A 29-year-old Indonesian crew member died during a lifeboat training exercise onboard Holland America Line’s Volendam while it was docked in Lyttelton Harbour at about 2.30pm local time Saturday.
Police have spoken with witnesses and are currently investigating the death, which occurred after a cable holding a lifeboat to the ship snapped, causing the boat to hang vertically from its stern and throwing two men into the water.
The man’s body was recovered from the water on Saturday evening without a lifejacket on, says the NZ Herald. Both men were apparently also wearing heavy clothing and boots at the time, reports the Herald Sun. Meanwhile the second crew member was rescued and taken to Christchurch Hospital for treatment.
“The maintenance work was done quite regularly but something happened and one of the ropes broke. The sea conditions weren’t a factor because the men were on the deck,” Sergeant Ross Tarawhiti of Christchurch police was quoted as saying on the company’s website.