When Someone Goes Missing at Sea

Cruise ship vacations have significantly increased in popularity over the years.  Cruise lines maintain that they are among the safest forms of travel. Yet, unfortunately, this is not always the case. For instance, some of the people that depart on a cruise ship never make it home. In some cases, they become lost at sea. The number of individuals who have gone missing from cruise ships is frightening. In the last two years, alone, 41 people have gone missing from cruise ships. According to the Cruise Victims Association, almost 170 people have gone missing at sea since 1995. Recently, off the coast of Florida, two passengers on a Carnival Spirit cruise ship experienced a similar tragedy. A lady, 26 years of age, was climbing on a rail outside of her room during the late evening hours.  She then lost footing and fell overboard. A few seconds later, a paramedic jumped into the sea in attempt to save the drowning passenger. The pair was described as missing once the cruise ship docked in Sydney. The pair has never been found.

If you or your loved one experienced a cruise ship accident or, if your loved one is missing, you need to hire an experienced maritime lawyer. The relevant laws that govern these cases are highly complex and significantly different from state laws. The maritime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz PA know the law and are here to help. Our Florida Cruise Ship Accident Lawyers have experience filing claims against all the major cruise lines. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights and to secure adequate compensation. We will even bring your case to trial if a fair settlement offer is not made.

Complex Laws that Govern Cruise Ship Accidents

Basically, special federal and international laws govern claims against a cruise ship. Also noteworthy is that the statute of limitations for these cases is much shorter that statute of limitations for state law claims. The statute of limitations for a claim against a cruise ship may be as short as six months to one year. Your cruise ship ticket will normally have the statute of limitations duration on it, so make sure you look at that in case an issue arises.    

Cruise lines, in recent years, have picked up a bad reputation, as they would avoid or delay reporting missing persons in an effort to protect their image of safety in the travel industry. It appears that the major cruise lines, such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean, are more worried about people booking cruises than they are about passenger safety.

However, in 2011, President Obama signed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (“CVSS”). The CVSS, in essence, requires that cruise ships report in a timely manner all disappearances to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and the Coast Guard. The CVSS also requires a similar reporting of all crimes committed at sea by a US Citizen. Early reporting will inevitably lead to more proactive searches of missing passengers.

Take Action Before it is too Late

The maritime personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA have over 80 years of combined experience handling a wide variety of accident, injury, wrongful death claims including claims for missing persons. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in all Florida state and federal courts. Our Florida law offices are located in Miami, Florida near the port of Miami and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. We will not charge you for your case unless we recover money on your behalf. Contact us today for a consultation.

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