Recently in Cruise Ship Crew Member Injury Law Category

September 26, 2016

Crew Member Air Lifted from Ruby Princess Cruise Ship

Ruby Princess Crew Member Medevac.jpgA 47-year-old crew member of the Ruby Princess cruise ship was airlifted during the early hours of Saturday morning by the U.S. Coast Guard after reports that he was having symptoms of a heart attack.

The cruise ship was located approximately 9 miles southwest of Point Loma, San Diego at the time of the report. The crew member was hoisted to the helicopter at around 2:00 a.m. and was taken to San Diego San Diego where EMS was awaiting to take him to UCSD Health- Hillcrest Hospital. The man's condition is unknown at this time but we wish him a speedy recovery.

Sources and Photo Credit:

Coast Guard Medevacs 47-Year-Old Man from Cruise Ship 9 Miles Southwest of Point Loma, American Mariners, September 24, 2016.

Crew Member Airlifted From Princess Cruise Ship, Cruise Hive, September 25, 2016.

Ruthdaniel3444 (creative commons)

September 19, 2016

Second Crewmembers Dies in Norwegian Breakaway Lifeboat Drill Accident

Norwegian-Breakaway-Falling-Death.jpgA second crewmember has died from the July 20th incident wherein a lifeboat fell from the NCL operated Norwegian Breakaway while docked at Kings Wharf, Bermuda. As previously reported by The Maritime Law Blog, four crewmembers fell into the water when a lifeboat they were manning during a drill broke from its tether. Four of the crewmembers were taken to an area hospital were Diogenes Carpio died from his injuries. One of there other crewmembers, Ben Buenaventura, who was a waiter aboard the Norwegian Breakaway, was medevaced to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami wherein he was admitted into the intensive care unit. It was reported that Mr. Buenaventura suffered a traumatic brain injury along with fractured legs, hip and right arm. After spending over a month in intensive care, Mr. Buenaventura succumbed to his injuries.

NCL is not the only cruise line that had a fatal lifeboat drill in recent months. On September 13th, a seaman died when a lifeboat fell from Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas while calling on Marseilles, France.

Photo Credit: The Royal Gazette

September 13, 2016

Royal Caribbean Crew Member Killed and Four Injured in Safety Drill Accident

lifeboat falls from fifth deck of Harmony of the Seas.jpgOne crew member was killed and four others were injured-two critically, after a lifeboat became detached and fell from the fifth deck of the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas during a security drill while the ship was docked in Marseille, France. The lifeboat is estimated to have fallen from a height of approximately 32 feet with the five men inside of it. The man killed is reportedly a 42-year-old man from the Philippines.

The Harmony of the Seas is the world's largest cruise ship at 1,188 feet from bow to stern it is longer than the Eiffel Tower. The ship is cruising the Mediterranean and is expected to continue its sail to Naples, Italy.

Earlier this year, we reported on a similar accident that occurred aboard the Norwegian Breakaway, which resulted in the death of a crew member and injuries to three other crew members.

Sources and Photo Credit:

Harmony of the Seas Death: One Person Killed and Four Injured after Accident on World's Biggest Cruise Liner, Independent, September 13, 2016.
Royal Caribbean Crew Member Dies and Four Others Injured During Lifeboat Drill on Harmony of the Seas
, Royal Caribbean Blog, September 13, 2016.
Harmony of the Seas accident: One Dead, Four hurt in Lifeboat Crash, BBC News, September 13, 2016.

September 12, 2016

German River Cruise Ship Allides with Bridge Killing Two Crew Member

Viking Freya Allision with Bridge.jpg
A German River Cruise ship traveling from Erlangen, Germany to Budapest, Hungary with 181 passengers and 47 crewmember onboard struck a low bridge killing two officers navigating the ship from the retractable wheelhouse. According to news reports, the Viking Freya, has a retractable wheelhouse that may be lowered for the ship to pass below low bridges. It appears that at the time of the accident, the wheelhouse was not retracted in time and it allided with the bridge in Erlangen. The two officers were in the wheelhouse and died due to the injuries suffered during the allission. The men killed were 49 and 33 years old and were Hungarian. We extend our deepest sympathies to their families and loved ones.

Rescue workers evacuated the passengers and crew members and transported them to local hotels. The cruise line is giving passengers the option to continue cruising on a modified itinerary or to return home.

