The tragic death of a Filipino seafarer, whose family
was awarded by court $360,000 in compensation, may
trigger amendments to the SOLAS Convention.
According to a report from Television New Zealand,
pressurized gas cylinders on ships.
“The final report has now identified that actually one of the
the Dunedin District Court has ordered Princess Cruise Lines,
operator of the Emerald Princess cruise ship, to pay $360,000
in reparations to the family of a Filipino crewmember that
was killed on board the cruise ship.
On February 9, 2017, an explosion occurred while the
seafarer, Allan Navales, was performing maintenance work on
Emerald Princess at Port Chalmers.
The seafarer died while he was refilling a gas cylinder that
reasons for the lack of testing is there’s no global standards
and they would normally come from the International
Maritime Organization (IMO),” said Capt. Burfoot.
Such regulation should have been included in the
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
1974, as amended.
As a result from this accident, the commission urged
Maritime New Zealand to request IMO for the implementation
of global standards on inspecting and testing pressurized gas
cylinders on ships.
exploded after the container’s structure could not handle
According to the commission, the cylinders used were part
the pressure as about 30% of the cylinder’s original thickness
had already corroded, according to the Transport Accident
Investigation Commission.
According to the report of the commission, the accident
was preventable and had stemmed from a lack of training and
‘the absence of robust inspection standards.’
Chief investigator of the commission, Capt. Tim Burfoot,
also stated that the gas cylinder should not have been in use
given its status.
“The nitrogen cylinder burst at below-normal working
pressure because its casing had corroded to about 30 percent
of original thickness,” Capt. Burfoot said.
He added that the failed cylinder and several others in the
system were not fit for purpose despite having been surveyed
The investigation of the commission highlighted that one
of the reasons the cylinder was in use during that time was a
of the hydraulic launch system of the ship’s lifeboats.
Specifically, the Dunedin District Court ordered Princess
Cruise Lines to pay $250,000 in reparation for consequential
loss and $110,000 in emotional harm reparation.
Previously, however, Maritime New Zealand sought to
have Princess Cruise Lines to pay $812,000 in reparation
to Mr. Navales’ family in the Philippines, who it said he was
supporting because they were “living in poverty.”
In his sentencing decision, Judge Kevin Phillips stated that
he accepted that Mr. Navales was primarily working on the
ship as a means to support his family, including his extremely
ill 63-year-old mother, and his daughter.
“He was placed in a situation where there were clear
deficiencies, failures and omissions and as a result, he died,”
he said.
Princess Cruise Lines, following the death of Mr. Navales,
stated that it had already revised its policies and procedures
total lack of international standards for inspecting and testing
as a result of the accident.l