Mark Raubenheimer struck by boat propeller on MSC Cruise

Mark Raubenheimer, a shoreman for MSC cruise line, was working the Opera on January 29, 2014. Shoreman help passengers to shore and back on small vessels, in return for room and board aboard the vessel.

He was launching a boat full of passengers from Barra-Lodge in Mozambique. His leg was cut by the outboard motor propeller on the inflatable dinghy being used to ferry passengers back to the Opera cruise ship. Details are sketchy, but the water was rough and somehow he was pulled under the small vessel.

They brought him out to the cruise ship where he was treated til the Opera docked two days later, January 31st.

Per IOL News, a source said the small boat had been launched after an independent contractor, Malcom Young, “insisted to the ship’s captain that conditions were unsafe.”

Malcom Young organized and supplied the shoremen for the voyage.

On Sunday 9 February, MSC Cruises CEO, Daphne Osborne, said the company had:

  • Sent representatives to visit Mr. Raubenheimer in the hospital.
  • Launched an investigation into the accident.
  • Reported to Maritime Administration and Safety Association in Mozambique (Samar).

The CEO was questioned about why the injured man was left onboard, vs. being life flighted from the deck to a major hospital.

The CEO said passengers had to sign a disclaimer acknowledging the trip to shore and back would be by tenders (small boats). The crew makes sure passengers are wearing life jackets when they enter the small boats.

Daphne Osborne, CEO of MSC Cruises, also noted Malcom Young was fired on Friday, one week after the accident when the ship reached Durban. He was fired for not adhering to the code of conduct in his contract. Osborne said the firing had nothing to do with the accident. It was based on his behavior in front of MSC passengers toward the ship’s command.

IOL checked with South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) principle officer in Durban to see if the accident had been reported like MSC claimed they had. The accident had not been reported. SAMSA said they would now report the accident to Mozambique (Samar), and to Panama, the flag under which the Opera operates.

This accident is somewhat of an extension of the several cruise ship excursion boat propeller accidents we have been following. In this instance a shoreman they say was an independent contractor was injured.

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