Cruise Ship Accidents
On Saturday, a ship with the popular Carnival Cruise Line was returning to PortMiami after a week-long journey through the Caribbean when an incident occurred that transformed what was an enjoyable trip into a nightmare. Just after 8:00 in the morning, the ship arrived at Port Miami and docked so that the passengers could disembark. It was during the movement of passengers from the deck of the ship to the pier that an 8-year-old girl, who was standing on one of the upper decks inside the ship, fell from her location in the atrium to a deck two stories beneath her.
On Thursday afternoon, an 8-year-old boy on the Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas ship was discovered in one of the vessel’s three pools. The ship, which had recently departed from Bayonne, NJ, was on the first leg of a 9-day journey that was to take the passengers south to Bermuda and then the Caribbean when the boy was found. According to the statement on record, Coast Guard officials were notified shortly before 7:00pm. The ship changed course and began heading back towards its port of departure. FDNY emergency response crews intercepted the ship about four miles off of Sandy Hook, NJ, and medevaced the child to Staten Island University Hospital North. Currently, the child is still in the hospital, his condition unknown.
Families aboard the Carnival Ecstasy Sunday evening met a gruesome scene on their way to dinner. As they approached the restaurant, blood poured out of the elevator doors with a noise so loud it was described “as a rainstorm.” At the same time workers aboard the cruise ship tried to keep passengers away from the scene, herding them back into the restaurant. Another witness compared the occurrence to “a real life scene of ‘The Shining’” – a 1980’s horror film starring Jack Nicholson. The elevator was later sealed off to shield passengers and their children from the elevator and the area nearby.
Cruise ship illnesses are becoming more and more common these days as the cruise industry tries to cram more and more people into larger and larger ships. It makes sanitation more complicated.
In 2014, approximately 17 million people boarded cruise ships from North America and sailed to ports all around the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Around 37 percent of the passengers went sailing to the Caribbean, the highest destination for cruise ships across the world by a wide margin.
A cruise ended badly for two people on a Regal Princess Cruise. The ship had left Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, February 7th and stopped on the Bahamas at Princess Cays, a private port of call for the cruise lines. The ship then disembarked and was headed toward Cozumel, Mexico.
On January 23, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals decided not to reconsider a previous ruling, opening the door to medical malpractice lawsuits against the cruise ship industry. The decision has the potential to reverse nearly 100 years of maritime law that gave cruise ship companies immunity against lawsuits for medical malpractice. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines had asked the court to reconsider an earlier decision.
Florida has a large cruise industry that employs thousands of people. Last year, 17.6 million people sailed from ports in North American, many of them leaving from locations in Florida. Most of the ships travel to Mexico or ports of call in the Caribbean. These ships give people a unique experience to see some of the most beautiful tropical places in the world, and the opportunity to relax and unwind under the supervision of professional sailors.
A cruise that departs from Florida’s sunny tropical waters is suppose to be an experience of a lifetime. You can see the beautiful beaches in Mexico, relax around the pool or snorkel in the waters of the Caribbean. But given the huge number of cruise ships that depart annually from Florida, there are bound to be medical emergencies. A person can have a heart attack or can slip and fall while shopping at a port souvenir shop. In these instances, passengers on the ship expect to receive quality medical care.
This week a Royal Caribbean cruise ship was forced to turn around and return to port early after over 600 passengers on board became sick with what is likely a norovirus outbreak. The ship, which was on its way to the US Virgin Islands, had 3,050 passengers and 1,165 crew members on board.