Investigation of Lifeboat Drop Faults Corroded Rope Wire

Thomson Majesty (photo: Rui Minas Agostinho)Wire rope failed due to corrosion and lack of proper lubrication, according to the Marine Safety Investigation Unit of Malta, when lifeboat number nine fell on the Thomson Majesty, killing five crew, February 10, 2013.

The report said that the wire rope has parted at a site of pre-existing corrosion and appeared dry and void of lubricant. The cause of the corrosion was said to be due to wire rope strands opening up under tension, allowing seawater and other contaminants to penetrate the inner core and corrode the strands.

Furthermore, the investigation concluded that the wire rope was not fitted according to the manufacturer’s recommended specifications, and grease with incorrect specifications had been used to lubricate the wire during periodic maintenance.

The Thomson Majesty was built by Kvaerner Masa-Yards in 1992 as the 1,256-passenger Royal Majesty. She later became the Norwegian Majesty and Louis Majesty before being charted to Thomson by Louis. The ship was lengthened in 1999, increasing the passenger capacity to 1,850.

The Thomson Majesty is registered in Malta and classed by DNV. She was managed and operated by Core Marine, the ship management subsidiary of Louis Cruise Lines.

The lifeboats were made by Fassmer and four new lifeboat davits were installed by Umoe Schat Harding when the ship was lengthening, for lifeboats number nine, 10, 11 and 12. The wire rope was manufactured by Jiangsu Changjinang Steel of Zuhang, China.

According to the report, the wire ropes were inspected on a monthly basis with the last inspection carried out in January of 2103, a month before the accident, and the last greasing in November 2012.

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