There have been an abnormally large number of cruise accidents recently. And while none could be termed catastrophic, the recent spate still is worth noting to draw attention to the safety standards that some cruise lines are employing.
Halloween Cruise Runs Aground
Just recently on a Halloween cruise, a Grand Bahama Celebration cruise ship returning to Palm Beach struck something in the water, forcing it to turn around, and return to port.
There were no injuries, and passengers were set up with lodging until the ship could return. A ferry eventually brought the passengers back to Palm Beach.
But before that, the ship was reportedly severely listing to one side, leading some passengers to call it a “nightmare” and saying they could feel the boat tipping over. The passengers were put into life jackets, before the boat came to an abrupt halt and lost all power.
There are two things that are concerning about this incident. The first is that we have no idea what the cruise line struck. This is in line with cruise line victim advocates’ calls for more transparency and open reporting on cruise line accidents. Even with all the progress, a cruise line can still just make a vague statement like “struck something,” and leave it at that.
The second concerning thing is that the cruise line touts itself as the fastest in the world, being able to get from Florida to the Bahamas in two hours. One wonders how much the rush to meet that stated goal may have compromised safety.
Other Accidents Cause Concern
Another ship ran aground in Norway recently. This ship, coincidentally, also registered to the Bahamas, was a smaller, chartered ship, and encountered trouble in Norway’s fjords. There were no injuries, but somewhat troubling was the fact that the ship apparently had run aground nearby in March of this year.
Again, highlighting the utter lack of transparency, the cause of the accident was not disclosed or reported. Comically, the cause of the March accident was reported as being “unclear.” It’s hard to imagine how a cruise line is unclear how its boat runs ashore.
Also recently, a cruise worker was killed when working on a lifeboat of a docked ship. While working on a lifeboat that was being raised up, a beam holding the lifeboat up snapped, dropping the boat and the worker to the ground below.
These kinds of incidents don’t get large media play because there was, for most, a lack of serious mass injury. And certainly worker injuries or those involving smaller ships don’t get the airtime that Carnival or Celebration or the other big lines do.
Still, this rash of accidents has to make you wonder what’s going on in the cruise industry, and whether some more open reporting would help curb these kinds of accidents before there are mass injuries.
If you’re injured at sea or on a cruise, get your questions answered by experienced maritime attorneys. Talk to the Florida cruise ship accident attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. for a free consultation to discuss your case.