Viking and local authorities continue to investigate to find out what happened.

Sources and Photo Credit:

REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

Cruise Ship Crashes Into Bridge in Germany, Killing Two Crew, The Telegraph, September 12, 2016.

Two Crew Killed as Viking River Cruise Ship Wheelhouse Hits Low Bridge in Germany, GCaptain, September 11, 2016.

Two Dead After Cruise Ship Hits Bridge at Night, Metro, September 11, 2016.

September 10, 2016

NCL Crewmember Missing from the Norwegian Pearl Cruise Ship

Crewmember-Overboard-Norwegian-Pearl.jpgIt is being reported that a 25-year-old female crew member went overboard from the Norwegian Pearl on the morning of September 8th and is currently missing. The cruise ship, operated by Miami, Florida based, NCL, was navigating through Lynn Canal off the coast of Southeast Alaska when the crewmember went overboard. The crewmember was reported missing from cabin. The ship's security staff confirmed the crewmember went overboard upon review of the ship's CCTV surveillance system.

The cruise ship notified the Coast Guard that the crewmember went overboard. The 17th Coast Guard District command center coordinated a search and rescue mission including helicopter crews, response boat crews and the cutter Liberty. The Alaska State Trooper participated in the search with a fixed-wing aircraft. After looking for the crewmember for 42 hours, covering 340 square miles and using 13 different search patterns, the Coast Guard suspended the search at 4:28 p.m. September 10th. The fate of the crewmember is unknown.

September 2, 2016

Georgia Woman Files Suit Against NCL for Alleged Rape by Cruise Ship Bartender

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A Georgia woman has filed suit against Norwegian Cruise Lines in the U.S. Southern District of Florida alleging she was raped by a bartender of the cruise line while she was a passenger aboard the M/V Norwegian Sky. According to the Complaint, the bartender singled out the woman and plied her with alcohol and/or spiked her beverage.

The woman claims the bartender took her to into an isolated crew-only storage room on deck 12 and shut the door, moments later the bartender entered the storage room and refused to let the woman out despite her repeated pleas. The last event the woman recalled before coming to on deck 11, was the man pushing her head down toward his penis and telling her to be a "good girl."

Upon coming to the woman claims she was sore in her private parts. She immediately reported the events to a security officer who rather than taking her directly to the infirmary took her to her room and had her drink water and eat while interviewing her. The complaint alleges that crew officials intentionally disregarded rape kit protocols, interfered with the collection of evidence and/or spoliated evidence from the sexual assault and potentially any substance in the alcoholic beverages she consumed.

Unfortunately, assault and rape reports by crew members aboard cruise ships against passengers and fellow crew members are all too common. With policies that encourage over-serving of alcohol to passengers while failing to properly supervise and monitor crew members, sexual assaults remain rampant on cruise ships despite measures by Congress to address this growing issue. Some measures include the 2010 passage of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act, which requires cruise lines to report crimes involving U.S. citizens to the FBI and to disclose their crime statistics. The cruise lines reports may be accessed by visiting Department of Transportation website.

Our firm is experienced in handling sexual assault claims against cruise lines, for more information visit our Sexual Assault information page.


Sources:

http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/norwegian-cruise-lines-passenger-allegedly-raped-by-bartender-who-plied-her-with-drinks-8046266

August 25, 2016

Appeals Court Closes Courthouse Doors to Injured American Cruise Line Crewmember

Appeals-Court-Denies-American-Crewmember-Access-to-Court.jpgA Federal appellate circuit court in Atlanta has ruled that a United States crewmember must arbitrate his personal injury claim. This case involved a lead trumpeter who worked for a Miami, Florida based cruise line based aboard a cruise ship whose home port is Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. At the time of the injury, the cruise ship sailed two routes. A Western Caribbean route which called on Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico and an Eastern Caribbean route which called on the United States Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and St. Maarten. No matter which route the cruise ship took, it always began and concluded the voyage in Ft. Lauderdale.

The crewmember brought his personal injury claim against his cruise line employer alleging that it failed to provide him with adequate medical care as required under the Federal Jones Act and the maritime employer's obligation to provide an injured seaman with medical care. The crewmember allowed alleged the cruise ship was unseaworthy. The cruise line asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit and compel arbitration pursuant to the employment contract which required that all disputes, "be referred to and resolved exclusively by mandatory binding arbitration pursuant to the United Nations Conventions [sic] on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards." The trial court dismissed the lawsuit in favor of arbitration and the crewmember appealed.

