76-year-old German Diaz of Hollywood, Florida has died when the 16 foot boat he and family members were aboard overturned in bad weather. The accident happened on February 4th just off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. Reports state Diaz and four member of his family were fishing when the weather conditions deteriorated. They tied the boat to a buoy to ride out the storm. When they tried to untie the line, it got tangled with the propeller causing the boat because to take on water before overturning. Everyone in the group were able to hold onto the overturned boat except Diaz. Divers ultimately found Diaz trapped under the boat wearing his life jacket.
Recently in Maritime Wrongful Death Category
Australian authorities call off a search for an elderly man who fell off and went missing from the Princess cruise ship Sun Princess. CCTV footage retained by the cruise line shows an 84-year-old passenger falling of the liner into the water on the night of November 24th. Princess stated the cruise ship turned around to look for the missing passenger after the man could not be found on board. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority stated survival was very slim given the man's age and weather conditions. This is not the first time in recent memory that a passenger fell off the Sun Princess. In October last year another elderly man went missing from the deck of the ship while it was off the northern Australian coast.
Boat accidents are nothing new in Miami. Sun, fun, inexperienced operators and alcohol all play a role in both recent and past boating tragedies. After such horrific events there is a public outcry for more law enforcement and tougher laws aimed to prevent more injuries and deaths. This is a normal and well intended reaction. However, flying under the radar from public scrutiny is an over 150-year-old Federal law that allows boat owners, or should it be said the boat owners' insurance companies, the ability to limit the amount of money damages paid to the victims of the boat accidents to the post-loss value of the vessels. This law, known as the Limitation of Liability Act, can be devastating to an already overwhelming situation. Imagine a situation where a boat passenger who one minute was enjoying a holiday weekend and the next cannot walk or the children left parentless after the accident. This statute allows the boat owners to ask a Federal judge to limit the amount they must compensate these victims to a few thousand dollars or less.
Multiple news agencies are reporting on a fatal boating accident that occurred near Elliot Key late Sunday (May 25, 2014). The incident occurred between 10:30 and 11:30 p.m. when a 23' boat collided with larger 36' anchored vessel. Giovanna Patricia Santos of Weston, Florida and two men were aboard the 23' boat. The collision was so traumatic that Santos was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital and the men were airlifted to Kendall Regional hospital with serious injuries. Tragically Ms. Santos died from her injuries.
The operator of the boat, Felipe Escobar, is suspected of boating under the influence. Jorge Pino of Florida's Fish and Wildlife Commission stated, "Our investigators felt that there was enough probable cause based on the odor of alcohol that was coming from the operator's person for us to do a forced blood draw on him." The toxicology results are pending.
The two people aboard the anchored 36' boat vessel were sleeping at the time of the accident and weren't injured. Investigator found the anchored boat was properly lit.
The Florida maritime attorneys of Brais, Brais & Rusak brought a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a family whose loved one drown after falling overboard from the tug boat. On the morning of September 13, 2013, Shaun Cheney was preparing the tugboat Brittany Beyel and barge for a crossing to the Bahamas. As part of his duties, Shaun was required to participate in the repositioning of the tug and barge from the Beyel Brothers' Merritt Island facility across the Canaveral Barge Canal. While crossing the canal, it was noticed that Shaun was missing. He was last seen by a fellow deckhand securing a line to a stern cleat. Although being aware Shaun was missing, the decision was made to first dock the tug before starting a search and rescue mission. When the search of the area did occur, Shaun could not be found despite being a good swimmer. Tragically, Shaun's body was found on the bottom of the canal the next afternoon.
Marine employees are protected by the federal Jones Act and maritime law for the negligent acts and unseaworthiness of the vessel they are tasked to work aboard. Under this law, Shaun's employer, Beyel Brothers, was required to develop safety protocols, post a lookout to alert the captain and crew of an accident, have a sufficient amount of life vests aboard the vessel and immediately effect a search of the area when it becomes known that crew member fell overboard. Based upon our investigation, Beyel Brothers failed to comply with the law. Maritime law recognizes seamen work is hard and often times dangerous. As such, unlike land-based law, marine employers are liable no matter how slight the connection between the wrongful act and death of a worker.
If you have information about this tragedy, we like to hear from you to better assist Shaun's family. You may call us toll free at (800) 499-0551 or click this link to write to us.
A Hawaiian medical examiner ruled the death of a passenger who fell aboard a Holland American cruise ship an accident. James Harte of Salt Lake City, Utah died last week at hospital in Oahu, Hawaii four days after falling aboard the Veendam cruise ship. The autopsy revealed the fall caused a cranial cerebral injury which resulted in the passenger's death. No foul play is suspected. It is unknown at this time what caused the man to fall or the area of the cruise ship the accident took place. The Veendam is currently making Panama Canal crossings between San Diego, California and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
The Coast Guard reports a worker for Princess Cruise Lines has fallen off the Grand Princess cruise ship. The 34-year-old Filipino national was last seen Monday alive Monday night at 10:25 and is said to have gone overboard later that night or early Tuesday morning. The Coast Guard was notified and preformed a search along with the cruise ship and nearby cargo vessel. At this time, he has not been found. The cruise line claims the on board CCTV footage shows the crew member jumping off the ship. The Grand Princess was on a 15 day Hawaiian cruise leaving from San Francisco, California.
This instance is the latest in a recent rash of people falling from cruise ships. The Maritime Law Blog has previously reported on a 26-year-old man fell off the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas on December 28th, a 65-year-old man fell off the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas on December 31st, a 88-year-old passenger fell off the Holland America Veendam on January 3rd. If you know anything about these incidents, feel free to contact us or leave a comment.
