Dangers and Accidents On Board a Cruise Ship

The Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), a global maritime safety treaty, issued the “Safe Return to Port” regulation on all types of ships to ensure the safety of cruise ship passengers and the safe return of all ship passengers back to port. Besides these, SOLA also requires that all new cruise ships be equipped with self-sufficient and international standard clinics and other emergency facilities.

For the safety and benefit of passengers, the SOLA mandates are much needed. The the main concern, however, is how these are being observed (if these are being observed at all) because with the frequency and severity of disasters, injury to (and sometimes death of) passengers, viral outbreak, unsanitary conditions, crimes committed on board while on cruise (such as assault and battery, and sexual assault from other passengers or crew members), and many other negative issues involving cruise ships, the mandates appear to be very far from being observed.

Pirates, icebergs, and coral reefs, sea storms and rogue waves – these are never just the usual causes of cruise ship accidents. Leading to much greater inconvenience and, sometimes, worse disasters are accidents resulting from the negligence of ship crew and personnel in maintaining the ship and their incompetence in reacting well during emergency situations.

Thus, concerning one particular ship, some travelers once asked just how many power failures, fires, or other untoward incidents a cruise ship averagely undergoes during its lifetime. This comment or query was made after one particular cruise ship underwent a series of unbelievable bad occurrences: it was stranded out at sea for five days due to fire, thus turning what was supposed to be a grand, exotic and exciting adventure into a nightmarish experience to more than 4,000 passengers; had one towline snapping as it was being tugged to port; crashed into another boat and ended with a 20-foot gash on its side after getting unmoored; and, while undergoing repairs, it had to be evacuated by repair workers after nearby fuel barges exploded.

While a cruise ship vacation can really be a perfectly exciting experience, the dangers passengers will face, in the event of an accident can also be truly fearful, especially considering the fact that once it sails, passengers will have limited space and corners to run to for safety. The law firm Ritter & Associates lists down some of the dangers passengers may experience in a cruise ship, like assault and battery, slip and fall accidents, food poisoning, swimming pool injuries, head injuries, sexual assault from other passengers, and falling off the ship. Thus, in the event of an accident, it may be necessary that the victim consult with a cruise ship accident lawyer immediately. This is because the preparations, the documents that need to be submitted and the procedures that need to be observed, regarding a legal act against a cruise ship, are so much complicated and can only be done at a specific court in a specific state.

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