Four passengers were injured onboard Royal Carribean’s Anthem of the Seas after the ship was caught in dangerous weather conditions last weekend. The Anthem of the Seas encountered hurricane force winds, with some gusts reportedly reaching 130 miles per hour with 30-40 foot waves. The nature and extent of those injured are not currently known. At first, Royal Carriban reported no injuries. However, later news reports once the vessel came ashore stated no serious injuries. Martime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA state that this is not the first time an RCCL passenger ship has knowingly left the port and cruised directly into the teeth of dangerous weather conditions, jeapordizinf the life and safey of passengers. In 2012, RCCL vessel “Freedom of the Seas” encountered danerous and severe weather conditions including hurrcan force winds and high seas after the vessel set sail into a developing tropical cyclone system/ tropical storm just after it departed off the Florida east Coast.  This was despite forecasts and warnings that a storm was likely to develop prior to leaving port Canaveral, Florida.

In the 2012 “Freedom” incident, passengers were thrown about and across the ship along along with plates, dishes, and everything else imagineable.  Fixtures fell, ceilings were falling, youtube vidoes and social media captured the pure chaos experienced by many. In a federal lawsuit filed, attorneys from Gerson & Schwartz, PA argued that the Royal Carribean ship should never have decided to set sail and risked the lives and safety of passengers by placing them into harms way. Many passengers sustained serious injuries because a decision to set sail was made despite clear warnings from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane center of the potential for rapid tropical cyclone development.

In the Anthem of the Seas, cruise ship accident lawyers say they will need to get a hold of the weather reports and forecasts to see whether the “Anthem of the Seas” should have taken another route, or simply stayed in port as well.  The decision to sail rests with the captain. If the captain feels that it is unsafe for the vessel to depart he can make the decision that the ship should stay in port. The decision to remain in port can also be made shoreside. Weather buoys located in the Atlantic can also provide adavance warnings of expected wind and sea conditions  in advance, along with the weather forecasts. Generally speaking, sudden and drastic weather phenomenons are not actionable negligence under the law because they may deemed acts of god or unforseeable in nature and difficult to prevent.  But, cruise ships are also equipped with state of the art weather forecasting technology that should make cruise line companies accountable if they do decide to stay there course, despite clear weather warnings.

In previous cases, cruise ship accident lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA  have said that in previous litigation the ship captain in the Freedom incident testified for nearly 7 hours arguing the the ship was seaworthy, and that modern day ships are able to withstand 40-50 foot waves and gale force even category 1-2 hurricane force winds. But to the average cruise ship passenger who is over 50 years of age, Gerson adds “I don’t think they would want to be on that ship” under those conditions, regardles of whether the ship is considered “seaworthy”.  Though the ship might arguably be able to withstand severe wether and wind conditions, passengers are likley physically unable to withstand such forces. In the Freedom incident, the case resolved after months of litigation. Gerson adds that the real time data will need to be obtained before we can determine if their was any breach of any legal duty.  We will see what the ship captain and land based operations for RCCL knew or should have known. More importantly,  will be “weather” or not the ship captain and Royal Carribean excercised reasonable care under the circumstances; which is the guiding law under federal martime law. If they didn’t and were negliegnt, Royal Carribean would likley be on the legal hook. A claim for punitve damages might even be warranted depending information  readily known and available to RCCL in the Anthem of the Seas incident. If you or a loved one were injured in a cruise ship accident, or on Anthem of the Seas, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The personal injury and maritime attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA assist injured passengers and crew members. Contact or visit for their assistance.

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