Recently in Cruise Ship Passenger Injury Law Category

August 22, 2016

45-Year-Old Man Found Dead on Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

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A 45-year-old American man was found dead in his cabin on board the Grandeur of the Seas on Saturday, August 20. No foul play is suspected at this time but Bermuda police continue to investigate the man's death along with ship authorities. We extend our deepest condolences to the man's family.

The Grandeur of the Seas was sailing an 8-night Bermuda and Bahamas cruise and is scheduled to arrive in home port in Baltimore, Maryland on August 27.

We will continue to monitor this story and report on any developments.

Sources and Photo Credit:

Photo: Tony Hisgett, Creative Commons

Police Confirm Death of Cruise Ship Passenger, Bernews, August 21, 2016

Cruise Ship Passenger Found Dead in Cabin, The Royal Gazette, August 21, 2016

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 16, 2016

Woman Survives Fall off Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

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A 32 year-old woman traveling aboard the Royal Caribbean DREAM fell overboard last Wednesday after leaning too far over the guard rail of the fourth deck while sightseeing. The height from the fourth deck to the water is estimated to be 65 feet. Her parents, reportedly traveling with her did not realize she was missing until hours later when she did not return from a stroll around the ship. Her family and more than 100 volunteers searched the ship to no avail. Police gave her parents little hope of her survival if she had fallen from the deck to the water.

Incredibly, the woman survived the fall into the icy water and drifted at sea for 38 hours without a life jacket. She reported yelling for help to other passing ships but was not heard. It was not until Friday morning that a fishing boat spotted her and rescued her. She was taken to the hospital to treat blisters on her arms from jellyfish stings and was released on Saturday.

The ship was on a five day cruise from Shanghai to South Korea and Japan.

Sources and Photo Credit:
AFP
Woman Survives 38 Hours in the Sea after Falling from Cruise Ship, The Telegraph, August 16, 2016.
Woman Falls Overboard on Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship, Starts at 60, August 16, 2016.
Woman Survives Fall from Ship Which Leaves Her Drifting At Sea for 38 Hours, Mirror, August 16, 2016.

August 15, 2016

Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas Returns to Port Due to Medical Emergency in Pool

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Royal Caribbean ANTHEM OF THE SEAS makes news again after a 72-year-old woman was reportedly having trouble swimming in one of the ship's pools. The woman was initially taken to the ship's infirmary but she required further medical treatment so the ship sped up to arrive into Cape Liberty, New Jersey for a medical evaluation.

According to the Jersey Journal, a Philadelphia man aboard the ship witnessed the incident and said that when he and his wife arrived in the area the woman had just been pulled from the water, was unresponsive and had a pale/purple look.

The woman's condition remains unknown.

Sources and Photo Credit:

Royal Caribbean Ship Returns to Bayonne After Woman's Medical Emergency in Pool
, The Jersey Journal, August 13, 2016.

July 25, 2016

Two Cruise Passengers Medevaced Off Norwegian Gem

Two-Passengers-Medevaced-Off-Norwegian-Gem.jpgThe Coast Guard is reporting a medical evacuation of two passengers off the Norwegian Gem. The rescue occurred early morning on July 24, 2016. The cruise ship contacted sector Hampton Roads Command Center in Portsmouth and notified it that the two passengers were experiencing "medical complications". The liner was about 75 miles northeast of Cape Henry at the time of the emergency. The medical rescue was executed by a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and assisted by a C-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Both men were hoisted on board the helicopter shortly after 5 a.m.

The passengers were flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk for treatment. The Norwegian Gem is operated by Miami, Florida based Norwegian Cruise Line.

July 19, 2016

74 Year Old Passenger Medevaced Off Carnival Breeze

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Defense Imagery and Video System reports that the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a 74 year old passenger from the Carnival Breeze on July 18, 2016. The Coast Guard Command center received a call around 3:20 p.m. reporting that a man was unconscious and had been revived by Carnival medical staff. The cruise ship was approximately 379 miles southwest of St. Petersburg, Florida.

The helicopter crew arrived at approximately 8 p.m., hoisted the man and flew him to Tampa General Hospital where he arrived at about midnight. According to reports, the man was in stable condition upon arrival.

Cruise lines often tout that their medical facilities provide similar quality standards to medical facilities ashore. However, more often than not, passengers have to be medevaced to hospitals for further treatment. The incident above underscores how crucial it is for shipboard medical staff to timely evaluate patients as the process for emergency medical evacuations can take many hours, time which could be crucial if a person is critically injured or sick.

