Articles Posted in Cruise Ship Accidents/Incidents

When we think of injuries at sea, we often think of injuries to passengers due to the negligence of a cruise ship. But maritime law goes far beyond that, extending to provide employees of ships with a wide range of benefits that they wouldn’t ordinarily be entitled to under state laws.

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Under state law, an employee injured on the job generally must make a claim for injury under the state’s workers’ compensation laws. In Florida, an employee who is afforded workers’ compensation is barred from bringing a standard negligence claim against their employer for anything other than the most intentional acts. But maritime law is very different, being governed by federal law, and the federal Jones act.

What Maintenance and Cure Provide

Federal law provides maritime workers and employees with a benefit called maintenance and cure. In common terms, it means that your employer must pay for your housing and your medical care while you are injured and off the job.

The idea is grounded in the theory that an employer at sea ordinarily provides for a roof over its employees’ heads. When an employee must be home due to injury, the employer does not get relieved of this obligation—it must now pay for or compensate the injured victim for the time spent on land.

The maintenance can often be the entire amount of the injured employee’s living expenses, even if they live in a more expensive area. Unfortunately, many employers try to get away with paying nominal amounts which are insufficient for the injured employee to live off of.

Cure is the obligation of an employer to pay for the medical care of the injured employee, often making payment directly to the health care provider.

How Long Benefits Last

On top of these benefits, an injured crewman retains the right to sue for negligence under the Jones act. But remember that an employee is entitled to maintenance and cure, regardless of how they were injured, even if there was no negligence involved.

Maintenance and cure will continue until you are at MMI, or Maximum Medical Improvement. As you may imagine, that’s a subjective test. In an effort to avoid paying, many employers will declare crewmembers at MMI, even before they are ready to go back to work. Many employers may also refuse to pay for needed tests, diagnostics, therapy, or medications.

The law provides for an injured crewmember to obtain punitive damages where an employer does not provide maintenance and cure, so nobody should ever tolerate allowing an employer to try shorting them of any benefits.

Those entitled to maintenance and cure go beyond just cruise ship workers. Those working on fishing boats, tour boats, casino ships, transport vessels, and commercial ships, among others, are covered under maritime law as well.

Whether you are an employee, a crewmember, or a passenger injured at sea, you want attorneys who understand the subtle differences between state and federal laws. Talk to the Florida cruise ship accident attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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As if the ebola scare needed another angle, it now appears that someone who may have been exposed to the virus is aboard a cruise ship, of all things. It’s possible nothing will come of this, but if it does, it will call into play many of the topics that we have discussed regarding cruise line safety and standards previously on our blog.

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Exposed Passenger on a Cruise Ship

It is well known that a patient in a Dallas hospital died from ebola, apparently after the hospital staff waited too long treat him. Nurses from that hospital are also now alleging that there were no safety standards in the hospital for those nurses, and that nurses who treated the patient may have exposed the virus to other patients, and blood taken from the patient may have contaminated the hospital’s supply. Two nurses who did have direct contact with the patient have contracted the disease.

Making matters worse, it now appears that one of those hospital staff who may have been exposed, a lab technician for the Dallas hospital, is aboard a carnival cruise ship.

The CDC has reported that it has been many days since her exposure, and the technician has reported no symptoms at all. The cruise line says that the technician is currently isolated from the rest of the crew.

The cruise ship was supposed to dock in Belize. The ship did dock, but the passenger in question did not get off the ship. The government of Belize, apparently frightened for its own safety, refused a request by the U.S. to assist in evacuating the technician (who, again, as of now, has displayed no signs of having the disease).

Cruise Ships are Ill Prepared to Deal with Such Diseases

Although this may be a false scare, it raises many concerns. As we’ve discussed before in this blog, cruise ships are petri dishes for disease. The small quarters, close contact, and isolated nature of a ship create an ideal breeding ground for contagious diseases.

We’ve also discussed the inadequacy and ill training of some cruise line medical staffs. Certainly, if a major U.S. hospital wasn’t prepared to identify ebola, and properly quarantine and protect its staff, it would be unlikely that a cruise ship medical staff would be able to.

Additionally, like any disease, ebola requires self-reporting—that is, a patient has to go to the doctor when he feels ill. At home, patients are much more likely to do so than on a cruise ship. Passengers on a vacation may be very hesitant to see a doctor when they first develop symptoms, meaning that even if the ship handled quarantine procedures perfectly, by the time they were aware of the disease, it may have already spread.

