care at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida.
  • The victim, Ben Buenaventura, is survived by his wife and young son.

The summer is proving to be extremely deadly for cruise ship crew members, with reports that the fourth crew member of the summer has passed away in a work related incident.

Earlier this summer we blogged about an incident in which a cruise ship crew member was killed in an accident during a lifeboat drill. The boat apparently became undone from its tether and fell dozens of feet into the water, killing a worker and injuring several others.  Now, a second crew member has died as a result of the incident.

Filipino crew member Ben Buenaventura, of the Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship, has died of the injuries he suffered in the July 20 incident. He had been treated in the ICU at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Mr. Buenaventura, who is survived by a wife and a five-year-old son, is one of three Filipino men killed in lifeboat accidents this summer. Another Filipino man was killed in the same incident as Mr. Buenaventura, and just last week a Filipino engineer was killed in a lifeboat drill incident on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship.

The incidences, which are just the latest in a series of recent cruise ship lifeboat drill accidents, raise serious questions about cruise lines’ abilities to both protect their own crew members, and to protect their passengers in the event that the lifeboats need to be deployed. It seems clear that the cruise companies need to invest far more time and resources into properly training crew members on how to operate the lifeboats, which are a key part of every cruise ship’s safety plan.