Continue reading "Appeals Court Closes Courthouse Doors to Injured American Cruise Line Crewmember" »

August 18, 2016

Cruise Ship Fire Forces More Than 500 Passengers and Crew Personnel to Evacuate in Puerto Rico

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An America Cruise Ferries cruise ferry combination ship had to evacuate 500 plus passengers due to a fire that started in the ship's control room and was unable to be put out by ship personnel. According to reports a hose carrying fuel burst open and caught fire. The fire was eventually extinguished but the boat system's collapsed and the ship was rendered unsafe requiring the evacuation of all passengers and crew members.

Although no fatalities or major injuries were reported, 24 people were hospitalized and many were treated at the scene for heat stroke and dehydration. The Caribbean Fantasy was traveling from Puerto Rico to the Dominican Republic carrying mostly Dominican passengers. Among the passengers were a 22 member cycling team, a girls' volleyball team and a boys' baseball team.

The ship has been safely docked at San Juan's harbor in Puerto Rico.

Sources and Photo Credit:

Photo: Carlos Giusti/Associated Press

Cruise-Ship Fire Near Puerto Rico Spurs U.S. Coast Guard to Evacuate Passengers
, The Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2016.

More than 500 Evacuated Burning Ferry Off Puerto Rico, Independent, August 17, 2016.

August 17, 2016

Holland America Cruise Line May Face Punitive Damages in Injured Crewmember Lawsuit

Holland American Cruise Line Punitive Damages.jpgA Washington Federal Court has recently allowed an injured crewmember to seek punitive damages against Holland American Cruise Line. In that case, an American crewmember from Massachusetts worked as a cast member on Holland America's ZAANDAM cruise ship. One day she decided to take a crew-only spin class. Unbeknownst to her, the bike seat was not yet fastened and when she attempted to mount the bike, the seat slid backward and the metal post penetrated her vulva, lacerating her right vagina. The ship's infirmary staff examined her and decided against suturing the wound. The crewmember discharged with ice, a topical analgesic, pain medication and antiseptic wipes. She continued to experience pain and sought treatment ashore when the cruise ship call on Juneau, Alaska. The crewmember alleged the emergency physician at the Juneau hospital told her that the wound should have been sutured but that it was too late to do so at that point. The crewmember returned to the cruise ship where she twice saw the ship's doctor to address a golf-ball sized growth that had formed in her vagina. The crewmember alleged that the infirmary staff told her that the growth needed to be drained, but that the head office would not allow that to happen on the cruise ship. Instead, the crewmember claimed she was told that she could bathe her wound in the infirmary's bath. This did not provide any relief. Still in considerable pain, the crewmember departed the cruise ship in Alaska and returned home to Massachusetts. There, she sought treatment from an obstetrician and gynecologist.

Continue reading "Holland America Cruise Line May Face Punitive Damages in Injured Crewmember Lawsuit " »

May 19, 2016

Miami Appeals Court Finds Punitive Damages Claim Can Continue Against Norwegian Cruise Line

Florida's Third District Court of Appeals.jpgThe crew member personal injury lawyers of Brais Brais Rusak received a favorable appellate decision against Norwegian Cruise Line and its subsidiary NCL America concerning a seaman's right to bring a punitive damages claim against the cruise lines for their failure to provide her maintenance and cure benefits.

Background

Our law firm represents a United States credentialed merchant mariner who was the nominal employee of a security services company named American Guard Services. American Guard Services loaned our client to Norwegian Cruise Line's subsidiary NCL America to provide security guard services aboard the Hawaiian based PRIDE OF AMERICA cruise ship. Shortly after beginning her shift at six o'clock on the morning of May 22, 2011, she, along with three other security guards and a deck cadet, received an order from a ship's deck officer to lash down lounge chairs that were being blown across an exterior deck due to Force 10 winds. After assisting with lashing down the lounge chairs, our client made her way back to the exit/entrance when the high winds blew her feet out from under her causing the back of her neck and upper back to violently impact the ship's deck. She was rendered briefly unconscious.

Our client was initially treated with pain medication by the ship's doctor and returned to work for another two weeks before being sent home to Houston, Texas, to recover from post-concussion syndrome. Thereafter, she was diagnosed with damaged cervical vertebrae, and underwent several surgeries to repair the damage. She continues to suffer cervical pain and headaches.