The point is not to be paranoid about ebola, or cruising. Just the scare itself shows how the lackadaisical standards and poor oversight and monitoring of cruise ship safety can lead to a real disaster.

If you have questions about cruise line safety or were injured as a cruise passenger, talk to the Florida cruise ship accident attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. for a free consultation to discuss your rights.

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If you are injured on a cruise ship, a major hurdle that you may have is filing your lawsuit within the time period provided by law. Cruise ship accident victims are often excluded from bringing negligence or liability claims, based upon having waited too long to file a lawsuit.

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What is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a deadline in which a lawsuit can be filed. After that deadline, the lawsuit is forever barred. Different causes of action—negligence, breach of contract, malpractice, etc. – may have different statutes of limitations, and different states have different limitations on each kind of action.

Federal maritime law has a statute of limitation of three years in which a claim based on negligence can be brought. The problem is that federal law explicitly states that parties can change that time frame by agreement.

Cruise lines now almost always have limitations period that are shorter than the three-year period in the cruise contract ticket. And yes—you are assumed to have “agreed” to all the terms in your cruise contract, even if you don’t actually sign it. As long as the language providing a shorter limitations period is there, and you buy the ticket and take the cruise, you’re subject to that limitations period.

Because federal law restricts a contractually based limitations period to one year, that is almost always the restriction on the time period.

If your claim is based on property damage or loss of property, as opposed to injury, that time period can be even shorter—sometimes, a passenger may be required to make a claim within days of the incident.

Additionally, filing a suit against a contractor, or just an agent, who may not be directly employed by the cruise line, may also be restricted by the cruise ticket time limitation.

Exceptions to Contractual Limitations

There have been some exceptions made by courts to the contractual time bar.

Injuries suffered by minor children may not be subject to the restriction. In some cases, passengers who received tickets shortly before boarding, with insufficient time to review the terms, have not been restricted by the time limitation.

Depending on the wording of the ticket, certain kinds of misconduct, such as intentional acts, may not be covered by the limitation.

And, if a cruise line makes affirmative misrepresentations to mislead a passenger into thinking there is more time to file a lawsuit than there really is, the statute of limitations may be extended.  (As an aside, this is a good reason to write down any conversations you may have with cruise employees, executives, or insurance adjusters, if you have had any before hiring your lawyer.)

All this is not to say it’s best practice to wait to file suit—it most certainly is not. Even arguing an exception to a contractual limitations period is an uphill battle. And your cruise contract likely has loads of additional consumer-unfriendly terms (the ill-fated 2012 Costa Concordia had a 6400-word ticket contract) to deal with in addition to limitations restrictions.

If you’re injured at sea, don’t wait. Complex federal laws and contractual agreements may limit your ability to ever recover if you don’t hire an attorney and bring a claim timely. Talk to the Florida cruise ship accident attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. for a free consultation to discuss your rights.

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The Washington Post recently published an interesting article about whether or not cruise ships are doing enough to protect passengers, and whether existing regulations are strong enough to ensure passenger safety.

The article describes one passenger who almost drowned in the undertow of a pool on the ship, after going down a large slide. Her sister noticed her struggling, and only after she desperately cried for help did anybody from the cruise staff jump in to help her.

To make up for her accident, Carnival offered her a $100 coupon.

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Industry Tries to Avoid Regulation

The cruise industry has thus far managed to avoid heavy government regulation by “self-regulating,” another way of saying the cat is guarding the henhouse or the wolf is protecting the sheep.

To show it is self-regulating, the cruise industry voluntarily passed its own “Passenger Bill of Rights,” which, while admirable, has no legal authority behind it, and is largely a voluntary “feel good” measure to appease lawmakers.

Despite the P.R. appeal of passing its “bill of rights,” the cruise industry may not be able to avoid Washington intervention. Legislators are still trying to pass a “Cruise Passenger Protection Act,” which would have mandatory safety requirements for cruises,  expanded ability for government investigation of on-board accidents, and would require the reporting of all incidents that happen on a cruise for public viewing.

Regulation is Needed

It is no wonder that such regulation is needed. Cruise ships are now enormous recreation campuses, where the risk of injury isn’t just falling on a slippery floor.

