When you set out on a cruise vacation, the last thing you want is to wind up the victim of an accident or injury. After all, this trip is likely one that you have been anticipating for months! With so much to see and do–both at sea and in your ports of call–there is no worse time to find yourself in need of serious medical attention.
Even worse is finding yourself in a medical emergency while you are potentially thousands of miles away from your regular doctors or facilities that can provide the level of medical needed. Although the majority of cruise lines do have medical facilities on board, their staff can assist passengers and crewmembers with concerns only to a certain point. On board medical facilities often lack the equipment, medications or ability to care more serious medical situations that may arise. When the situation becomes more severe, then it is time to call in the experts.
Just this week, a 31-year-old man required medevac assistance while sailing on a cruise ship off of the Atlantic coast of Florida. According to reports, medical staff aboard the Carnival Sunshine, notified the Coast Guard of a passenger who needed a “higher level of medical care.” The man was air-lifted from the ship to the Port Canaveral station. From there, he was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
There is no further information available at this time. However, we are left wondering what could have occurred to require this relatively young man to require an emergency airlift? We commonly see older passengers requiring this kind of assistance due to issues related to chronic health concerns. To have a 31-year-old in need of a medevac is somewhat unusual. Regardless of the details, we send our best wishes to him and his family, for a quick and full recovery.
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In the wake of this event, we are grateful to both the cruise ship medical team and the emergency responders, for acting swiftly in order to bring this man to the medical attention he needed. It is always a relief to see operations like these that are completed successfully and without any obstacles. However, we know that this is not always the case.
Often times we see that once a medical emergency arrives, cruise lines place profits before the safety and well-being of an ill or injured guest. A decision to divert the vessel so that a passenger can obtain urgent medical care can disrupt the vessel’s scheduled itinerary and impacts the bottom line. Other times, the medical staff may not to recognize the seriousness of a situation and fail to call for an emergency evacuation all together.
Far too often, passengers and crewmembers suffer from accidents or injuries that could have been prevented with a greater amount of oversight from the cruise company. Although safety should always be the cruise line’s first priority, the sad truth is that this is not always the case. As a result, it is up to each individual to stay alert for potential dangers and act accordingly. And, in the event of a medical emergency, individuals must make sure the necessary steps are taken to ensure their loved ones get the appropriate care needed.
That said, we understand that even the most cautious and prepared of individuals may face an unfortunate event aboard their cruise. And when that is the case, you can rest assured that Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is here to help.
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Our team has a combined 100 years of experience in maritime law. This means that we know exactly what you are facing, and we are prepared to help you navigate the complexities of your case, from start to finish. After all, the legal world can be confusing for even the most astute. There is no reason for you to face your case on your own.
So when you are ready to move forward with confidence, a maritime lawyer on our team is ready to speak with you. Contact us today to get started.