Articles Tagged with Florida maritime accident attorneys

According to a report from the BBC, Saga Cruises’ Sapphire cruise liner was left stranded off the Isle of Mull with 1,008 passengers and crew aboard after an electrical fire broke out over the weekend and knocked out the ship’s power supply. Our Florida maritime attorneys read the BBC report, which claimed that there were no injuries and the Coastguard was providing the ship support while the crew dealt with the problem.

Following the incident, Saga released the following statement via Twitter:

There was a small electrical fire in the engine room on the Saga Sapphire at 10am on 16th May. This was quickly and professionally dealt with by the crew. The ship is currently anchored, in fine weather, off the Isle of Mull whilst the damaged electrical panel is repaired and tested. Our priority is always to make sure our passengers and crew are safe and well.

Last week, Inside Edition, published an interview with a young woman who claims that she was raped while aboard a Carnival cruise ship last year. According to 28-year-old Tristin, who asked that her last name not be disclosed, she was held her down by two crew members in their cabin and raped repeatedly. Our cruise ship attorneys in Florida  have been watching this case closely for additional details to emerge.

Following the incident, Tristin reported the attack to ship security, prompting a breathalyzer test of the involved crew members. Tristin admitted to drinking that evening, but, contrary to the claims of the alleged attackers, the sex was not consensual. Tristin has filed a lawsuit against Carnival Cruise Lines, but Carnival is denying any wrongdoing and criminal charges have not been levied against the crew members.

Carnival issued the following statement with regard to the assault:

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued a cruise ship illness outbreak alert for the Norwegian Gem, an over 3,600-passenger capacity ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet.  According to the alert, during a November 13-25, 2013, voyage, 111 passengers and 3 crew members (4.55% of the total number of people onboard) reported being ill with symptoms of vomiting and/or diarrhea. The cause of the outbreak is unknown, but our Florida maritime accident attorneys are waiting with anticipation for a discovery.

The report states that Norwegian Cruise Line responded to the outbreak by increasing the ship’s cleaning and disinfecting procedures and collecting specimens from ill passengers and crew for testing at the CDC’s National Calicivirus Laboratory. According to the CDC, Vessel Sanitation Program officers are monitoring the outbreak, which will continue into the ship’s subsequent voyage.

The CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (“VSP”) is designed to assist the cruise ship industry in preventing and controlling introduction, transmission, and spread of gastrointestinal illnesses, i.e. food poisoning, on cruise ships.  Despite the CDC’s best efforts, however, health violations are common occurrences on many cruise ships.  Improper storage, handling, and preparation of food onboard cruise ships is dangerous and can easily result in the spread of gastrointestinal illness.  Gastrointestinal illnesses can cause vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, dehydration, and, in very serious cases, death.

Earlier this week, the Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian news outlet, reported that the body of a man who had fallen overboard from Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas on December 21st had been recovered, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.  The ship was sailing towards Noumea, New Caledonia, approximately 550 kilometers east of Brisbane when the unidentified man went overboard. Our Florida maritime accident lawyers  have been covering this news extensively, and can provide legal advice to anyone that may find themselves in an accident related to time spend on a cruise.

An alarm was raised around 1 AM Queensland time after another passenger witnessed the man fall. According to reports, the ship’s crew threw life preservers and smoke markers into the water, and even launched rescue boats, but, however, they could not locate the man.  New Caledonian Law Enforcement Services will be investigating the death.

This incident is just another in a long line of unfortunate man overboard accidents which have plagued the cruise industry the last couple years. Last year, 30-year-old South Floridian Sarah Kirby fell overboard from the Carnival Destiny as it sailed from Miami to Jamaica. Kirby fell 100 feet to the water, striking a lifeboat on the way down. Kirby then spent the next two hours floating in the ocean at night, injured and struggling to stay afloat. Kirby’s story ended much more fortunately than many others.

According to two recent reports ready by our Florida cruise ship accident attorneys from both CNN and the Associated Press, Carnival knew that its now infamous Triumph ship posed a substantial risk of fire due to delays in the maintenance of its diesel engines and fuel lines, but allowed the ship to set sail anyway. More than 4,000 passengers and crew members became stranded aboard the Triumph in February of 2013 after a fire knocked out the ship’s power.  The ship drifted for four days without air conditioning, and only had limited lights, water, food and working toilets, before it was towed to Mobile, Alabama.

According to the AP article, Triumph’s captain, Angelo Los, admitted in a November 22nd, 2013, deposition that he had been notified by Carnival that there had been problems with the ships flexible fuel hoses leaking.  Los stated that he believed Carnival had known about the leaks since March of 2012.  When confronted with a “compliance notice report” dated January 2nd, 2013, that recommended that spray shields be installed on engines’ flexible fuel hoses, Los confesses that the suggested spray guards were only a makeshift measure to deal with leaking fuel lines and had not even been installed on the engine that caught fire.

In response to the allegations that it was aware of the Triumph’s safety issues, Carnival   stated, “The leak in the flexible fuel hose was a completely unexpected accident that took place. What ignited the fuel is unknown.”  Carnival referred to the spray guards as the “best practice to avoid fires.” Carnival also claimed that the compliance notice only referenced fuel lines above the engine room floor, whereas the leak that disabled the Triumph occurred on a fuel hose beneath the engine room floor.

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.

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