With the addition of pool slides, rock walls, sporting activities, amusement park-like rides, and loads of other types of activities, the cruise line’s obligation to operate safely now goes beyond just traditional maritime activities.

If these kinds of recreational activities are regulated on land, there should be no reason why they wouldn’t be at sea.

Yet, the cruise lines still object to regulation. They contend that there are no more injuries on a ship than there are off the ship, and that the industry is doing enough on its own. They also use the old fashioned trick of threatening price increases—that the safety measures will lead to increased ticket prices.

Still, this argument ignores the fact that passengers injured at sea don’t have the same rights as those injured at an amusement park or similar facility on land. Injuries at sea are often severely limited by the terms of the cruise ticket, as well as by federal maritime laws, and by the extreme difficulty of the possibility of having to sue in a foreign jurisdiction.

The differences are compounded by the often sorely inadequate availability of real medical care aboard a cruise ship.

It is unclear if the law will or will not pass. But until it does, it seems that we may hear more about injuries that happen on cruise ships as they get bigger, with more amenities, even as the laws governing them remain static.

Were you sick or injured at sea or on a cruise? Talk to the Florida cruise ship accident attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. for a free consultation to discuss your rights under maritime laws.

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When you are on a cruise, you are often miles out into the ocean, far away from land. While on the cruise you may be engaging in extreme sports, eating foods you aren’t used to eating, walking on rocking floors, and being in close contact with thousands of other passengers in a closed environment. With the chances of injury or illness being high, you would think that ships were equipped with medical facilities and personnel that were prepared to deal with any kind of medical emergency. Think again.

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Medical Facilities on Cruises

In fact, there is little regulation about what kind of medical facilities must be on board, and medical personnel may be licensed in countries that are not as stringent as the licensure requirements in the U.S.

Most facilities are more like infirmaries, or walk-in clinics than full scale hospitals. Most do not have diagnostic scanning equipment, such as MRIs or CT scans. And if you have a condition that the personnel can’t help you with, they can force you to get off the ship at the next port—which could be in a country that has inadequate medical facilities or doctors (or which your insurance may not cover).

While most cruise ships have simple pharmacies, they are likely to only carry the most basic drugs, and not any specialty or lesser used medications. And what medications you do use, aren’t included in your cruise fare—they’ll be added to your bill.

Malpractice on Cruises

If you are a victim of medical malpractice, and seek to sue for damages, there are a number of issues. The first is service of the lawsuit upon doctors who may live anywhere in the world. Doctors are generally not employees of the ships they work on, and thus, cannot be served by simply serving the cruise ship.

As far as liability, for a long time, the law was established that cruise ships could not be responsible for the malpractice of the on-board doctors, because the doctors were merely independent contractors, and a cruise ship is not in the business of providing medical care. Some courts felt it unfair to hold cruise lines responsible, because the injury in a malpractice cases arises from the relationship between the doctor and the patient, having nothing to do with the cruise lines.

But today, more courts are willing to hold cruise lines responsible for the malpractice of on-board physicians. Many courts accept the fact that while a cruise isn’t a floating hospital, it certainly can reasonably anticipate needing to provide medical care, and in fact the cruise line couldn’t be in business without having some kind of medical facilities on board.

Courts also are beginning to acknowledge that a passenger doesn’t have a choice of doctors or clinics—they must go to the on-board doctor. The lack of options gives the cruise line a heightened responsibility creating more of an agent relationship between cruise and doctor.

Malpractice claims are complex and difficult, and they’re even moreso when there’s a malpractice event at sea. If you are injured at sea, retain attorneys with maritime law experience. Talk to the Florida cruise ship accident attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. for a free consultation to discuss your rights.

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On July 24, 2014 a senate Committee Hearing chaired by retiring Democratic Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, illustrated the necessity for better enforcement of the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act 0f 2010Act. The Bill S. 1340, known as the Cruise Passenger Protection Act, perfects the intent of congress in passing the 2010 legislation. Despite, efforts made by the cruise lines to thwart the passage of this legislation, crime victim advocates and personal injury attorneys such as Miami based lawyer, Philip M. Gerson of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. still pursue justice for passengers on the high seas. Mr. Gerson addressed congress detailing the negligent behavior of the cruise line industry and its trade group, Cruise Lines Industry Association, commonly referred to as CLIA. Mr. Gerson illustrated how cruise ship owners suppress the facts, rather than honestly report them to their passengers. These organizations and individuals alike, boast that its passengers are safer at sea, when this is clearly not the case.