Source and Image Credit:

Coast Guard Medevacs Man 379 Miles Southwest of St. Petersburg, July 19, 2016

July 18, 2016

Passenger Medevaced Off Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship after Experiencing Stroke-Like Symptoms

Royal-Caribbean-Cruise-Passenger-Medevaced-Sitka-Alaska.jpgThe Coast Guard reports that an aircrew from its Sitka Alaska Air Station medevaced a passenger from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship last Tuesday. The 17th District Command Center was informed by the master of the Explorer of the Seas that a 57-year-old passenger was experiencing stroke-like symptoms and requested that he be medevaced to a land-based hospital. The Coast Guard's duty flight surgeon was consulted and recommended the medevac. The aircrew met the cruise ship in the Chatham Straight near Sitka and hoisted the man onto the rescue helicopter. The passenger was then transported to Sitka where he was met by awaiting emergency medical services personnel.

Petty Officer 1st Class Trevor Frommherz of Coast Guard 17th District Watchstander stated in a press release that, "During the summer months there is increased activity on the water, and our crews stand watch around the clock." "The ability to safely hoist someone in distress from a cruise ship despite the often unpredictable Alaskan weather is a testament to the training our men and women put in on a daily basis." Fortunately, there was fair weather conditions at the time of the medevac.

There has been no further report on the passenger's condition.

Source & Photo Credit: Coast Guard News

July 1, 2016

8 Year Old Boy Nearly Drowns on Board Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

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Royal Caribbean ANTHEM OF THE SEAS was forced to return to New Jersey just hours after it had departed after an eight year old boy nearly drowned in a pool on board. The young child is reported to be in critical condition. According to the Coast Guard, the boy had been in the water for eight to 10 minutes before cruise officials found him. The child was Medevaced to Staten Island University Hospital, where his family was expected to join him.

In March, a 4-year old boy nearly drowned in a pool on board the Royal Caribbean OASIS OF THE SEAS. The toddler was in the pool for five minutes underwater and no longer had a pulse before cruise passengers jumped in to perform CPR. Just in December of 2015, an 8-year old boy drowned on Royal Caribbean's LIBERTY OF THE SEAS. He was spotted by another guest and unable to be revived.

Despite the many incidents involving drownings and near drownings on board cruise ships, most cruise lines do not have lifeguards on their ships. Royal Caribbean has recently indicated it does not, nor does it plan to add, lifeguards on its ships. Disney Cruise Lines (Magical Cruises) remains as the only cruise line to provide lifeguards, which was put in place in reaction to a small child who nearly drowned aboard its FANTASY cruise ship. For an industry that depends upon families vacationing on their ships, it is truly appalling that cruise lines refuse to implement basic pool safety precautions to protect the very same families who support their business.

Cruise lines should be required to provide similar safety precautions followed by shore side resorts. These precautions, such as lifeguards, swimming instructors and child barricades are relatively inexpensive and proven to save lives.

Our law firm handles all sorts of pool and hot tub related injury and death cases and we often find that such accidents can easily be prevented. In other words, there is NO EXCUSE why a child must die in a swimming pool.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of the young child and wish him a speedy recovery.

Sources:

Boy nearly drowns, NBC news, July 1, 2016.

Child nearly drowns in pool, pix11, July 1, 2016

Anthem Seas Cruise Ship forced to return to New Jersey,
July 1, 2016

June 24, 2016

P&O Cruise Passengers critically injured in tragic bus crash during shore excursion

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12 Australian passengers of the P&O cruise ship Pacific Dawn remain in critical condition after sustaining serious injuries when the tour bus they were riding in collided head on with a bus carrying locals in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The 12 Australian tourists were traveling back to the ship after a day trip on the island. Due to their severe injuries, 10 of the 12 Australian passengers had to be evacuated via air ambulance to hospitals in Noumea and Brisbane. Unfortunately, three passengers of the local bus died from their injuries. Paramedic Michael Benjamin, who attended the scene, described the crash as "the worst he had seen in Vanuatu."

According to reports, a number of passengers are now coming forward demanding that the P&O cruise line take responsibility for the accident. While cruise lines often assure their customers of the safety of the shore excursions they offer, most passengers are not aware of provisions in their ticket contracts which attempt to insulate cruise lines from any liability for accidents occurring as a result of the negligence of shore side excursion providers.

