While cruise vacations can be fun and exciting, the vessels themselves can also be a breeding grounds for maritime accidents to take place. There are times in which passengers and crewmembers suffer injuries onboard, while other times the accidents take place while in port. Either way, cruise lines have a responsibility to treat anyone who has been injured immediately and if adequate medical care cannot be given on the vessel, the ship’s authorities must make reasonable accommodations to have the victim transported to the nearest hospital or medical facility.
Unfortunately, aside from cruise ship accidents, there are incidents that happen while onboard a vessel or in port that lead to a passenger or crewmember’s disappearance. This year, there have been several reported cruise passenger disappearances, some of which have resulted in the victims being found, while other cases were never fully closed. Recently, another person has vanished from a cruise line, leading investigators to wonder what exactly happened.
Marlon Griffiths, a 32-year-old Jamaican crewmember of the Celebrity Constellation, went missing last week. According to reports from Falmouth, Jamaica Police, at around 9:00 am last Wednesday, Griffiths disembarked the vessel with his luggage after it had docked at the Falmouth Pier in Trelawny. At the time the ship was scheduled to leave, Griffith still had not returned to the vessel. Authorities do not know how Griffith was dressed at the time he was last seen and anyone with information of his whereabouts is being asked to contact the Falmouth Police at 954-3271, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.
Cruise lines have a responsibility to take reasonable steps that everyone onboard a vessel is kept safe from harm. In the event that a crewmember or passenger goes missing, it is imperative that the cruise line initiate a search and rescue mission and return to the area where the victim was last seen. When a passenger goes missing while at sea, vessel authorities, in most situations, must turn the ship around and return to the area in which the victim was last spotted. In Griffith’s case, since he went missing while at port, a search and rescue mission should have been initiated on land. In the event that cruise operators do not report a missing person right away, they may be held liable for any injuries or fatalities that ensue. If cruise lines act quickly, victims can sometimes be saved.
Anyone who has ever lost someone at sea or in port has a right to turn to a cruise ship attorney for assistance in filing a claim. If a cruise line is found responsible – at least partially – for the disappearance or for failing to act quickly enough after the person is reported missing, victims and their loved ones may be eligible to claim compensation for their pain and suffering in the form of damages and medical care. If you or someone you know was involved in a cruise passenger disappearance, turn to our attorneys immediately for assistance in filing a case and protecting your rights.
Photo Credit: cruisecritic.com