When you set out on your cruise vacation, it’s likely that you are looking forward to having a few days of fresh air, blue skies, and exciting excursion opportunities. After all, a cruise is the perfect place to kick your feet up and escape from the hustle of daily life. And for most people, this is exactly what happens.
However, there are occasions when relaxing is just not possible. Sometimes, despite a reasonable amount of preparation, situations unfold that require emergency action and a swift response.
A recent story out of San Diego reminds us of this.
Emergencies At Sea Require Coast Guard Assistance
On June 10th, 2017, the U.S. Coast Guard was alerted to an emergency aboard the Carnival Miracle cruise ship. According to reports, a 61-year-old woman aboard the ship was reporting symptoms of respiratory distress and was in need of evacuation to a hospital on shore.
A Jayhawk helicopter was used to efficiently evacuate the woman from the ship to a nearby hospital, so that she could receive proper medical attention. There are no further details on the ailing passenger’s condition at this time. However, we will certainly keep an eye out for any more information. We send our sincerest wishes for this passenger’s speedy recovery.
This story reminds us that the U.S. Coast Guard is available for shipboard evacuations when passengers are in medical distress. Unfortunately, we have seen too many occasions, however, when cruise ship’s fail to timely identify a medical emergency and never call the Coast Guard for evacuation assistance. In many of those instances, the ill or injured passenger usually suffers a fate far worse than if they had been timely evacuated to a land-based hospital which is always much better equipped to render proper medical care to the patient.
As maritime lawyers, we often see cases of individuals who go away on vacation, only to have a dormant or even unknown health issue flare up on the cruise. This is especially disappointing for the passenger, who spent hard-earned money and set aside the time to relax. No one wants to end up in the emergency room when they should be on a beach.
Accordingly, this is a reasonable time to remind everyone that our experience with medical care aboard cruise ships reveals that the doctors and facilities are poorly equipped to deal with any serious medical emergencies. With that in mind, when preparing for a cruise, passenger would be well advised to pay a visit their doctor before the departure date. Although you may believe yourself to be completely healthy, a check-up with your primary care physician could reveal an issue that you never would have expected. And, when you are proactive in addressing the concern, it’s likely that your cruise will be safer and much more enjoyable. Lastly, Jason Margulies advises to “always purchase the travel insurance option with your cruise. That insurance will handle the expenses associated with emergency medical care and air ambulance costs – which sometimes may be an impediment to a successful shipboard medical evacuation.”
LMAW Understands Your Situation
With more than 100 years of combined experience in the industry, we understand what passengers are going through, at every step of the journey. So if you have been injured aboard your cruise and are in need of legal advice, we are here to help.
We’ve helped countless passengers navigate the tricky legal waters with great success, and we are prepared to do the same for you. So when you are ready to take the next step towards a future free from legal burdens, do not hesitate to contact us.