I was shocked to recently discover that two RCCL ships each had a lifeboat break free from the ship after a supporting cable reportedly snapped. The first affected vessel was the Legend of the Seas, on November 25, and the second, the Allure of the Seas, on December 5.
For me personally, I am quite concerned about this situation. What would have happened had this situation taken place during a real emergency while a fully loaded lifeboat was being lowered over the side? One might also speculate as to just how safe is it to walk beneath lifeboats, while they are tethered aboard ship.
To be fair, I suspect a situation of this kind is not limited to strictly just RCCL ships. However, the more important question for me is who is the most appropriate jurisdiction for an industry-wide monitoring of this kind of safety issue. As for the Legend of the Seas incident, it was local authorities in the Bahamas (where the sip is registered) who granted the Captain permission to continue the cruise from the Dominican Republic, minus the affected lifeboat. Since the country of registration for ships is largely based on strictly tax considerations, is it acceptable, from a passenger safety perspective, to also permit that nation to make such a crucial decision?
I had heard about the Allure but not the Legend. Neither one is really acceptable. I am never comfortable walking under the lifeboats and do spend time looking upward.
I understand with the Allure they were given permission to leave because the ship was not sailing full and they would have had enough seating capacity without that particular lifeboat.
I do believe they need to do more inspections and this shows the need.
As for leaving with the permission of the Bahamian government, somehow I think the U.S. authorities had a say in it too. But as long as they are registered in another country that is who has the final word.