The Carnival Sensation, a 855 foot cruise ship, returned to the Port of Miami Sunday Morning after a passenger fell ill. The ship started its voyage the day before was approximately 90 miles from port when a crewmember alerted the Coast Guard and Miami-Dade Fire Result of the medical emergency. The Sensation arrived near the Port of Miami where the passenger and two family members attempted to disembarked onto a rescue boat. However, the sea conditions where too rough in open waters. The cruise she then entered Government Cut, where the transfer took place in calmer waters. After the passenger disembarked, the cruise ship returned to its scheduled voyage. There has been no update on the passenger’s condition.
Media has reported two separate medevac situations involving the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Grandeur of the Seas occurring over a two week period. The first incident occurred on March 29th and involved a 70-year-old male passenger who experienced abdominal pains. Upon reporting the incident to the Coast Guard, a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter along with a C-130 aircraft departed from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The air team met the cruise ship approximately 150 miles Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The passenger was hoisted onto the helicopter then taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC.
The second incident occurred on April 8th. This time an 80-year-old male passenger collapsed while the cruise ship was near the Maryland coast. Coast Guard Station Annapolis launched a 45 foot cutter to intercept the cruise ship. The passenger, his family and ship medical personnel boarded the rescue boat and were transferred to the Coast Guard Station where emergency response crews were waiting. Upon arriving ashore, the man was transferred to Anne Arundel Medical Center. Maryland State Police assisted in the rescue.
Launched in 1996, the Grandeur of the Seas is 915-foot cruise ship which has the capacity of carrying 2,446 passengers and 760 crew. The cruise ship is conducting regular cruises from Baltimore, Maryland. The current status of the two passengers are unknown at this time.
A Southern District of Florida judge has recently allowed a case concerning the death of a Carnival Cruise passenger to proceed to the jury. This case involves couple who were passengers onboard the Carnival Dream. The cruise was a round trip Mexican voyage leaving from and returning to New Orleans, Louisiana. On the day in question, the couple were served 22 alcoholic beverages by the cruise line over the course of twelve hours. Most of the drinks were Long Island Iced Teas which contained high amounts of alcohol. The couple attended dinner where the husband was inebriated but did not slur his words or stumble. After dinner the couple went to the ship’s casino. At the casino bar, the husband fell off the bar stool. About an hour after the fall in the casino bar, the couple bought a final round of drinks. The decision was made to go to the ship’s nightclub. The wife went into the club while the husband stayed behind to finish a cigarette. He never arrived at the club. He, instead, went back to the stateroom. At about 1:00 a.m., the husband fell off the cabin’s balcony onto a deck below. He died from his injuries.
The wife, as the personal representative of her husband’s estate, brought a negligence claim against Carnival Cruise Lines for its part in overserving alcoholic drinks which allegedly was the proximate cause of his death. The cruise line filed a motion for summary judgment asking the court to find as a matter of law that it was not negligent. Under maritime law, a cruise line owes its passengers the duty of reasonable care for their safety and well being. As part of this legal duty cruise lines must take reasonable steps to protect an intoxicated passenger from danger. Cases addressing this legal duty require a showing that the cruise line should have been aware that the passenger was subject to an impending danger from the over-service of alcohol. As such, the behavior exhibited by the intoxicated passenger is relevant to whether a jury could find the cruise line was on notice.
The issue addressed in the motion is whether the husband’s actions leading up to his death placed Carnival on notice that he was at risk of falling off a cabin balcony. The wife argued that Carnival’s drink servers and bartenders training requires them to observe behavioral sings of intoxication which should have alerted the cruise line to the husband’s intoxication. The wife also testified at deposition that her husband showed visible signs of intoxication which included falling off a barstool. The cruise line pointed to the facts that the husband did not slur his words at dinner and disputed the reason for him falling off the stool.
Authorities are reporting a 74-year-old passenger on-board MSC Divina is missing and presumed overboard. The man’s disappearance comes just days after a 22-year-old man and a 74-year-old woman went overboard the Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas and the Queen Mary 2, respectively.
According to reports, Mr. Jeon Pierre Knorr, a French citizen traveling with his wife stepped onto the room’s balcony for some fresh air at approximately 3:00 a.m. on Monday and did not return. When his wife got up several hours later, she realized he had not returned and reported him missing.
The circumstances of his fall, however, remain unknown. Cruise ship officials searched the entire cruise ship and made callouts through the public announcement system with no success.
A 60-year-old Singaporean male passenger on-board the SuperStar Gemini cruise ship is missing after falling overboard near Babi Besar Island, located off the Malaysian south-east coast. Mr. Wuan Poh Fatt was traveling from Singapore to Penang with five others. According to on-board closed-circuit camera footage, Mr. Wuan fell overboard on Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 11:05 p.m. However, it was not discovered that he was missing until the next day when he failed to respond to announcements. After a headcount confirmed he was missing, the ship’s Captain contacted Malaysian authorities who began a search of the area. According to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, search and rescue operations are ongoing.