At the senate hearing Mr. Gerson emphasized, how ship security is on board to protect the ship owners, not their passenger customers. Moreover, he pointed out how the legal relationship between the passenger and the cruise line is deliberately written in a way that is difficult to understand. Due to the fact, that the contractual terms which individuals sign are printed in tiny font and using legal and maritime terms that cannot be understood by the average person who takes a cruise, the rights of crime victims on board a cruise are often signed away before they even embark.

The compelling stories of three witnesses who spoke at this hearing demonstrated how difficult it has been for victims to seek or obtain protection before, or assistance after, violent and brutal crimes such as rape and sexual assault occur. Mr. Gerson continued to express deep concern for women and children who are unsafe while at sea. These vulnerable populations in particular are targeted by sexual predators often including crew members hired to work on board the ship. Sometimes, individuals hired as security guards who passengers understandably believe are on board to protect guests are the very ones who are committing these heinous crimes. More importantly, there is absolutely no police protection, on board these floating cities, and so defenseless passengers are left to protect themselves.

Actually, ship authorities have taken steps to cover up these incidents, especially in cases where crimes were committed by cruise line employees. Witnesses’ testimony revealed chilling details about efforts made by the ship authorities to hide evidence such as rape kits and other evidence left behind by quickly cleaning up physical evidence that would point responsibility at them. Witnesses who may have information unfavorable to cruise lines, denials of responsibility, often go without an interview or even documentation of witness status.

The testimony given on behalf of the International Crime Victims Association was made as a plea for Congress to provide cruise ship passengers with new legal protections. Advocates, asked for various requirements to be made of the cruise line industry laws. These billion dollar businesses must be held accountable for protecting passengers and keeping them safe.

Gerson & Schwartz, PA will continue on, in its long commitment to fairly represent maritime crime victims against an industry who places its financial interests before the civil protections that passengers deserve.

If you or a loved one has been injured physically or sexually on board a cruise.

Don’t Wait. Contact info@gslawus.com or call (888)587-8421for a free consultation today.

Over the last year, our Florida cruise ship attorneys have had the unfortunate task of discussing a number of incidents in which cruise ship passengers have been the victim of sexual assault or rape at the hands of crew members or other passengers.

Recent Incidents

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In February, we discussed an Inside Edition interview with a young woman who claims that she was held down by two crew members in their cabin and raped repeatedly onboard a Carnival cruise. In April, we talked about sexual abuse allegations against a Disney Cruise Line crew member who has been charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious molestation and one count of false imprisonment of a 13-year-old female cruise passenger.  Last year, there was an assault on a fourteen-year-old passenger aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Imagination by a security guard, and, in July of 2012, a 19-year-old man from Kentucky was charged with raping an 18-year-old aboard the Carnival Dream.

Now, unfortunately, another such incident has occurred, this time aboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Sea, which docked in Jamaica earlier this week. According to a report, two U.S. “men were accused of raping a female passenger who they were partying with the night before on the vessel.” The sexual assault allegedly occurred in the every early morning when the cruise ship was sailing approximately fifty miles outside Jamaican waters.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from Jamaican police, is investigating the incident. This is a somewhat unusual situation, as the FBI usually does not become involved in cruise ship crimes until after the ship returns to a U.S. port.

Recently, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), conducted a review of compliance with the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010, reporting that it had concerns about the usefulness the Act’s crime-reporting requirements.  According to the review, the reporting requirements of the CVSSA produce outdated statistics on only a fraction of crimes.

The CVSSA requires cruise lines to report crimes falling into eight categories to the FBI: homicide, suspicious death, missing U.S. national, kidnapping, assault with serious bodily injury, sexual assault, firing or tampering with vessels, and theft greater than $10,000.  According to the GAO, crime statistics are published by the Coast Guard on its website only after the investigations are closed.  This means that, between January of 2010 and September of 2013, only 81 of 287 required crime reports were made public.

Preventing and controlling crime on board ships is one of the biggest problems that the cruise ship industry faces.  Every year, dozens of cruise ship passengers fall victim to physical and sexual assaults onboard cruise ships at the hands of crew members and other passengers.

