During a routine safety training drill in Bermuda four crew members of the Norwegian Breakaway were injured when the rescue boat they were lowering into the water as part of the drill broke from its tethering and was left hanging by a wire. The four men fell into the water and sustained injuries. The men were treated by ship’s medical staff and transferred to a local hospital, where one of the men passed away.
Authorities are investigating the incident. The ship is expected to depart Bermuda as scheduled and return to New York on July 24.
We extend our sincere condolences to the crew members’ families and wish the three injured seamen a speedy recovery.
The crew members and the estate of the deceased crew member likely have claims under the Jones Act for negligence. The Jones Act imposes liability upon a seaman’s employer for defective or dangerous conditions which the employer knew or should have known about. Additionally, the crew members and the estate of the deceased crew member may have claims under the doctrine of unseaworthiness, which requires a ship owner to maintain a seaworthy vessel or a vessel that is free of unreasonably dangerous and/or unsafe conditions. In addition to these claims, the injured seamen have a claim for maintenance and cure. Regardless of fault, seamen who become ill or are injured during their employment, are entitled to maintenance, cure and unearned wages. Maintenance refers to the reasonable expenses of room and board of the seaman while ashore, until he or she is fit for duty or reaches maximum medical improvement. Unearned wages are wages the seaman would have earned had he not become sick or injured, to the end of the voyage. Lastly, cure, refers to the reasonable medical expenses incurred by the seaman for curative treatment. Another Federal Statue that may apply depending upon the location of a maritime tort is the Death on the High Seas Act (“DOHSA”).
Our firm has vast experience in representing crew members in claims against their employers. If you or a loved one have been injured and would like to learn more about your rights, please contact our firm.
Crew Ship Crew Dies after Lifeboat Accident, The Royal Gazette, July 21, 2016.
Crew Member Dies During Rescue Boat Drill aboard Norwegian Breakaway, Three Others Injured, GCaptain, July 20, 2016.
4 People Injured After Norwegian Breakaway Lifeboat Accident, Cruisehive, July 20, 2016 BPS Confirm Death of Cruise Ship Crew Member, BER News, July 20, 2016.