If you are planning a cruise in Florida, it is important to learn more about the recent cruise ship accident that resulted in the death of a young child. According to a recent article in Forbes, an 18-month-old child was killed after falling out of an open window near a child play area on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship last month. Then, in early July—less than a month after the child’s death—two additional overboard accidents on cruise ships occurred. First, a crew member of a Carnival Cruise Line ship fell overboard on July 4, while a woman died after falling from an MSC cruise ship a day later.
Are cruise ships safe, or should anyone considering a cruise vacation reconsider due to cruise ship injury concerns?
Cruise Ships May Not Be As Safe As You Think
As the Forbes article highlights, “being on a cruise ship the size of a massive hotel may appear safe at first glance, but there are inherent dangers when you’re floating on a vessel in the middle of the ocean.” For example, in the recent death of the toddler, the open window did not have bars or rails designed to prevent a child from falling. Also, in other areas of cruise ships where people tend to fall, guardrails are not always sufficient to prevent someone from falling overboard.
To be clear, the risk of serious or fatal injury on a cruise ship is very low—only about one out of every 6.25 million people onboard a cruise ship will suffer a deadly injury. If you compare that number to a person’s risk of dying in a car accident, your odds on a cruise ship are substantially better. A person’s odds of suffering a fatal injury in a car crash are approximately one in 645.
The fact that numerous overboard accidents are happening on cruise ships does not mean that cruise lines are not taking precautions. As the article clarifies, “an average ship undergoes many safety, environmental and health inspections each year,” and some cruise lines like MSC Cruises “have also installed high-tech man-overboard protection systems.” Despite such attention to safety, however, accidents still occur.
Tips for Staying Safe on a Cruise Ship
What can you do to avoid getting hurt or falling overboard on a cruise ship? The article recommends the following safety tips for cruise ship passengers:
- Always supervise children, and never allow children to climb or sit on guardrails;
- Look for a cruise ship that provides electronic tracking device wristbands for kids so that you can always locate your child;
- Know that lifeguards are not standard at cruise ship pools, and children need to be supervised at all times (and adults also need to be careful themselves);
- Do not run—or allow children to run—on a cruise ship deck because it can be slippery;
- Drink alcohol responsibly, recognizing that a majority of adult overboard accidents occur because of intoxication;
- Wash your hands regularly, especially before meals;
- Lock your cabin door and use the deadbolt;
- Do not wander off by yourself when the cruise ship reaches the port; and
- Know what to do in case of an emergency.
- If you are traveling with children, ask the staff to remove any furniture from your cabin’s balcony. While it is nice to sit on our own deck and look out at the ocean, children can climb on this furniture and increase the risk of falling overboard.
Contact a Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer in West Palm Beach
If you or someone you love suffered serious or fatal injuries in a cruise ship accident, you should learn more about your options for financial compensation. A West Palm Beach cruise ship injury attorney can help with your case. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC to find out about filing a cruise ship accident claim.