According to FBI statistics, in 2007, there were 207 criminal incidents reported by the U.S. Coast Guard and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) that year.  However, as this blog has mentioned, that number is likely much higher. At the time the report was issued in 2007, there had already been 41 reported instances of sexual assault accounting for fifty-five percent of the violent crimes that were reported.  Further, there were a reported thirteen assaults resulting in “serious bodily injury.”

Contact an Attorney Today

Cruise companies have a duty to provide a safe environment for their passengers and the failure to do so may entitle the injured party to compensation. The Florida cruise ship accident lawyers of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. are licensed to practice law in all of Florida’s state and federal courts and have been representing the victims of cruise ship crimes for over four decades. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime while on a cruise ship, contact the maritime attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today.

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Over the last year, our Florida cruise ship accident attorneys have discussed a number of incidents in which cruise ship passengers have been the victim of sexual assault or rape at the hands of crew members or other passengers. Several weeks ago, two U.S. men were accused of raping a female passenger aboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Sea, which docked in Jamaica.

In February, we discussed an Inside Edition interview with a young woman who claims that she was held down by two crew members in their cabin and raped repeatedly onboard a Carnival cruise and, in April, we talked about sexual abuse allegations against a Disney Cruise Line crew member who has been charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious molestation and one count of false imprisonment of a 13-year-old female cruise passenger.

Recent Allegations

Now, according to an article published in the St. Kitts and Nevis Observer, a Carnival Valor crew member was taken into custody by St. Kitt’s Police and charged with raping a cruise passenger while the ship was in territorial waters of the island. Police have refused to release the alleged offender’s name because the victim is a minor. Upon inquiry, the local police would say nothing other than “someone has been charged for an incident.”

Recently, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), conducted a review of compliance with the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010, reporting that it had concerns about the usefulness the Act’s crime-reporting requirements. According to the review, the reporting requirements of the CVSSA produce outdated statistics on only a fraction of crimes.

The CVSSA requires cruise lines to report crimes falling into eight categories to the FBI: homicide, suspicious death, missing U.S. national, kidnapping, assault with serious bodily injury, sexual assault, firing or tampering with vessels, and theft greater than $10,000.  According to the GAO, crime statistics are published by the Coast Guard on its website only after the investigations are closed. This means that, between January of 2010 and September of 2013, only 81 of 287 required crime reports were made public.

Preventing and controlling crime on board ships is one of the biggest problems that the cruise ship industry faces. Every year, dozens of cruise ship passengers fall victim to physical and sexual assaults onboard cruise ships at the hands of crew members and other passengers.

According to FBI statistics, in 2007, there were 207 criminal incidents reported by the U.S. Coast Guard and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) that year.  However, as this blog has mentioned, that number is likely much higher. At the time the report was issued in 2007, there had already been 41 reported instances of sexual assault accounting for 55 percent of the violent crimes that were reported.  Further, there were a reported 13 assaults resulting in “serious bodily injury.”

Cruise companies have a duty to provide a safe environment for their passengers and the failure to do so may entitle the injured party to compensation. The Florida cruise ship accident lawyers of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. are licensed to practice law in all of Florida’s state and federal courts and have been representing the victims of cruise ship crimes for over four decades. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime while on a cruise ship, contact the Florida maritime attorneys of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. today.

Over the last year, this blog has discussed on several occasions one of the most prominent problems faced by the cruise industry, onboard outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness. Each year, there are dozens of such outbreaks, including those suffered by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Grandeur of the Seas in April, in which 111 of 2122 (5.23%) passengers and 6 of 790 (0.76%) crew; Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas in January, in which  630 of 3,071 (20.5%) passengers and 54 of 1,166 (4.6%) crew; and the Norwegian Gem in November, in which 111 passengers and 3 crew members (4.55% of the total number of people onboard) reported being ill with symptoms of vomiting and/or diarrhea. Our maritime attorneys are monitoring this information closely.

Blowing Nose

According to a recent publication by the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) the leading cause of norovirus, a common cause of gastrointestinal illness, is infected food handlers who work while sick and don’t regularly wash their hands. Despite this finding, and common knowledge that cruise ships are essentially floating restaurants, the report inexplicably concluded that one is far more likely to contract the norovirus in a restaurant than on a cruise ship.