A Canadian passenger has fallen off the Holland America cruise ship Veendam last Friday. Reports state the 2,000 passenger Veendam was 300 miles off the San Diego, California coast when a woman was spotted going over the side. The rescue searchers ultimately located the passenger but it was too late. The Medical Examiner ruled the death as suicide. However, the ABC television news station in San Diego interviewed a witness who claims he observed the passenger on her balcony leaning over the rail to jump, but when she turned around to go back inside, she slipped and fell. The Holland American cruise ship was on a 7 day Mexican Rivera cruise. The name of the passenger has not been released. This is third incident in three weeks of a Canadian passenger falling off a cruise ship. The Maritime Law Blog has previously reported a 26-year-old man fell off the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas on December 28th and a 65-year-old man fell off the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas on December 31st. If you have any information about these deaths, feel free to contact us or leave a comment.
Just 5 days after Canadian passenger Tien Phuoc Nguyen reportedly fell off the Adventure of the Seas, there are news reports of a second Canadian tourist has fallen off a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship.
Cayman Islands police have issued a statement that they suspect a 65-year-old Canadian man may have fallen off the Independence of the Seas cruise ship. The missing passenger's wife told investigators that the couple went to bed around 1 a.m. but when she woke up 6 hours later, the man vanished. The 15 deck, 1,112 foot long Independence of the Seas was searched and the on board CCTV video was reviewed. Unfortunately, it could not be determined what happened to the passenger and the investigation continues. Police suspect that the accident happened while the ship was approaching Grand Cayman. The Cayman Port Authority has requested all marine traffic be on the lookout for the missing passenger. The Independence of the Seas was on a 6 night voyage leaving from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
The CDC has issued a cruise ship illness outbreak alert for the Norwegian Gem. The report states that during the November 13-25 voyage 111 passengers and 3 crew members reported being ill with vomiting and/or diarrhea. In response to the outbreak NCL, the operator of the Norwegian Gem, increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures as well as collected stool specimens for testing by the CDC. The cruise ship currently makes weekly voyages from New York City.
Being that thousand passengers and crew members interact for extended periods of time in confined spaces aboard the cruise ships like the Norwegian Gem, gastrointestinal illness can spread rapidly. In cases of Norovirus, a person can remain a carrier for two weeks after the symptoms have passed. Cruise line practices also fuel outbreaks. It is routine procedure for many cruise lines to send their crew members back to work after illness symptoms have disappeared. This means crew members who are still carrying Norovirus often times unwittingly pass the virus along to passengers while serving food and handling objects in the cabin and common areas.
Besides becoming violently ill, some people experience other serious health issues that stem from being infected with Norovirus. This law firm has represented passengers who suffered heart attacks, significant infections and even death caused by the taxation to the body Norovirus causes. If you had a life altering event caused by Norovirus contracted from a cruise, our cruise illness attorneys would like to speak with you.
There are reports that a United Kingdom passenger died aboard the cruise ship Thomson Dream while sailing to the Caribbean island of Tortola. A Police Information Officer stated that, David James Hughes, 59, was complaining of difficulty breathing and was pronounced dead by the ship's doctor at 9:18 a.m. on November 30th after being treated overnight. The cause of the death is currently unknown. The case is being treated as a sudden death.
Sad news is coming from Pinellas County, Florida. The law enforcement division of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported Stephen Chadwick of Tarpon Springs died early Monday when the 10 foot aluminum jon boat sank in the Gulf of Mexico. Investigators said Chadwick and Joseph Citro of Indianapolis were heading to meet friends at the nearby spoil islands on Sunday afternoon when their boat sank less than an hour into the trip.
The men initially held on to the boat's hull but eventually decided to swim to shore. Chadwick reportedly lost consciousness as the men approached shore. Citro performed CPR while a nearby Palm Harbor resident called 911. Both men were taken to the hospital where Chadwick later died. Citro was treated and released.
Below is a local television news report about the boat accident.
Several news agencies report a passenger went overboard from the Princess Cruise Line's GRAND PRINCESS on November 13, 2013 off the Hawaiian coast. Eyewitness accounts indicate the passenger intentionally went overboard North of Hawaii. The cruise line stated the witness' accounts were confirmed by closed-circuit television. The ship was on a 15-day round-trip cruise from San Francisco to Hawaii. The Coast Guard is currently searching for the passenger.
Sad new coming from New Orleans. Carnival Cruise Lines acknowledges a Carnival Conquest crew member died Sunday morning at the Port of New Orleans while working on the cruise ship's exterior. The accident occurred when the crew member was performing maintenance work on the side of the vessel while the cruise ship was in port between voyages. Reports state he was working in a cherry picker and became wedged between the machine and a platform holding one of the cruise ship's lifeboats. The ship's medical team responded along with local paramedics. Unfortunately, the crew member died. The Coast Guard is currently investigating the incident.
Unfortunate news is coming out of Carnival Cruise Lines' Miami headquarters. A 6-year-old boy has drowned in a pool aboard one of its cruise ships. The boy has been identified as Qwentyn Hunter of Winter Garden, Florida. The CARNIVAL VICTORY was on the last leg of a four-day Caribbean cruise Sunday when the tragedy happened.
Investigators stated the boy was in the pool with his 10-year-old brother at the time. Most interesting, reports indicate that passengers, not Carnival personnel, pulled the boy from the water and began CPR. For the large part, cruise ship pools and hot tubs are not guarded leaving passengers to fend for themselves in an emergency. Given many families with children cruise with Carnival, this practice falls below the hospitality industries' safety standards.
The cruise and pool injury lawyers of Brais, Brais & Rusak are very experienced will pool accidents occurring on land and on cruise ships. If you or a loved one suffered an aquatic accident any would like to learn more about your rights, feel free to contact our law firm at 800-499-0551 for a free consultation.