An unmanned helium-filled blimp detached from the back of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship during sea trials on Wednesday.
The blimp, which was being tested as a potential onboard activity for passengers, was tethered to the ship by a stainless steel cable. However, the cable snapped during the test flight, and the blimp drifted away over open water.
No one was injured during the incident, and no damage to the ship occurred.
Royal Caribbean said it is working with the blimp’s manufacturer, Lindstrand Technologies Ltd., to evaluate the cause of the incident.
“We are disappointed that the blimp detached during the test flight,” said Richard Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean. “However, we are committed to safety and will not launch the blimp until we are confident that it is safe to do so.”
The blimp is designed to carry up to 30 passengers and offers panoramic ocean views. If successful, it could become an additional onboard activity for passengers during Oasis cruises.
The sea trials were otherwise a success, and the ship performed well in all of its tests. Royal Caribbean is expected to take delivery of the ship in the coming weeks.
The incident is a reminder of the risks involved in testing new technology. However, Royal Caribbean has a history of safety and is committed to ensuring that all of its onboard activities are safe for passengers.
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