The CDC report estimates that 20 million people get sick from norovirus each year, mostly from coming in close contact with infected individuals or by eating contaminated food. The report concluded that cruise ships account for only one percent of reported norovirus cases, while the other 99 percent of cases occur on land. Although this claim appears, on its face, to favor the cruise ship industry, it is likely misleading.

Assuming that the average cruiser spends one week each year on a ship, then 51 out of 52 weeks a year, or 98 percent of the time, that person is not on a cruise. This means that, each year, the person is much more likely to catch the norovirus while on land because they spend an overwhelming majority of the time there.

With regard to norovirus cases directly related to contaminated food, the CDC identifies ill cooks and waiters as the cause of the problem. The CDC report indicates that restaurant workers account for 70 percent of norovirus cases involving contaminated food, because: One in every five food service workers reports working while sick with vomiting and diarrhea and, food service workers practice proper hand washing only one out of every four times.

The CDC recommends that the best way to curb this problem is “requiring sick food workers to stay home, and considering use of paid sick leave and on-call staffing, to support compliance.” Obviously, this solution will not work on cruise ships where crew members live on the ship in close quarters.

Cruise lines have a duty to provide their passengers with a safe and sanitary environment.  Failing to establish and enforce proper cleaning and hygiene procedures may expose a cruise line to liability for negligence. As this blog has mentioned before, because cruise ship claims are subject to different laws and much shorter statutes of limitations, sometimes as short as one year, they are best handled by experienced cruise ship accident attorneys.

The Florida cruise ship accident lawyers of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. are licensed to practice law in all of Florida’s state and federal courts and have been representing the victims of cruise ship negligence for over four decades.  If you or someone you know has been injured in a cruise ship accident or has been the victim of a crime while on a cruise ship, contact the maritime attorneys of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. today.

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According to a report from the BBC, Saga Cruises’ Sapphire cruise liner was left stranded off the Isle of Mull with 1,008 passengers and crew aboard after an electrical fire broke out over the weekend and knocked out the ship’s power supply. Our Florida maritime attorneys read the BBC report, which claimed that there were no injuries and the Coastguard was providing the ship support while the crew dealt with the problem.

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Following the incident, Saga released the following statement via Twitter:

There was a small electrical fire in the engine room on the Saga Sapphire at 10am on 16th May. This was quickly and professionally dealt with by the crew. The ship is currently anchored, in fine weather, off the Isle of Mull whilst the damaged electrical panel is repaired and tested. Our priority is always to make sure our passengers and crew are safe and well.

The Saga incident is yet another in a seemingly never-ending string of cruise mishaps, made worse by cruise liners’ continued policy of denial and concealment of such issues. In March, Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas and the Navigator of the Seas had problems returning to port. The Adventure of the Seas lost propulsion after the cruise ship’s “fixipod” leaked oil and barely made it to San Juan and the Navigator of the Seas was unable to make port on time due to an oil spill caused by a collision between a ship and a barge.

Cruise Ship Crime a Problem as Well

As this blog recently discussed, although some cruise liners are now volunteering statistics regarding the safety of their vessels, those companies are unscrupulously artificially deflating crime numbers and diluting crime statistics through several underhanded tactics. According to an article published in the New York Times last year, cruise incidents are much more common than commonly perceived, citing the following statistics:

  • Between 1990 and 2011 there were approximately 79 fires onboard cruise ships and, until 2006, there were three or four fires each year.
  • Between 1972 and 2011, 98 cruise ships ran aground, an average of 2.5 ships each year.
  • Between 1980 and 2012, sixteen cruise ships sunk. Although sinking of cruise ships is becoming more rare, such incidents can be devastating, as demonstrated by the catastrophic crash and sinking of the Costa Concordia in 2012, which resulted in the deaths of thirty two individuals and injuries to dozens of others.

Cruise companies have a duty to provide a safe environment for their passengers and the failure to do so may entitle the injured party to compensation. Despite enhanced safety measures and new policies designed to ensure passenger safety, cruising can be a risky activity.

The Florida cruise ship accident attorneys of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. are licensed to practice law in all of Florida’s state and federal courts and has been representing the victims of cruise ship accidents for over four decades. If you or someone you know has been injured in a cruise ship accident, contact the Florida cruise ship attorneys of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. today.

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