I was a passenger on an EU registered cruise ship. As an East Coast yachtsman with 30 years experience I was concerned to note that the propeller on No l starboard lifeboat was so badly bent that in my view it would render the lifeboat engine inoperable.
I formally reported my findings in writing to the Cruise/Tour Operator using the Company’s own Customer Complaint Form as I was anxious to see the fault properly registered and promptly followed up.
After approximately one month there was no formal feedback and, as an ex Trade Union Safety Officer, I was concerned that there may have been no follow-up to my report. I therefore contacted the Cruise/Tour Operator again by telephone and was informed that I should contact a company who were responsible for maintenance of the vessel concerned. I then had a discussion about the Corporate responsibility of the Cruise/Tour Operator Company and in particular about section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work act 1974. It was then agreed that they would refer the matter to the Ship Operator.
After another month of no feedback I again contacted Cruise/Tour Operator; the company again noted the details for forwarding to the Cruise Company.
My concern is that the Cruise/Tour Operator having given out customer complaint forms, have not responded or perhaps even followed up my formal complaint that a major piece of lifesaving equipment requires urgent attention. I have written the account for your Maritime Feedback because it illustrates the important interface and responsibilities between the Ship Operator, the Cruise/Tour Operator and the passenger who notes the actual safety breach.
This report was forwarded to the Managing Director of the ship operating company. The lifeboat defect was known to the company and repair had been affected and approved by a Classification Society. The Company was disturbed that a safety related passenger report had not been forwarded to them by the Tour Operator and have modified the report handling process to ensure this incident is not repeated.