Articles Posted in Cruise Ship Accidents/Incidents

Lifeguards: A Noticeably Absent Safety Measure on Cruise Ships

Earlier this month, a toddler nearly drowned on the Carnival Splendor. The incident occurred while the ship was in port in Miami, and the toddler was hospitalized. What was supposed to be a fun, memorable vacation for this family quickly became a nightmare. Unfortunately, many children have nearly drowned or drowned while on-board cruise ships. Florida cruise ship attorneys are taking on the cruise lines to demand that they improve safety on board. A simple solution to prevent these tragic accidents would be hiring lifeguards to keep an eye on minor guests as they swim.

Carnival, along with other major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Lines, employs hundreds of crew members and staff to take care of their guests during their voyages. Many of the ships in the fleets of these cruise lines have special attractions for kids in their pools, such as water slides and other activities. Most cruise lines state that parents should closely supervise their children while they are using cruise ship pools. However, cruise lines cannot simply hide behind this request and avoid liability for dangerous conditions on board. In fact, due to the disturbing number of incidents that occur onboard cruise ships, Disney Cruise Line has started posting lifeguards at its pools.

The Zika Virus (“Zika”) has been making headlines for several months now. Though at one time, the virus did not appear to be a major threat, it has now spread to many destinations throughout the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and in various states in the United States. Many have canceled their travel plans to avoid coming in contact with the disease, which is carried by Aedes mosquitoes. Pregnant women are especially at risk should they contract Zika since it has been linked to birth defects such as microcephaly. Aside from mosquito bites, it is also believed that Zika may be spread through sexual intercourse. Therefore, travelers including cruise ship passengers who are infected with Zika may spread it to others.  In these instances, a cruise ship injury attorney in Florida may be able to help.

The mosquitoes that spread Zika thrive in warm, humid conditions. Many countries that have reported local transmission of Zika are popular cruise destinations—such as Jamaica, Mexico, and, most recently, the Bahamas and St. Kitts. In addition, Miami, which is a major departure port for many cruise lines, has reported cases of local transmission.

How can a cruise line be held responsible if a passenger contracts Zika? First, cruise lines have a duty to warn their passengers of any dangers that may be present in any ports. This includes the presence of any diseases that may be transmitted to passengers. Once cruise lines have knowledge that a disease, such as Zika, is present at any of its destinations, the cruise line should get in touch with passengers that have booked the cruise to provide information so that the passengers may decide if they wish to travel. Additionally, cruise lines should post this information on their websites so that potential guests may make an informed decision about their vacations.

Cruise Line Liability for Injuries and Severe Weather Conditions

We like to think that for the most part, cruising is safe. However, with any type of transportation, automobile, railroad, plane, or cruise ship—accidents may happen. When the negligence of the cruise ship operator, staff captain lead to injuries, the cruise line may be liable. Experienced cruise ship injury attorneys in Miami, Florida help these victims obtain the maximum compensation available under the law.

Most cruise lines sail all year long even during hurricane season. Our firm has represented cruise ship passengers in situations where severe weather was in the immediate forecast. For instance, during hurricane season, cruise line operators still decide to stay the course and thinking they can out run, or maneuver around some of these storms. Some cruise ship captains have testified that the cruise ship is made to withstand extreme weather conditions. But are cruise ship passengers? Probably not. Cruise line officials should monitor weather conditions to ensure their passengers will be safe during their cruises. If it appears that inclement weather, high seas, or winds may compromise the safety of cruise passengers, the cruise should be rerouted to avoid the storm. Perhaps not even depart from port. If a storm arises after a cruise has embarked, the captain must determine what reasonable steps should be taken.

Leading Cruise Lines Neglect Swimming Pool Safety Despite Tragic Drowning Accidents

When families elect to take advantage of the convenience and luxury of a cruise, the children predictably will spend lots of time in the pool.  Many parents do not worry about the safety of their kids because cruise ships are filled with large staffs that often create an illusion of safety.  What parents might not know is that several major cruise lines elect not to provide lifeguards for the safety of their guests.  The failure to implement this basic safety measure is particularly troubling because the cruise industry has had its share of drowning and near-drowning accidents involving children.  Given that approximately 1.5 million children travel on cruise ships annually, the investment in lifeguards to reduce the risk of drowning accidents seems to be a justified expense.  Nonetheless, our cruise ship lawyers recognize that major cruise lines continue to gamble on the safety of their young guests by ignoring this obvious safety precaution.

