Cruise ship vacations provide a fun, relaxed atmosphere that millions of passengers choose each year for their vacation destination. However, the stress free environment that the cruise ship operators try to provide can lead to lowered inhibitions that sometimes belie the real dangers that exist while traveling at sea. Therefore, it is important that cruise travelers pay careful attention to their surroundings to protect themselves, and their families, from dangerous conditions.
According to a recent article in USA Today, certain types of injuries on cruise ships may be more likely than others. Slips and falls, as well as falls from heights, may be more common than you would think on cruise ships and other recreational vessels. Just last month, the article reports, a 23-year-old man who was a guest on a Carnival Valor cruise ship “fell off a railing where he was sitting onto a lower deck, sustaining serious injuries.”
This cruise ship fall-related accident highlights onboard injury risks and the need to take precautions to prevent falls on cruise ships.
How Did the Cruise Ship Fall Happen?
Cruise ship falls can happen for many different reasons. Many times, the crew of the ship fail to monitor the deck floors of the ship, particularly in areas of high traffic. These areas, including the restaurants, lounges and pool decks often become slick and slippery as people spill drinks or walk around wet (from the pool). Unfortunately, these wet spots are often nearly invisible to casual observers who are just walking from one place to another. As a result, if a trained crew member is not inspecting the deck and cleaning up any spills unsuspecting travelers can turn into unfortunate victims in the blink of an eye.
Other cruise ship injuries, like the one detailed in the USA Today article occur when passengers fall off one of the multiple decks. This report, in particular, indicated that the young passenger fell approximately 16 feet on to a deck below (the particular ship where the accident occurred has a total of 13 decks.)
The U.S. Coast Guard issued a press release about the accident, reporting that it was notified about the need for a medevac at approximately 1:14 a.m. According to that press release, “the aircrew arrived on scene at 5:45 a.m., hoisted the man, and the ship’s doctor, and transported them” to a hospital 65 nautical miles away. The 23-year-old injured guest reportedly arrived at the hospital in critical condition.
An investigation will now be performed to show how and why this fall occurred. Its possible that the young man slipped and fell over the railing. Its also possible that he was overserved at one of the many bars on board. Whatever, the case there is no doubt that it is a tragic, and unexpected, end to would have otherwise been a relaxed vacation.
How to Avoid Injuries in a Cruise Ship
While accidents can happen on vacation, even if you are especially careful, it is important to remember that many cruise ship accidents and injuries are avoidable with some precautions. The following are safety tips from ABC News and from the USA Today article for avoiding accidents and injuries on a cruise ship:
- Pay attention during the safety instructions;
- Know where your lifejacket is, and know when you need to wear it;
- Carry your health insurance information with you;
- Ensure that the cruise ship you are boarding has on-board medical doctors who are licensed properly;
- Wear appropriate footwear on board; and
- Consume alcohol in moderation.
Seek Advice from a West Palm Beach Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love got hurt on a cruise ship, you may be able to file a claim. Cruise ship accidents and injuries happen more often than you might think, and the cruise ship may be liable for injuries. An experienced West Palm Beach cruise ship injury lawyer can speak with you today about your case. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC for more information about your options.