The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published its investigation into the tragic drowning of a passenger on board the cruise ship Sapphire Princess in the East China Sea in August 2014. In light of the report, Adrian McCourt, managing director of Watkins Superyachts, has issued a safety reminder to his fleet, pointing out the synergies that can be drawn with the yachting industry, and what lessons can be learnt from the incident.
“While there are few, albeit a growing number of large yachts with substantial swimming pools on board, water relaxation is obviously a significant part of the superyacht experience – whether in Jacuzzis, plunge pools or indeed over board,” explains McCourt.
“In addition to this, guest awareness of attendant risks may be reduced in an unfamiliar and perhaps overwhelming environment. When food and alcohol consumption is added, the risk is exacerbated. Few guests wish to be formally supervised when they are relaxing, and this report again underlines the need for rational risk assessment.”
In the case of the MAIB report, McCourt highlights the absence of suitably trained personnel within the vicinity of the pool, which resulted in a delay in commencing vital CPR to the passenger.
While advising fleet to read and take notice of report, McCourt also suggests that sufficient training is ensured among all crew. “It is essential that all personnel have had appropriate first aid training and if not, that refresher training will be carried out,” he states. “It is important to ensure that the next emergency training includes a discussion of this report and a CPR demonstration.”
The full report can be read here.

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