Articles Posted in Cruise Ship Accident

Two top cruise line Industry executives testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to explain safety regulations that apply to the industry. The executives also discussed the specific protocols for reporting crimes aboard ships, as well as the training that cruise line personnel have received to deal with the myriad of problems the industry has faced as of late.

For the first time, the CEOs of Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Cruise Line defended the safety culture of the industry before a senate committee. Carnival’s CEO said that 10 policies recently adopted by the Cruise Lines International Association should be sufficient to deal with recent industry woes.

Their testimony came in the wake of several high-profile cruise ship mishaps that have occurred over the past few years. In 2012, several dozen people were killed when cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of an Italian island. Recently, five employees connected with that disaster were convicted of manslaughter in Italy.
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The cruise ship injury attorneys at Farah & Farah recently reported that the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced that it has adopted a passenger “bill of rights” to protect passengers on cruise ships. Those protections include passengers receiving refunds and being flown back to the port of origin if a voyage is interrupted by a mechanical or power failure.

It didn’t take long for the bill to be tested.

Several days after CLIA announced the implementation of the passenger bill of rights, a fire broke out aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, forcing the captain to cancel the voyage and sail the ship to Freeport, Bahamas.

The Grandeur of the Seas, which left from Baltimore, was several days into its planned 7-day voyage when a fire broke out in the stern of the ship. It took the crew a couple of hours to knock down the blaze. Royal Caribbean officials claim that the ship never lost power. Photographs taken of the ship show a substantial amount of smoke damage on several levels of the ship’s stern.

One passenger told the Palm Beach Post that several hundred passengers had to sleep on the deck while the fire was being fought and smoke billowed from the stern of the ship.
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The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents 25 major cruise companies, has announced that it will adopt a passenger bill of rights designed to protect the “safety, comfort and care” of cruise ship passengers.

Florida Cruise Ship Crash As outlined by CLIA, the bill of rights promises that passengers will receive full refunds in the event that cruises are canceled due to mechanical failure. The bill also guarantees that partial refunds will be issued to passengers if a cruise is terminated early due to a power failure.

These provisions appear to be in direct response to several recent high-profile mechanical failures during cruises. The cruise ship accident attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville Beach point to the Carnival Triumph debacle earlier this year, in which a power failure on that ship stranded passengers in squalid and unsanitary conditions for days while the ship was towed across the Gulf of Mexico.

Miami-based Carnival is a member CLIA and has signed on to the bill of rights. Christine Duffy, the president and CEO of CLIA, admitted that the bill came partially in response to congressional pressure. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) had demanded the cruise industry guarantee that passengers be protected while on cruise ships.
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The cruise ship injury attorneys at Farah & Farah have learned the first lawsuit has been filed in connection with the disabled Carnival Triumph cruise ship that left thousands of passengers stranded in hot, unhygienic conditions for five days.

The cruise liner finally docked in Mobile, Alabama, where many of the passengers described the deplorable conditions aboard the ship as it was being towed across the Gulf of Mexico. Fire in the engine room knocked out power to the ship and passengers had to endure hot weather and lack of air conditioning for days. Many were forced to live in a makeshift tent city on the deck of the ship because of the unbearable conditions in their cabins.

One passenger told the Palm Beach Post that some people resorted to bartering to obtain much-needed goods like diapers and formula. Other passengers described sewage seeping through the walls, overflowing toilets, incredible stench, and waterlogged carpets.
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The mother of a 21-year-old woman who fell overboard from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in September has hired an attorney, claiming that the cruise ship waited too long to begin conducting a search for her daughter.

The attorney for the mother argues that the cruise ship, the Allure of the Seas, failed to immediately turn around and search for the woman’s daughter after it was reported that she had fallen from the ship about 147 miles east of Fort Lauderdale. He claims that the ship also delayed contacting the Coast Guard, which hampered efforts to recover the cruise ship passenger.

The young woman went overboard on Sept. 16, and the Coast Guard gave up the search on Sept. 18. She was never found.
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FL Cruise Ship Safety LawsTwo major groups representing the cruise industry have announced that cruise ship lines will now be conducting live drills with loaded lifeboats once every six months due to a new safety policy.

The new Life Boat Loading for Training Purposes policy, announced by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and European Cruise Council, was implemented in response to the capsizing of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy more than eight months ago. Court–appointed experts looking into the deadly cruise ship accident found that the Costa Concordia crew wasn’t trained or certified in security and emergency drills, which led to onboard chaos and may have contributed to the deaths of 32 people.
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Miami-based Carnival Corporation must face a negligence lawsuit brought by the family of a 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed during an onshore excursion in the U.S. Virgin Islands. A federal court judge had dismissed the suit in August 2011, but the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta recently reinstated it.

Bloomberg reports the incident that sparked the lawsuit occurred in July 2010 when the teen’s family left the Carnival cruise ship to take a day trip to Coki Beach on the island of St. Thomas. According to the complaint, the open-air bus the family was traveling in got stuck in traffic on the way back from the beach excursion due to a gang member’s funeral that was being held in the area.
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Florida Cruise Ship LawsuitA woman who was on a New Year’s cruise on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship has alleged in a federal lawsuit that she was sexually assaulted by a crewmember. The woman claims she was attacked on Jan. 1 during an eastern Caribbean cruise on the Navigator of the Seas.

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S District Court, the alleged victim had gone to use the whirlpool in the morning and asked a crew member for a towel. He led her into a bathroom and assaulted her.

According to the woman’s attorney, ship surveillance video showed his client going into the bathroom, and then trying to escape and being dragged back into the room by the alleged assailant. The woman was able to escape and reported the attack to ship’s security immediately.
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Costa Allegra, the Italian cruise ship crippled by a fire on the Indian Ocean and then towed by a French tuna fishing boat for three days, finally docked at Port Victoria on the island of Mahe on Thursday, March 1. Although there were no reports of injuries and the passengers all arrived safely, many said they were more than happy to leave that experience behind them and described deplorable conditions aboard the luxury liner.

The fire that erupted in the engine room of the liner knocked out lights, running water, toilets, refrigerators, and air-conditioning for the entire journey back. Passengers complained of sweltering cabin temperatures, fetid, backed-up toilets, and a diet of spam sandwiches.

One passenger directed his anger at the Costa Allegra staff. “Sheer luck has disguised the incompetence from start to finish,” he told The Telegraph, while another passenger described the incident as, “an absolute debacle.”
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Some passengers on the Carnival cruise ship, Fascination, told Channel 4 in Jacksonville that they are considering legal action because the ship took off from the Jacksonville port knowing there was bad weather ahead.

A woman from Illinois says the cruise line put her and her friends in danger when the ship took off Thursday, October 6 for a four-day trip to the Bahamas, encountering severe weather along the way. She says waves crashed into the ship as high as the windows and about 2,000 passengers had to skip a port of call, faced delays in catching flights back, fainted, and became ill all over the rocking ship. The tide was too high to allow the ship to pass under the Dames Point Bridge and they had to dock at the cargo terminal, causing further delays. Other passengers say doors were being blown in off their hinges from the wind, dinner plates were falling on the floor, and shop shelves were collapsing. The captain decided to continue despite this weather.
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