Despite actively advertising shore side excursions on their websites and earning substantial revenues from the sale of shore excursions, cruise lines are adamant that they are not responsible for the negligence of independent contractors. In spite of this, there are ways to hold cruise lines liable for their negligence; especially in cases where the cruise line is aware of dangers because of prior complaints regarding the safety of a particular excursion and is thus in a position to warn its passengers of the dangers.
It remains unclear from the reports whether the tour bus company had been involved in prior incidents. However, locals report that crashes involving tour buses are "frequent and fatal." This raises the question of whether P&O had knowledge of prior incidents and whether it thus had a duty to warn its passengers.

Because of the intricacies of the law in this area, if you or a loved one has been injured or if a loved one has been killed on a shore excursion, we urge you to contact our firm to learn about your rights.

Sources

Vanuatu bus crash kills three, injures 12 Australian P&O cruise passengers, abcnews, June 21, 2016.

P&O under fire over deadly bus crash in Vanuatu, Travel at 60, June 22, 2016.

Photo credit: Vanuatu Daily Post/Glenda S. Willie

June 14, 2016

Toddler aboard Carnival Liberty slips through cruise ship rail, falls down from the 14th deck to the 12th deck.

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While posing for pictures aboard the 14th deck of the Carnival cruise ship LIBERTY, a three year old girl slipped through the rail and fell down the stairs from the 14th deck to the 12th deck, approximately 12 to 15 feet. The toddler was knocked unconscious and according to reports may have sustained a broken jaw. The young child was evaluated by medical personnel aboard the ship and a decision was made to return to homeport in Galveston, Texas and transfer the child to a hospital. The ship was met by an ambulance and the toddler was rushed to The University of Texas Medical Branch. Fortunately, the child was alert and stable at the time she was transported.

Maritime law holds the operator of a vessel owes all persons aboard the vessel a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances to avoid causing personal injury and to warn of any dangers of which he knows or should know. Kermarec v. Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, 358 U.S. 625 (1959).

Ordinarily, if the cruise ship does not create the dangerous condition, the cruise ship must have actual or constructive knowledge of the condition and the opportunity to cure or warn to give rise to negligence. While it is unknown at this time what caused the toddler to slip through the rail, if the dangerous condition is one which was created by the cruise ship, notice is not an essential part of the cause of action. McDonough v. Celebrity Cruises, Inc., 2000 AMC 257 (S.D.N.Y. 1999).

If you or a loved one are injured while aboard a cruise ship, it is imperative you act quickly to protect your rights. Provisions in the passenger contract ticket may substantially affect your claim, including where you have to file suit and the time within which it must be filed. We are an established maritime and admiralty firm experienced in protecting the rights of people injured by the negligence of vessel operators, including cruise lines. If you would like to learn more about your legal rights under maritime law, contact our firm.

SOURCES:

http://abc13.com/news/carnival-liberty-returns-to-galveston-after-child-falls-down-stairs/1384314/

http://www.khou.com/news/local/cruise-ship-returns-to-galveston-port-after-toddler-is-hurt/243153282

VIDEO CREDIT: KTRK-TV in Houston

May 23, 2016

Girl Sexually Assaulted by Crew of a Florida Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise

Brock Christain Hammerstrom.jpgA second arrest was made in recent days involving the alleged sexual assault of a minor during a Destin, Florida dolphin sightseeing cruise. Statements made to the police reveal that the underage girl was served wine on the cruise by two crewmembers without being asked for identification. At the end of the cruise, the girl stayed behind to talk to the crewmembers. She was taken below deck where one crewmember admitted to having intercourse with her. The suspect stated the girl told them she was twenty-four. It is unclear at this time as to whether the other crewmember had sex with the minor. Brock Christian Hammerstrom (pictured to the left) is one of the two crewmembers accused of the sexual assault.

Under maritime law, a cruise operator is strictly liable for any sexual assault perpetrated by one of its crewmembers against a passenger or guest. This means that even though the ship owner is unaware that the crewmember may commit a sex crime, it will still be legally responsible in a civil court for the damages the victim suffered from the assault. Such damages may include past and future medical / psychological treatment as well as pain and suffering.

The landmark case discussing a ship owner's liability for the intentional torts of its crewmember is Doe v. Celebrity Cruises. In that case, a cruise ship waiter recommended a night club to female passengers when the ship docked in Hamilton, Bermuda. The crewmember met the girls at the club and mingled with them until the club closed. The victim became intoxicated from being overserved alcohol at the club. The crewmember, under the guise of escorting her back to the ship, took her to a nearby park and sexually assaulted her. The court found that since the crewmember worked for the shipowner his assault on the passenger, even after hours, was attributable to the cruise line.