The SuperStar Gemini is a 1,750 passenger cruise ship operated by Star Cruises, an Asian based cruise line. In October 2015, reports surfaced of a 30-year-old Indian national man who disappeared from the SuperStar Gemini while traveling in the Strait of Malacca. The man was traveling with his extended family and they too did not realize he was missing until the next day. The cruise line claimed the man had committed suicide but the family strongly disputed that allegation instead suggesting he had been the victim of foul play due to a fight he had with one of the ship’s officers.
On average there are 20-30 overboard incidents each year. Although technology exits to alert cruise ships of a passengers falling overboard, not all cruise lines make use of the technology. Additionally, despite heavily promoting alcohol use, cruise ships often have minimal security personnel guarding the ship.
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.
It is being widely reported that a crewmember suffered serious personal injury after he fell into the water while attempting to step from the aft of a crew boat to a dock, barge or other vessel engaged in dredging operations in Port Canaveral. Authorities are presently withholding the man’s name. The dredging crew is deepening and widening the entrance to the port so that larger ships can come in.
The man fell from a barge PAULA LEE Tuesday night (November 10th) and was injured by a pair of spinning propellers that caused him to lose one leg below the knee as well as the foot on the other leg. News reports seem to indicate the Captain of the crew boat left the engines in gear in an effort to keep the stern of the crew boat up against the dock, barge or other vessel during crew changes that take place 24 hours a day. It is uncertain at this time if dock lines and buoys were utilized to secure the crew boat thus, eliminating the need to keep the crew boat’s engine’s in gear while crew stepped across at the stern of the boat. It’s also unclear why the crew changes were not conducted from either side of the crew boat after securing the boat alongside. Paramedics credit the quick action by other crewmembers with stopping the bleeding and saving the man’s life.
The Coast Guard released video footage of its medical evacuation of a 24-year-woman off the Carnival Imagination cruise ship. The passenger ocean liner was off the coast of Point Loma, California when the Coast Guard received a call that the woman was showing signs of an acute appendicitis. San Diego sector’s flight surgeon recommended that she be medically evacuated by one of the Coast Guard’s MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters and taken to an area hospital for emergency treatment.
Last week, a Cruise Critic blog posting reported a man went overboard a Princess Cruise Line vessel, the Sapphire. The young man allegedly dove from one of the Sapphire’s decks, perhaps the highest deck–14. Per the post, the captain announced “man overboard” and others threw life jackets in order to mark the area where the man made impact with the water. The cruise ship was turned and rigid inflatable boats equipped with search lights were deployed. The man was found alive.
The reason behind the man going overboard is still unclear. While it was reported that the man intended to dive overboard, it is not known if this was an attempted suicide. Princess Cruises has yet to issue a statement regarding this alarming but all too common occurrence. Back in May 2013, the International Business Times featured an article on “How Many Cruise Ship Passengers Go Overboard Each Year?” and noted the findings of Dr. Ross Klein of CruiseJunkie.com. According to Dr. Klein, who has testified before Congress on a number of occasions and authored books like “Cruise Ship Blues: The Underside of the Cruise Ship Industry,” there were 23 passenger overboard incidents in 2012 alone. Furthermore, per Mr. Klein’s alleged statistics, he claims that nearly half of all overboard incidents since 2000, or 94 out of 200, have occurred on Carnival ships or corporate subsidiaries such as Costa, Cunard, P&O, Princess and Holland America.
Last week, the U.S. Coast Guard received a call from the Norwegian Gem, requesting an emergency medevac for a 66 year old passenger who was experiencing complications arising from diabetes. Per reports, the Coast Guard received the call around 11:45 a.m. and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was dispatched from Elizabeth City. At the time of the medevac, the woman was approximately 220 miles southeast of Portsmouth. The Coast Guard made it to the cruise ship around 2:30 p.m., evacuating the woman and taking her to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. It was last reported that she was in stable condition.
Reports fail to mention how the woman’s complications were discovered in this case, but, nevertheless, a cruise ship’s prompt and adequate diagnosis of a passenger’s medical condition can some times be the difference between life and death. As previously reported by our blog, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent Franza decision now holds a cruise ship liable for the medical malpractice of its shipboard doctors. Medical malpractice cases aboard cruise ships often involve a shipboard doctor’s failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of a passenger’s condition, such as a stroke or heart attack. Luckily for this woman, it appears her condition was diagnosed by someone in time. A video of the medevac can be viewed below.