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Cruise Ship Law Blog


Twenty Crewmembers Injured During Lifeboat Drill In Finland

November 23, 2012

A seafarer claims attorney is often called upon when a worker is injured either aboard a cruise ship, cargo vessel or other water craft, or when they are hurt at port. Sometimes accidents involving crewmembers are not the result of any one particular person’s negligence, but other times they are. Anytime a crewmember is injured, they have a right to seek legal counsel to determine if they qualify for any financial recovery. Victims may be eligible for money damages, medical care, lost wages, and several other benefits if someone is found to have been at fault for the accident. Mechanical equipment failure, boating operator negligence and other forms of wrongdoing can lead a crewmember to qualify for recoveries for any injuries or fatalities suffered while at work.

Recently, a newspaper in Finland reported that 20 crewmembers aboard the Findlandia cruise ship sustained injuries during a lifeboat drill. The Findlandia is operated by Eckerö Line in Tallinn. According to the newspaper, the injured crewmembers sustained several fractures and sprained ankles, and also suffered friction burns that were caused when they descended a steep drop into a life raft.

The Findlandia vessel is unlike other ships when it comes to their lifeboat systems. Most other lifeboat systems involve crew boarding the lifeboat first and then descending into the water, however, the system on the Findlandia involves the use of a chute, which drops down to the life rafts that are already in the water. The chutes are similar to the ones used during building construction projects, where workers send debris and other materials down from upper levels or roofs to a dumpster below. They are not the sturdiest of systems and certainly not meant for people to go down them.

Even after the crewmembers were injured, vessel authorities only suspended the lifeboat drill after other workers refused to follow their colleagues down the chute. A representative of the Finnish Seamen’s Union made a statement regarding the incident, saying that the system used by the Findlandia is “unsuitable and dangerous,” despite the fact that it was approved for use by the European Union. It appears as though the ship’s operators weren’t taking their crewmembers’ injuries seriously, and those who were hurt may have a viable claim to file with seafarer accident lawyers in order to protect their rights.

Any crewmember that is injured or the loved ones of those who are fatally wounded have the ability to seek help with a seafarer attorney to file a case regarding their accidents. At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., our attorneys have helped many victims recover damages for their pain and suffering and are ready to do the same for you if you or someone you know was involved in an incident at sea or in port.

Our attorneys have over 80 years of combined experience in maritime law and have been named the Top Law Firm Protecting Seafarer Rights. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation and let us put our expertise to work for you so you.

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