Cruise

Royal Caribbean avoids charges over White Island tragedy

Royal Caribbean has confirmed it not facing charges from WorkSafe New Zealand relating to the Whakaari/White Island disaster in 2019.

A spokesperson for the cruise line said it is not one of 13 parties being charged by the work safety watchdog in relation to deaths caused by the volcanic eruption on Whakaari in 2019.

A total of 47, including 24 Australians, were on White Island, or Whakaari, as part of a shore excursion for Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas when a volcanic eruption occurred.

Twenty-two people died and many are still recovering from injuries and trauma caused by the tragedy.

WorkSafe NZ announced it would lay charges against companies involved in the disaster in November 2020, just before the first anniversary of the disaster.

Last week, New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency, which is among the 13 parties facing charges, pleaded not guilty.

Ten organisations and three individuals are facing allegations from Worksafe New Zealand for charges concerning the health and safety of workers and others, obligations to ensure a company is meeting its health and safety obligations and the duty of PCBU.

Each charge carries a maximum fine of $1.4 million for organisations and $285,000 for individuals.

The other 12 defendants delayed entering pleas and were given a new deadline of 24 August, according to ABC News.


Featured image source: iStock/Julien Viry



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