21 Jan 2019

Filipino family to receive $360k after cruise worker's death

5:16 pm on 21 January 2019

A cruise ship company will pay $360,000 dollars in reparation to the family of a crew member killed on their ship in Dunedin in 2017.

The explosion happened onboard the Emerald Princess.

The Emerald Princess docked in Port Chalmers in Dunedin after an explosion that killed one of its crew last February. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

Allan Navales died when the gas cylinder he was refilling exploded on the Emerald Princess on 9 February 2017 while it was docked in Port Chalmers - an accident the Transport Accident Investigation Commission said was preventable.

The commission, which released its report into the accident last Thursday, singled out a lack of training and the absence of robust inspection standards as major causes.

The ship's operator, Princess Cruise Lines, was ordered to pay $250,000 in reparation for consequential loss and $110,000 in emotional harm reparation when the case came before the Dunedin District Court today.

It has also been served a $15,000 fine.

Maritime New Zealand was originally seeking for 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 the sentencing decision, Judge Kevin Phillips said 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."

Judge Phillips noted that Princess Cruise Lines had revised its policies and procedures as a result of the accident, and had shown high levels of regret and concern.

Princess Cruise Lines has already paid the family $100,000 of the reparation ordered, and about $15,000 to send his body home.

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