Our Florida Board Certified Maritime Lawyers have handled multiple cruise sexual assault cases. We are here to assist you in providing legal counsel as to your rights. Should you have any questions concerning your legal rights feel free to call us toll free at (800) 499-0551.

May 16, 2016

Woman Goes Overboard from Galveston, Texas Based Carnival Cruise

Samantha Broberg Carnival Liberty.jpgThirty-three year old passenger, Samantha Broberg, was reported missing by friends on the Galveston, Texas based Carnival Liberty Friday morning. Upon being notified that Ms. Broberg, a mother of four, was missing, Carnival performed a ship wide sweep and review of CCTV footage. The cruise ship's CCTV system captured video footage of a female passenger falling overboard at approximately 2 a.m. It is reported that approximately 10 hours later, Carnival notified the Coast Guard that Ms. Broberg went overboard. The Coast Guard began a search but on Sunday night, after a 20 hour operation covering over 4,300 square miles, the Coast Guard announced that the search operation was suspended. The Carnival Liberty was approximately 195 miles from Galveston, Texas when Ms. Broberg went overboard. The ship was sailing on a four-day Mexican cruise.

The Federal Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 requires cruise lines to integrate technology that can be used for capturing images of passengers or detecting passengers who have fallen overboard. It is uncertain why it appears that Carnival took 10 hours to confirm Ms. Broberg went overboard. Notwithstanding the Federal law requiring cruise ships to have technology which will alert and confirm that a person went overboard, cruise ships also have a duty to perform a search and rescue operation, and to notify the U.S. Coast Guard in a timely fashion once it is discovered that someone has fallen overboard. Such search and rescue procedures are required for all overboard occurrences, whether involving a passenger or crew member.

Passengers and crew falling overboard from a Carnival ship departing Galveston is nothing new. In March of 2015, a male passenger's body was recovered after falling overboard from the Galveston based Carnival Triumph. In February of 2012, a Carnival crew member slipped and fell from a Galveston based cruise and was later rescued. In September of 2011, a man went overboard from the Carnival Conquest. The full circumstances surrounding how and why Ms. Broberg ended up overboard are still under investigation. It is not uncommon for cruise lines to issue press releases stating that passengers went overboard intentionally. In numerous instances, however, the excess service of alcohol is linked to a passenger's disappearance. The service of alcohol is a major profit center for the cruise lines. We will continue to monitor this incident and report of any additional information learned.

Photo Credit: New York Daily News

May 9, 2016

Carnival Cruise Ship Crashes Into Passenger Gangway

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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" »

November 6, 2015

A 35-year-old passenger has gone overboard from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Oasis of the Seas

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A search by the Coast Guard is underway after a 35-year-old male passenger from Brazil fell into the ocean. It appears the man lost his grip while hanging from a davit used to raise and lower the cruise ship's lifeboat. The incident occurred at approximately 1:00 a.m. Friday morning when the ship was some 80 nautical miles northeast of Mayaguana, Bahamas.

According to the Coast Guard, it has received multiple reports of the man falling or jumping, but it has been unable to confirm whether he actually fell or jumped. Royal Caribbean released a written statement claiming that the man "was spotted by Oasis of the Seas crew members intentionally going over the side of the ship." A video posted by CBSMiami shows the man holding onto the davit and several people trying to help him before he loses his grip and falls into the ocean. It does not show whether the man jumped or fell into the lifeboat.

Continue reading "A 35-year-old passenger has gone overboard from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Oasis of the Seas" »

October 30, 2015

60-year-old crew member arrested for molesting 15-year-old girl aboard Costa Diadema

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LA SPEZIA, Primocanale, an Italian news station, has reported that a cleaner working aboard the Costa Diadema sexually molested a 15-year-old-girl on October 23, 2015. The crew member's name was not released by the Italian news station. However, he was identified as a 50-year-old man from Honduras. According to the Italian news station, the minor girl was traveling aboard the Costa Diadema with her aunt and uncle. On the day of the assault, she apparently returned alone to her cabin after dinner. Once inside the cabin, the crew member somehow entered her cabin and allegedly began touching and kissing the girl. She was thankfully able to escape and reported the assault to her aunt and uncle. The Costa Diadema was in port at the La Spezia terminal when the assault occurred. The crew member was arrested after Costa notified the police of the assault.

Continue reading "60-year-old crew member arrested for molesting 15-year-old girl aboard Costa Diadema" »