Passenger Falls Overboard on Cruise Ship Without a Man Overboard System

On May 23, the U.S. Coast Guard announced it suspended the search for Brian Lamonds, 50, who went overboard a Carnival Paradise cruise ship approximately 85 miles west of Fort Myers, Florida. The cruise ship was traveling from Tampa to Key West, and was close to its destination when the Coast Guard was notified of Lamonds’ disappearance. The Coast Guard received a call at about 10 a.m. on May 22 regarding a missing passenger. Rescue crews including a Hercules aircraft, a Jayhawk helicopter, an Ocean Sentry aircraft crew, and the Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo. Their search encompassed 3,059 miles.

It is unclear when Lamonds went missing from the ship and when Carnival Cruise employees on the ship were made aware of the potentially overboard passenger. There are many questions regarding whether Carnival Cruise delayed notifying the Coast Guard and whether the ship was equipped with modern safety features, such as a man overboard (MOB) system.

If you were injured on a cruise ship or lost a loved one recently, you should speak with a Florida cruise ship attorney from Gerson & Schwartz P.A. We are a full-service injury law firm with years of experience handling cruise ship cases. Contact us at (877) 475-2905 to schedule a free consultation and learn about your legal options following a cruise ship accident.

Did Carnival Have a Man Overboard System?

An increasingly common issue with modern cruise ships is whether they are equipped with high-tech MOB systems. A MOB system automatically detects when someone falls overboard instead of a cruise ship crew relying on eye witness testimony or passengers realizing someone has gone missing, which often occurs hours later. The technology instantly knows when a person has gone overboard and then uses video, infrared, and radar technology to track the individual in the water. The MOB system enables cruise ship employees and rescuers to locate a person in the water must faster than traditional means.

The 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act states a “vessel should integrate technology that can be used for capturing images of passengers or detecting passengers who have fallen overboard, to the extent that such technology is available.” In 2013, major cruise lines stated that the technology to reliably capture images of passengers existed, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Officer. However, the technology to reliably and automatically detect when a passenger fell overboard did not. At that time, cruise ships stated the available technology was not yet consistent enough to implement based on its cost.

The question now arises whether technology has advanced enough in the past five years to make MOB systems more efficient and reliable. Many maritime authorities claim reliable technology is available. If so, then major cruise lines like Carnival should be implementing MOB systems based on federal law. If a cruise line has chosen not to implement effective technology despite a legal requirement to do so, they run the risk of being considered negligent.

Did You Lose a Loved One Overboard?

If you lost a relative during a cruise because they fell overboard, consider speaking with a cruise ship lawyer in Florida from Gerson & Schwartz P.A. We understand how difficult of a time this is for you and your family. You went on a vacation, only to suffer an immense tragedy. We are here to listen to you, investigate the situation, and advise you of your rights and legal options. If there is evidence the cruise line was negligent, then you may have a claim for compensation against the company.

To schedule a free consultation, you can contact our Miami-Dade County office at (305) 371-6000.

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