On March 19, when the Mariner of the Seas cruise ship was approximately halfway to Nassau from Miami, a passenger was reported overboard. Another passenger of the cruise ship shared live tweets and videos during the incident. He initially reported when an “Oscar, Oscar, Oscar” announcement was made aboard the ship. “Oscar, Oscar, Oscar” is the man overboard code for Royal Caribbean ships. Immediately following the announcement, search and rescue protocols were followed.The passenger overboard was successfully found, rescued, and returned to the ship. Royal Caribbean made a statement to Newsweek that the vessel’s crew was responsible for returning the passenger to the ship, and the passenger was treated by the cruise ship’s medical team.The mariner of the Seas left Miami on March 18, 2019. The vessel was scheduled for a four-night cruise that would include Nassau and Coco Cay in the Bahamas. It was scheduled to return to Miami in the early morning of March 22.
Unfortunately, overboard passengers are not rare on cruise ships. Every few months there are reports of a passenger going overboard, and in many cases, these stories have far less happy endings. Very few overboard passengers are found and returned to the ship so quickly.
If you fell overboard a vessel due to a lack of appropriate safety equipment or a loved one went overboard and was not found, you should speak with a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer from Gerson & Schwartz P.A. Our team has decades of collective experience, and we routinely handle cruise ship claims, from slip and falls onboard to crimes. If you were injured or lost a loved one on a cruise ship, do not hesitate to contact us online or call (877) 475-2905 to schedule a free consultation.
Causes of Passengers Overboard
The reasons for overboard passengers vary, though in some cases, it can boil down to a cruise ship not having the proper safety equipment. A passenger may fall overboard when there is not a railing where there should be or when the railing is too short. We also have debt with cases in which the railing was loose and not properly maintained. In addition to railings, supervision is another essential safety mission. Cruise ships should properly monitor their decks and railings. A lack of supervision could lead passengers to learn, sit, or play on the railings.
Another cause of passengers overboard can be intoxication. Cruise ships often have several bars throughout the vessel. When passengers are overs-served, they may become dangerously intoxicated, placing themselves and others at risk for harm.
Crime is also a factor. Cruise ships can be easy hunting grounds for those with criminal intent. Our Miami cruise ship accident attorneys have represented individuals harmed in various crimes, including assault, robbery, sexual assault, and rape.
Man Overboard Systems
Many cruise ships rely on notifications from other passengers when someone goes overboard. Often times, crew members are unaware someone went overboard until that passenger is reported missing. And then, the fall overboard may have been caught on camera, but it can take hours to review footage and identify the incident.
This could change if cruise ships installed and maintained man overboard systems. These systems include radar, infrared, and video sensors to detect when someone falls overboard the ship and crew members are alerted. This would enable vessels to know when someone fell overboard almost immediately and to know the passenger’s proximate location in the water which is essential in improving the likelihood of rescuing the passengers.
However, many cruise ships choose to rely on video footage only and disregard sensors that may lead to false reports of overboard passengers. Many in the cruise ship industry allege that man overboard technology is not advanced and reliable enough yet. However, that is unlikely to comfort passengers and surviving relatives of those who fell overboard and were lost at sea.
Did You Get Hurt or Lose a Loved One Aboard a Cruise Ship?
If you were injured or your loved one died while taking a cruise, you should speak with a cruise ship lawyer in Miami as soon as possible. Our bilingual attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. are here and ready to help. We will review your situation and advise you of your rights. If you have a claim for compensation, we can represent you in pursuing a claim against the cruise ship company. To learn more, call us at (305) 371-6000 to schedule a free consultation.