Earlier this month, our Florida cruise ship accident lawyers saw a report on ABC News that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation into an incident aboard a cruise ship which left one child dead and another hospitalized.
According to spokesman David Couvertier, FBI officials met Norwegian Cruise Lines Breakaway when it docked in Port Canaveral, Florida on February 4. Couvertier stated that the Breakaway was in international waters near Cape Lookout, North Carolina when a four and six year old boy were pulled from a swimming pool aboard the ship. The four-year-old boy died and the six-year old has been hospitalized at a North Carolina medical center.
The Breakaway is an 18-deck ship with a passenger capacity of 4,000 and has five waterslides, two swimming pools, and four hot tubs. According to a passenger, quoted in a CBS article, that witnessed the incident, there were no lifeguards on the pool deck and none of the crew present knew CPR. In a posting on its Facebook page, Norwegian maintained that the Breakaway’s emergency medical team responded to the ship’s pool deck and quickly administered CPR. The post claimed, “After extensive efforts, the younger child could not be revived.”
On a number of occasions, this blog has commented on the negative aspects of the ever-increasing size of cruise ships, and more specifically, that these giant vessels have so many more areas in which passengers can get hurt. With more entertainment areas comes the greater risk of harm to passengers, especially when cruises feature options such as on-board surfing and giant waterslides. As is the case with the Breakaway, many ships now boast several gigantic pools which are unsupervised by lifeguards or other crew members.
Late last year, a similar incident occurred aboard the Carnival ship Victory, when 6-year-old Qwentyn Hunter of Winter Garden, Florida, drowned in one of the pools aboard the ship where no life guards were on duty. Although a crew member attempted CPR, he was unsuccessful and the boy was pronounced dead shortly after.
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. As demonstrated by the unfortunate deaths of these children, the pool areas of cruise liners can be especially dangerous, particularly when passengers go unsupervised by trained crew members.
Cruise ship accidents are becoming more and more common, rendering the need for experienced legal counsel for those injured in such accidents increasingly important. As this blog has mentioned before, because cruise ship accidents 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 attorneys 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 accidents for over four decades. If you or someone you know has been injured in a cruise ship accident, contact the Florida maritime accident attorneys of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. today.