Since 2000, 284 people have fallen off cruise ships. This averages around 1.5 people per month. Yet, cruise ships paint a safe and happy picture when it comes to taking a cruise. No one is discussing the rising rates of cruise ship passengers falling overboard and lack of rescue efforts.
About Falling Overboard
In 2010 the United States Coast Guard put into place the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act, which regulates railing heights and the training of crew members who respond to these situations of “man overboard.” It is the cruise line’s responsibility to keep passengers safe and fully investigate disappearances.
Operators should be responsible when they fail to act appropriately after receiving a missing passenger report. If the cruise line cannot find a missing Unites States national after a reasonable amount of time, they must notify the FBI and National Guard. Cruise lines and their employees who do not follow this procedure or act negligently in the events leading up to and after the disappearances of passengers may be accountable.
Cause of Cruise Ship Passengers Falling Overboard
Passengers disappear and are lost overboard for a number of reasons. Many of which a cruise line is responsible for. Cruise ship missing person cases happen from:
- Inadequate or defective handrails
- Intoxication from consuming alcohol in the ship’s bars and lounges
- No rough seas warning
- Foul play
- Violent actions of the ship’s crew members or other passengers
- Failure to perform adequate rescue operations.
Unfortunately, those in charge cover up missing person cases. This fools consumers into thinking there is adequate security on the high seas. However, cruise ships trick passengers into a false sense of security as profits continue to rise. When a passenger or crew member does fall overboard, there is a limited time to initiate rescue. This is because hypothermia is a big threat with cold sea temperatures.
Lack of Comprehensive Reporting
There is no official agency tracking cruise ship passengers falling overboard. An academic and author from the Memorial University of Newfoundland has been researching the cruise industry and tracking these incidents since 2000. His data points to 325 people going overboard in the past 18 years. From 2009 to 2017, this equaled 18 incidents per year.
However, in the global cruise industry, one or two people are statistically likely to fall overboard from a cruise ship each month. However, less than 20% are rescued. New technology could save more people like an automated alert any time a person goes overboard. Cruise ships are not prepared for these since it would cause more search and rescue missions. These missions could potentially disrupt the itineraries for thousands of paying passengers. Thus, the alerts could cause cascading expenses and hassles for cruise companies. Therefore, the companies would rather ignore the problem.
Don’t Wait to Get Help
If you, your child, or your relative suffered a cruise ship related injury like falling overboard, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Once you disembark, your next step should be to get experienced legal help from a knowledgeable attorney.
At The Michael Brady Lynch Firm, our lawyers have decades of experience helping injured people get justice and full compensation for injuries caused negligence. Given that lawsuits against cruise ships are in a venue favorable to the cruise lines, it is incredibly important to have an experienced attorney with ample resources to prosecute your claim. The Michel Brady Lynch Firm regularly takes on the largest corporations in the world with a track record of proven success and results. Contact The Michael Brady Lynch Firm today, and our attorneys will review your case for free and help you protect your rights. For your complimentary consultation, call our office now.