Cruising can be fun and relaxing, but it can quickly turn into a dangerous situation, both for passengers and crew members. Several recent incidents and accidents show how accidents and injuries can happen quickly on cruise ships. They highlight the need for strict safety policies on board vessels.
Cruise Ship Overboard Accidents
One of the worst-case scenarios on a cruise ship is when someone goes overboard. In early June, the U.S. Coast Guard halted its search for Ronnie Peale, a man who went overboard on a Carnival Cruise Lines ship that was about 200 miles off the coast of Florida.
Peale was on his first cruise and traveling with his fiancé. A CCTV camera caught footage of him falling off his room’s balcony early in the morning on a Monday. The Coast Guard dispatched several vessels to search for Peale but called off the search two days later.
Another overboard incident had a better ending. A woman whose name has not been released fell from the tenth deck of Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas ship off the coast of the Dominican Republic. She spent 45 minutes in the water before being rescued. She was in good health.
Cruise Ship Collisions
Cruise ships are large vessels that can cause a lot of damage and potentially injure people when they collide with other ships or structures. A Princess Cruises vessel recently struck a pier in San Francisco after returning from a 10-day voyage to Alaska.
The ship’s hull suffered damages, but fortunately, no people on board or on the pier were hurt. The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the crash.
In 2022, a cruise ship called Radiance of the Seas struck a pier in Sitka, Alaska. As with the San Francisco accident, no one was injured. The investigation results were recently released and showed that the crew relied on outdated navigation information. Updated materials could have prevented the incident.
In July, the Norwegian cruise ship Prima suffered damage when it broke free from its moorings and lost its gangways while docked in Zeebrugge, Belgium. The conditions were windy, which likely contributed to the accident. As the vessel broke free and moved, the gangways attached to the dock were dragged and ultimately fell into the water.
The gangways were out after most passengers had left the ship, which was fortunate. If people had been on the gangways, they likely would have been injured or even fallen overboard. The large ship had to be moved back into position with the assistance of tugboats.
Cruise ship accidents are more common than many people realize and often result in injuries or even fatalities. If you were injured on a cruise ship, you have legal rights. Negligent companies can be held responsible for damages. Contact a maritime lawyer to find out what you can do to seek compensation.