On behalf of our client, we filed a lawsuit against Norwegian Cruise line, NCL America and American Guard Services alleging negligence under the Federal Jones Act (46 U.S.C. ยง 30104) as well as the traditional seaman causes of action for failure to provide unseaworthy vessel and the failure to provide maintenance and cure in Miami, Florida.

Maintenance and Cure Defined

Unlike land-based employment law, a sick or injured seaman is not entitled to a state workers' compensation. Instead, a seaman is entitled to what is called maintenance and cure. Maintenance is a per diem subsistence allowance intended to encompass the reasonable cost of food and lodging comparable to that of the sick or injured seaman received aboard the vessel which extends until the seaman reaches the point of maximum cure. Cure refers to medical treatment. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd v. Rigby, 96 So. 3d 1146, 1152 fn. 12 (Fla. 3d DCA 2012).

Duty to Provide Maintenance and Cure

A seaman's employer has the obligation to provide maintenance and cure benefits to a seaman injured while in the service of the ship regardless of fault. Aguilar v. Standard Oil Co., 318 U.S. 724, 63 S. Ct. 930, 87 L. Ed. 1107 (1942); Porto v. Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc., 555 So. 2d 394 (Fla. 3d DCA 1989). The duty of the seaman's employer to provide maintenance and cure is Cervical Injury Lawyer.jpgnon-delegable, meaning that if another company, other than the employer, mishandles the obligation to provide maintenance and cure, the employer is liable for any damages arising therefrom including punitive damages. See, Hines v. J.A. La Porte, Inc., 820 F.2d 1187 (11th Cir. 1987)(subjected the employer to punitive damages despite the fact that the employer's insurance company mishandled the administration of the injured seaman's maintenance and cure benefits). Furthermore, as held by the Supreme Court, an employer cannot "contract out" of its obligation to provide a sick and injured seaman maintenance and cure benefits. See, Cortes v. Baltimore Insular Line, Inc., 287 U.S. 367, 371, 53 S. Ct. 173, 77 L. Ed. 368 (1932).

Often times a relationship exists between a ship owner and a company for the purpose of providing specialized skilled labor to work aboard the ship. When an employee of one company goes to work on the ship and is controlled by the ship owner, a borrowed servant-employer relationship exists between the seaman and the ship owner even though he or she receives a paycheck from another company. In such situations, maritime law requires the borrowing employer to provide the injured seaman maintenance and cure benefits. See, Hall v. Diamond M Co., 732 F.2d 1246, 1249 (5th Cir. 1984).

Penalties for the Failure to Provide Maintenance and Cure

There is an ascending scale of penalties for an employer's failure to provide maintenance and cure benefits depending upon the level of culpability. See, Norwegian Cruise Lines v. Zareno, 712 So. 2d 791 (Fla. 3d DCA 1998). An employer is afforded a reasonable period of time to investigate a maintenance and cure claim to determine whether the injury or illness occurred while the seaman was working in the service of the ship and crewmember did not intentionally cause his injury or illness. If, after the investigation, the employer denies the claim on a reasonable basis and the seaman later determined to be entitled to maintenance and cure, the employer is only liable for the past and future maintenance and cure benefits. However, if the employer unreasonably denied maintenance and cure benefits, it will be liable for not only the past and future benefits but compensatory damages associated with the denial. Such compensatory damages include pain and suffering the crew member endured while waiting to receive the benefits as well as any progression of the injury or illness that was caused by the failure to provide maintenance and cure. The final level of penalties for the failure to provide maintenance and cure is punitive damages. Such damages could be awarded when the employer was not only been unreasonable but was callous, recalcitrant, arbitrary and capricious, or willful in denying or delaying owed maintenance and cure benefits.

Success in the Trial Court

Miami Courtroom.jpgFlorida procedural law bars a plaintiff from pleading punitive damages at the first instance. Instead, it requires the plaintiff to proffer to the trial court judge evidence which could support a punitive damages finding by a reasonable jury. The trial court judge receives this evidence and makes a finding as to whether the evidence could or could not support a punitive damages award. If the trial court judge finds that the proffered evidence could support a punitive damages finding by the jury, the plaintiff is allowed to amend the complaint and seek punitive damages.

