Last month, our Florida cruise ship accident attorneys discussed some of the negative aspects of the ever-increasing size of cruise ships, including the fact that such megaships, by their very nature, have many more areas in which a passenger can become injured. As mentioned in that post, with more entertainment venues comes a greater risk of injury to passengers, especially when cruises feature options such as on-board surfing and giant waterslides. Some ships have several gigantic pools that too often go unsupervised by lifeguards.
One of the megaships that features such water entertainment options is the Carnival ship Victory, which is 893 feet long and has a capacity for 3,400 passengers and 1,000 crew members. The Victory has three large pools, all that include whirlpools, and a 214-foot-long waterslide. With such a massive amount of space to be supervised, it is no surprise that tragedy struck the 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.
According to a recent CNN story, Hunter was spotted underwater in a mid-ship pool by passengers as the ship was completing the final leg of a four-day journey. A ship DJ saw Hunter struggling in the water and another passenger guest then jumped into the pool to pull the boy out. A crew member attempted to revive the unconscious boy, but was unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead shortly after.
According to one passenger’s account, there were a number of adult passengers in the pool area, but no lifeguards. A Carnival spokeswoman admitted that the company’s ships do not have lifeguards on duty at its pools, and parental supervision is required for children under 13. Shockingly, this is not the only incident of drowning aboard the Victory this year. The body of 41-year-old Michael Moses Ward was found in September in a hot tub aboard the Victory.
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 Hunter and Ward, the pool areas of cruise liners can be especially dangerous, particularly when passengers go unsupervised by trained crew members.
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 & 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 maritime accident attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today.