Vacationers Face Cruise Ship Accidents While Traveling at Sea

Taking a cruise across the ocean may be a dream vacation for some, but for others, it can become a dangerous nightmare.

Many people have “disappeared” and been injured in other South Florida cruise ship accidents on these tropical vacations, like George Smith IV. The family of the missing man sued the Royal Caribbean. The ship the couple traveled on doesn’t have a safe history rap as the Crown Princess tilted sharply on one of its first voyages at sea. The rocky ship ride injured dozens as it caught on fire and destroyed numerous decks and balconies.

Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers urge passengers and crew members to travel safely and enjoy their time at sea, but also ask that you take the proper precautions to protect yourself on the ships armed with potential dangers.

George Smith was aboard a cruise ship in 2005 celebrating his honeymoon when he vanished somewhere between Greece and Turkey. His body has still not been found.

His parents and widow reached an amended settlement with Royal Carribean just weeks before the scheduled trial. The settlement awarded the passenger’s family with more than $1.3 million, which is said to be close to his projected lifetime earning capacity.

While taking a trip across the ocean, the last thing you want to think about is injury. But the fact is, a number of things can go wrong on a cruise ship. Luckily, the International Maritime Organizations (IMO) stepped in to help and placed regulations for fire protection on cruise ships in 2002, according to IMO. These new rules encourage safe technological advances in fire detection and extinctions.

Your personal health and safety can be drastically affected on large ships as well. The biggest on-board concern affecting personal health is norovirus. This illness is easily transmitted from person to personal among close living quarters as it travels through shaking hands, sharing utensils, food distribution or not washing your hands. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), roughly 23 million Americans contract the norovirus every year. The best way to reduce your risks of contracting the norovirus is to always wash your hands with soap and warm water after you use the bathroom, before you eat and when you’ve returned from a shore excursion.

Not everyone on your ship might be vacationing like you. Millions of cruisers are exposed to potential terrorist threats. Because of these types of security threats, the U.S. and the United Nations have put strict maritime security laws into effect to help protect cruise ship guests. The IMO introduced the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) to help protect passengers.

“These regulations established international security regulations that require all ships, port facilities and governments to have formal security plans, screening measures, access control, waterside security and communications between ships and ports,” according to the International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL).

Today, passenger ships are subject to a seemingly endless array of regulations and standards that try to safely cover every aspect of ship construction and operation to help preserve the safety and health of passengers. Incidents over the years have continued to influence improvements in cruise ship safety requirements. Sometimes, there just aren’t enough inspections and regulations to prevent an accident from causing injury.