We filed the requisite motion with the court and proffered evidence that Norwegian Cruise Lines, NCL and American Guard Services engaged in a willful pattern of denying and delaying our client recommended treatment and medication. The trial court found that such evidence could in fact support a jury's finding that the companies could be held punitively liable for their actions.

Success at the Appeal Court

Norwegian Cruise Line and NCL America appealed the trial court's finding. They argued that allowing the injured seaman to seek punitive damages is premature as there was no legal determination as to which entity (Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America or American Guard Services) is ultimately responsible to provide maintenance and cure benefits. We argued that such a determination need not be made before a trial court judge could allow a claim for punitive damages. The fact that a borrowing employer is obligated to provide a sick or injured seaman maintenance and cure is enough to bring a claim of punitive damages against the cruise lines under Florida procedural law. The appellate court accepted our argument and denied the cruise lines' appeal.

There are many intricacies as to who is entitled to and who must provide maintenance and cure benefits. Two of our law firm's partners are Board Certified by the Florida Bar in the area of Admiralty and Maritime law and have dealt with these intricacies throughout their careers. If you work on yachts or commercial ships and would like to learn more about your legal rights, contact us for a free consultation.

May 9, 2016

Carnival Cruise Ship Crashes Into Passenger Gangway

Carnival Pride.jpg
The Carnival Pride after deporting from Baltimore

A Carnival cruise ship has crashed into a passenger gangway in Baltimore, Maryland, while attempting to dock after a 7 day Bahamas cruise. Media are reporting that the gangway was knocked over by the ship onto 3 parked cars. Luckily, no one was in any of the vehicles and no one was injured. The ship, the Carnival Pride, only sustained minor damage to the bow and is expected to depart on its next cruise as scheduled.

Although cruise ship "crashes" are a rare event, Carnival has experienced a number of various types of accidents in recent years. In 1995 the Carnival Celebration was adrift in the Bahamas for two days after losing power to an electrical fire. The Carnival Ecstasy caught fire in 1998 but was luckily still near the port of Miami and the fire was doused by rescue fire boats. The Carnival Tropicale was left adrift in the Gulf of Mexico in 1999 due to an engine room fire, leaving passengers no option but to wait out a tropical storm that occurred after the ship became disabled. A fire that broke out in the generator room left the Carnival Splendor disabled off the Western Coast of Mexico in 2010 until it was eventually towed to port in San Diego.

Continue reading "Carnival Cruise Ship Crashes Into Passenger Gangway" »

September 8, 2015

Fire Erupts aboard Carnival Cruise Ship

carnival-liberty_fire-erupts.jpgOn Labor Day, Monday, September 7, 2015, an engine-room fire erupted aboard the Carnival Liberty, a cruise ship carrying over 3,300 passengers and 1,100 crew. Authorities, including the U.S. Coast Guard, are still investigating the cause of the fire, which remains unknown. Various media reports have stated that the fire ignited in the ship's aft engine room while the ship was moored at the pier in St. Thomas, USVI. It is reported that the ship's crew was able to extinguish the fire with the ship's carbon dioxide and Hi-Fog fire suppression systems. No injuries have been reported as a direct result of the fire.

As of Tuesday morning, the ship had not resumed its scheduled itinerary sailings in the Caribbean to ports in Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. The ship left from San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 6, 2015 and was originally scheduled to return to San Juan on September 13th. Carnival released a statement claiming that all hotel services on the ship, including air conditioning, elevators, toilets and galleys, were fully functional. However, experts and authorities are still assessing the nature and extent of the engine-room fire.

Continue reading "Fire Erupts aboard Carnival Cruise Ship" »

June 3, 2015

Caribbean Cruise Lines Allowed to Challenge Better Business Bureau's "F" Grade in Court

Florida Carribean Cruise.jpgAfter receiving an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau of Palm Beach County (BBB), Caribbean Cruise Lines filed a complaint against the consumer protection organization alleging defamation and violation of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FUDTPA). The trial court dismissed both claims finding the letter grade is pure opinion which is protected by the First Amendment and therefore cannot a claim for deformation cannot stand as well as the cruise line did not have standing to bring a FDUTPA claim. Caribbean Cruise Lines appealed the decision.

