Last week, a 62-year-old woman required an airlifted from her cruise ship to a shore side hospital due to gastrointestinal bleeding. The woman was sailing aboard the Norwegian Breakaway, which was passing Wilmington, N.C. at the time the call went out.
Emergency rescuers from the Coast Guard Station at Portsmouth airlifted the woman and a cruise nurse from the ship and brought them to the nearest hospital, so the ailing passenger could receive further treatment. The command duty officer at the Coast Guard command center, Geoffrey Pagels, explained that, “Distance and environment greatly affect response time and the survivability of a person in distress.” In this case, however, he praised the crew for alerting the Coast Guard as soon as possible, to provide the most efficient treatment to the passenger in need.
At this time, there is no further update on the woman’s condition. However, we send our best wishes to her and her family for a full recovery.
Cooperation Between Cruise Line and Coast Guard is Key
In the wake of yet another medevac rescue at sea, we could not agree more with the command officer’s sentiment: when there is a person in distress aboard a cruise, time is of the essence. After all, given the many variables that can affect a successful medevac mission, the best choice is always to alert the proper teams as soon as possible.
Although it is easy to understand distress when it is visible–as may have been the case here–there are situations, in which the cruise line needs to be more attentive to passengers needs than they have been in the past. Whether the passenger has endured physical stress, psychological stress, emotional stress, or a combination of these, cruise lines need to do everything they can to assist their passenger when in need.
Your Safety Should Be Top Priority
Unfortunately, this is not always, what happens. In cases, such as rape or sexual assault, the cruise line will often fall short of fully assisting the passenger due to the potential negative impact this may have on their reputation as a cruise line. It is easier for the cruise line to ignore the situation and hope that passenger or crewmember will simply disappear than to do what they should and respond to it.
LMAW, PA Can Help
If you or someone you love has been injured in at sea, you should know that you do not have to face the cruise line on your own. At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., we know how challenging it can be to make a claim against a major cruise line. You may be feeling small and even wonder if your case is significant and worth fighting for.
Let us reassure you that it is. With over 100 years of combined experience in maritime law, the maritime lawyers on our team are more than prepared to help you get the resolution you deserve. So if you have questions about your unique situation and are seeking legal advice you can trust, do not hesitate to contact us.