Persons overboard during lifeboat drill on passenger cruise ship Saga Sapphire with 2 people injured

Location: Berthed at the Port of Southampton, England.

Accident Investigation Report 25/2012

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

SagaSapphire.pdf (3,162.29 kb)

Annexes (3,578.70 kb)


At 1020 on 29 March 2012, two crewmen fell 22m into the water from Saga Sapphire’s No 5 lifeboat while the ship was secured port side alongside in Southampton. They sustained minor injuries.

Safety Issues

  • the bowsing tackle ropes were too large to be held on the bitts, but no action was taken to replace them
  • the first cook had not received any training for his specific role
  • none of the lifeboat preparation party or crew wore a safety harness and tether; those harnesses that were on board were life expired
  • training oversight was inadequate, no one took responsibility for lifeboat training and the ship’s safety management organisation was improperly prepared for its operational role


Recommendations have been made to Acromas Shipping Ltd to ensure its proposed changes to the operation of its lifeboats are formally approved; operating instructions for bowsing and tricing equipment across its fleet are consistent and accord with best practice; and that arrangements are put in place to ensure that future refit plans accommodate the need to fully establish the ship’s Safety Management Organisation and complete crew training before the vessel enters service.

This report was published on 8 November 2012.

Published 23 January 2015