In a multiple paged opinion, the Florida appellate court affirmed the trial court's dismissal of the defamation claim but reversed the dismissal of the FDUPTA claim. The appellate court, without making a determination as to whether the BBB violated the Act, found the trial court erred in its legal finding that Caribbean Cruise Line had not standing to sue. "Standing" is the legal principal that affords a person or company the right to bring a lawsuit. The BBB argued that only consumers of BBB's services have standing, and since the cruise line cannot be a consumer of its services, has no standing to bring a claim. The appellate court found this to be an incorrect statement of law. In doing so, it compared a previous version of the statute which read, "In any individual action brought by a consumer who has suffered a loss as a result of a violation of this part, such consumer may recover..." with the current version which reads "In any individual action brought by a person who has suffered a loss as a result of a violation of this part, such person may recover..." The appellate court reasoned that by rewording the statute, the Florida legislature no longer intended FDUPTA to apply to only consumers, but to other there persons and legal entities who were damaged and could prove the elements of the claim as well. As such, Caribbean Cruise Lines has the right to challenge its "F" grade placed by the BBB and remanded the case back to the trial court for further proceedings.

Caribbean Cruise Lines is headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale and operates cruises from Palm Beach County Florida to the Bahamas. The company made widespread headlines last year when its cruise ship, the Bahamas Celebration, ran aground Free Port causing several hundred people to be evacuated.

May 21, 2015

Boston Based NCL Norwegian Dawn Cruise Ship Runs Aground

Norwegian Dawn Grounding.jpgHow does a modern cruise ship run aground? That is what maritime investigators will be trying to sort out over the coming months in the case of Boston based Norwegian Dawn grounding on a charted reef off the Bermuda coast. The liner had just left King's Wharf on Hamilton Island to start its last leg of its voyage back to Boston when it grounded. Though no reports have been made as to the exact number of people who were aboard, the Norwegian Dawn can carry more than 2,000 passengers and up to 1,059 crew members. What makes this grounding noteworthy is that this ship is not a rust bucket in its last stages of useful life owned by a nearly defunct shipping company. On the contrary, this cruise ship is equipped with sophisticated electronic navigational and steering equipment as well as depth recorders which sound warnings when entering dangerously shallow waters. Again, how does a modern cruise ship run aground?

Typically there are three reasons: environmental, equipment failure, and human error. NCL (Bahamas) Ltd., the ship's operator which is based in Miami, blames the marine casualty on an equipment failure, more specifically, a malfunction of the steering system. The Norwegian Dawn is no stranger to equipment failures. In 2013, a power failure left the ship dead in the water for hours and in 2009 a power failure left the cruise liner without running water, air conditioning and working toilets. Though NCL blames the grounding on equipment failure, it fails to mention whether the navigational officers could have prevented the incident when they knew or should have known the steering system was not properly working. These issues will be investigated and a governmental report will follow.

More worrisome than the ship's checkered past regarding power failure are the reports of how the crew reacted in the moments after the grounding. The Associated Press reports that passengers observed some "crew members running around in a panic". This suggests a lack of training in emergency situations on the part of NCL. Lack of crew training was a significant contributing factor to the loss of life in the Costa Concordia disaster as several news outlets reported that the crew admitted they were not trained to evacuate passengers. It would stand to reason, that in the wake of such a maritime disaster as Costa Concordia, a major cruise line would conduct regular crew training for emergency situations.

Cruise lines owe their passengers the legal duty of reasonable care. This means performing periodic systems checks and emergency drills to determine whether the ship is sufficiently seaworthy to safely carry passengers and its officers and crew properly trained to act in a reasonable prudent manner when an emergency occurs. Time will tell if NCL met this legal standard.

Photo Credit: International Business Times

March 29, 2015

Passengers & Crew Evacuated as Smoke Billows from the Carnival Liberty

Carnival Liberty Passenger Evactuation.jpgMultiple news sources are reporting that passengers and crew members were evacuated off the Carnival Liberty when smoke emerged from the forward section of the cruise ship. The incident happened last Friday while the 10-year-old, 2,974 passenger cruise ship was docked in St. Maarten. The smoke billowing from the Carnival Liberty sent fire crews racing to the cruise terminal. A spokesperson from the cruise line stated the smoke was caused by an over-heated bearing. The ship left port as scheduled. No injuries have thus far been reported. The Carnival Liberty currently sails from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The cruise ship is scheduled to replace the Carnival Triumph in Galveston,Texas in March 2016. Readers may remember in 2013 the Carnival Triumph lost all power while in the Gulf of Mexico due to an engine room fire and was towed to Alabama for repairs.