A BURTON magician ‘watched on in horror’ as a lifeboat fell from a cruise ship he is serving on – killing five people.
Jack Dent, of Stanton Road, Stapenhill, was only yards away as the tragedy unfolded during a routine safety drill on cruise liner Thomson Majesty as the boat docked at La Palma in the Canary Islands.
The 19-year-old, speaking through his father David, revealed that he was still in a ‘state of shock’ after watching a cable snap and the lifeboat fall 65ft into the ocean.
He said: “The boat was being brought back aboard the ship following a routine safety drill but as it coming up at the side of the ship a cable snapped and it just dropped.
“Everyone just watched on in horror and we were all helpless to do anything as the events unfolded.
“At first we thought at that only three people had died but soon after the ship’s captain announced via the tannoy that five people had lost their lives.”
The incident saw five people lose their lives – three Indonesians, a Filipino and Ghanaian and three other crew members injured.
Mr Dent added: “We all knew the people involved as we are like on big family.
“I was in a state of shock when it happened and a lot of people on board have been left traumatised.
“This is my first season on the ship and I work as an entertainer as I am a magician by trade.
“It is my job during the drills to look after all the passengers on board and do a headcount to make sure that we know where everyone is.
“During the drill, one of the lifeboats is lowered into the water and, after completing a figure of eight, then returns to the ship. On this occasion, this was when tragedy struck.
“I saw the boat drop and I didn’t know what to think. It dropped a long way. But we all have to carry on with our work and support the passengers.”
The ship is still docked as the crew waited for the all clear.