Crush incident during recovery of tender from passenger cruise ship Thomson Celebration with loss of 1 life

Location: St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands.

Accident Investigation Report 11/2007

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened, actions taken and subsequent recommendations

ThomsonCelebrationReport.pdf (1,083.95 kb)

Annexes (1,521.97 kb)


On the afternoon of 26 September 2006, the passenger vessel Thomson Celebration prepared to depart from St Peter Port, Guernsey. All passengers had been confirmed on board and the passenger tenders were recalled for recovery. When Tender 15 was being positioned under its falls, close to the side of the ship, the 1.5 knot tide affected the manoeuvre and the coxswain lost full control of the boat. The tender was carried astern and against the ship’s side. A crew member had left his station at Tender 15’s stern to try to prevent the davit hook from damaging the tender. He moved between the coach house and the ship’s side and became trapped. He received fatal crush injuries to his upper chest.

Safety Issues

  • inadequate shipboard supervision of the tender operations
  • manning levels on passenger tenders not in accordance with levels specified in the ship’s SMS
  • inconsistent application of the in-house passenger tender training scheme


A recommendations has been to Llloyd’s Register of Shipping to Develop within IACS agreed standards for the issuing of lifeboat/passenger tender certificates. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have been recommended to take forward to IMO, through the most appropriate channels, competency requirements for passenger ship lifeboat/tender coxswains and crew for inclusion in a revision of STCW and Columbia Ship Management have received a recommendation concerning unauthorised maintenance being carried out on passenger tenders.

This report was published on 4 June 2007.

Published 23 January 2015