Cruise Lines Continue to Place Saving Money Over Passenger Safety

According to the United States Coast Guard, a Carnival cruise ship passenger fell overboard on a the Carnival Ecstasy over Labor Day Weekend.  But if you ask Carnival cruise lines, they have already publicly stated that the passenger was witnessed jumping overboard. If Carnivals version is the truth, then this is poor public relations in my opinion. Regardless, these are certainly very different versions of what happened. The cruise ship passenger has been identified as Rina Patel, of New York. The vessel was located about 15 miles off Grand Bahama Island. Our cruise ship lawyers are monitoring the situation. According to reports, USCG “man overboard procedures” were initiated. However, it is unclear what procedures if any Carnival followed and if they did, when they were initiated.  If the passenger in fact jumped, then there should be evidence to support Carnival’s public statement that the passenger was observed jumping. Yet, the USCG reports and other media outlets suggests negligence. However, what facts the investigation yields and what the CCTV cameras show will shed light on whether this was accidental or not.

As a maritime personal lawyer in Miami, Florida that has litigated many cruise ship cases against many  cruise lines operators including Carnival, it is astonishing that Carnival would come out and publicly state that the passenger jumped or committed suicide before any of the investigation or facts or details are revealed about the investigation.

The Cruise Ship Vessel Safety and Security Act mandates that serious crimes including missing person incidents  are reported immediately to the United States Coast Guard. However, there is no private right of action for failure to violate this important federal statute. So, while the guidelines by CVSSA are straight forward, there is virtually little in the way of a legal remedy in the event these rules promulgated by the US Congress are not followed.

OCEAN BUOY 2A personal injury that occurs on a cruise ship can have a number of causes. A collision with another ship, although relatively rare, is one such cause of personal injury that is rarely discussed. One report of a cruise ship that collided with a ferry has sparked interest among many in the legal community. Many maritime lawyers are expecting some type of legal action to take place against the cruise line, either from passengers or crew members, in relation to the event.

Seeking Legal Help for Cruise Ship Accidents

Cruise ships are supposed to be navigated and directed in a safe and efficient manner in an effort to avoid collisions. This did not happen with the UK-based Cruise and Maritime Voyages. A recent report shows that this cruise ship collided with a ferry. At this time, there are no official reports of injury, but it would not be surprising that a cruise ship collision did result in some type of injury for some of the passengers and crew on board.

016Cruise ships can sometimes encounter unexpected situations, some of which may increase the risk for personal injury among passengers and crew. Power loss is one example. One cruise ship, the Princess Caribbean, had recently experienced both electrical as well as engine issues. These issues can undermine a cruise ship’s need to take care of their guests and make them feel safe during their stay.

Cruise Line Loses Power on the Sea

The loss of power on a cruise ship can be sudden and can cause passengers to lose balance and injure themselves. According to several passengers aboard the Caribbean Princess as it journeyed off the Irish coast, the cruise ship lost power without any warning. Many passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration, tagging the cruise line as a means of notifying them of the issue. Subsequently, Princess Cruises acknowledged the power loss on Twitter.

file2021238176025Being injured is not the first thing you want happening during a vacation, especially if you are on a cruise ship. Injuries on cruise ships do happen and seem to be occurring with greater frequency. A recent lawsuit against Disney Cruise Lines was filed by a man who alleged that his cabin door amputated his thumb as it slammed shut. Although there was a medical team on board, it did not seem to assist him with reattachment.

If you or a family member has suffered an injury on a cruise ship and are seeking compensation, you will need an experienced lawyer to assist you with your case. The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz, PA will work with you to help you receive the reward you deserve. Call us at 1-877-474-2905.

Cruise Lines and Personal Injuries

cruise ship poolInjuries and deaths on cruise ships are not exactly the most top-rating news stories as of late, but they are nevertheless happening. Recently, an 8-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool on one of the most popular cruise ships in the world. While reports have yet to determine whether the ship was negligent in its prevention and/or response to the incident, there is speculation that the family of the boy will take legal action against the cruise line.

If you or a family member has experienced a personal injury or death on a cruise ship, you will need experienced legal assistance to handle your case. The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz, PA are here to help. Call us at 1-877-474-2905.

Cruise Ship Death: Accident or Negligence?

800px-Wilderness_Adventurer_-_Trailblazer_CabinCruise lines are in the business of making their guests feel safe, at ease, and protected. As many attorneys know (particularly attorneys experienced with maritime law), this is not always the case. A recent news report has shown that one cruise line failed to keep one of its passengers safe from its own employee. This passenger not only received threats by an employee, she also achieved very little headway with convincing local authorities of her plight.

Bahamas Cruise Line Passenger Threatened by Employee

A bachelorette party should be a joyous occasion, one filled with friends, excitement, and memory-making experiences. Unfortunately, this was not the case for one woman who went to celebrate her last few days of singlehood on the Bahamas Paradise Cruise. According to the report, a crew member threatened the woman with rape on numerous occasions. When she slammed the door in his face, he repeated the threats. After a period of a few minutes, the employee disappeared from outside her door.