According to industry researchers, more than 27 people took cruises for vacations in 2018. It’s a fun way to see the world, and a great way to have a relaxing vacation, until something goes wrong. In 2018 there were hundreds of accidents on cruise ships, from falls overboard to flooding, amputations, and even near capsizing incidents. Passengers and crew alike are at risk of becoming a victim and either being injured or killed every time they step on a cruise ship. Here are some of the most notable cruise accidents that occurred in the last year.
Several People Fell Overboard
One of the scariest things that can happen to anyone on a cruise ship is to fall. A fall can lead to injuries even if the person never makes it to the water. The multiple levels on a cruise shop mean that a person can fall from one to the next and get seriously hurt. A fall into the water is often fatal, and sometimes bodies are never recovered.
Between 2000 and 2018, 284 people fell off a cruise ship. In 2018 there were some notable overboard accidents and drownings. A crew member on board a Norwegian line ship fell overboard in July and was not recovered for 22 hours. Luckily he managed to float that long and survived the ordeal. The same cruise line saw a passenger fall overboard in August. She was rescued ten hours later.
A Capsizing – Almost
While an overboard accident is terrifying for the individual involved, a capsizing threatens the lives of thousands of people on board a cruise ship, both crew and passengers. In October a Carnival cruise ship nearly capsized. The ship had a malfunction in an electric switchboard that caused a problem in the fin stabilizers. This led to the ship tilting significantly to one side. Fortunately the crew was able to correct the problem before the ship tipped all the way.
A Crew Member Lost His Arm
On a Norwegian ship, the line’s largest ship called the Breakaway, a crew member lost his arm in September. The fault was with a doctor on the ship who gave him the wrong medication for an unrelated issue. The crew member reacted badly to the medication and ultimately had to have his arm amputated. In a lawsuit he was awarded $4.6 million for the mistake and resulting amputation.
A Carnival cruise ship flooded in May when a water line broke. The line was a part of the ship’s fire suppression systems, and it caused flooding in hallways and about 50 of the staterooms. While no one was hurt in the incident, flooding can lead to drowning and electrical injuries. Because this incident involved fire suppression systems, if a fire had broken out it could have been difficult to contain. Flooding can also cause people to panic, which in turn can lead to accidents and injuries.
Cruise ships are increasingly popular vacation options, in spite of the many potential risks. Cruise lines are building bigger and more technologically advanced ships and are cramming more and more people on to them. Capsizing, overboard falls, fires, communicable illnesses, flooding, medical mistakes, and all other types of accidents can cause serious harm to crew and guests on these ships. If you are a cruise ship employee or a passenger, know your rights and what to do if you get hurt onboard.