Sometimes, accidents happen onboard cruise ships that lead passengers and crewmembers to suffer injuries, the extent of which cannot be fully treated onboard. The cruise ship injury lawyers at our firm have represented many victims who have been hurt on the high seas, and know exactly how important it is to act quickly to make sure the victim recovers. Some of these injuries are the result of a slip and fall, assault, or other cruise ship crime, while other times, those onboard cruise vessels suffer from a medical emergency that could not have been predicted. In the event the latter occurs, it is imperative that a cruise operator reacts quickly to get the ill passenger or crewmember the medical attention they need. If the shipboard medical quarters are not equipped to take care of the person, then the cruise operators must make reasonable accommodations to have them transported to the nearest hospital or medical facility.
This is exactly what one cruise line did following a medical emergency suffered by a passenger onboard. Princess Cruises contacted the U.S. Coast Guard for assistance in evacuating a passenger on Friday that the medical staff onboard was unable to treat. A CG search-and-rescue copter crew flew 140 miles south of the Mississippi River’s Southwest Pass to where the Crown Princess was located in order to transport a 68-year-old woman who was suffering from internal bleeding to a nearby hospital. The Coast Guard Air Station in New Orleans responded to the Crown Princess’ distress call and sent an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter to rescue the ill cruise ship passenger.
According to Coast Guard authorities, the crew aboard the Crown Princess alerted the Coast Guard’s 8th District watchstanders in New Orleans at around 2 a.m. Friday, reporting that the woman had received blood transfusions. At the time the incident was reported, the vessel was about 200 miles offshore and was en route to Galveston, Texas. The cruise ship then altered its course to the north, heading toward the CG helicopter, which was carrying a surgeon. While waiting for the evacuation team, Crown Princess crewmembers donated over six pints of blood to the woman.
The CG helicopter left its Belle Chasse base at around 10 a.m. Friday, met the Crown Princess at sea and hoisted the woman up. The Coast Guard crew then transported her to an ambulance at the Belle Chasse air station, from where emergency medical personnel took her to West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero. The woman’s identity and condition have yet to be released, but Coast Guard officials commended the Crown Princess crew for their diligence in caring for her.
“We were fortunate enough to give this patient a ride back to shore, but the perfect strangers who donated their own blood to help her really saved her life,” said Lt. Scott Austin, helicopter pilot, in a Coast Guard news release. “This is just another example of tough situations bringing out the best in people.”
Unfortunately, not all cruise operators respond so quickly when someone onboard suffers an emergency. In the event that cruise ship authorities do not offer their help to victims or call Coast Guard authorities for assistance, the ill or injured passenger may turn to a cruise injury lawyer to file a case and may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering, as well as for any resulting medical complications. The attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. have been representing cruise ship victims since 1971 and endeavor to help all whom we represent seek justice and damages for the incident. If you or someone you know was hurt onboard a cruise vessel, call us today to schedule a consultation and let us put our expertise to work for you. It should be noted that Princess Cruise Lines, for the most part, has a history of providing excellent medical care to its passengers and crew.
Photo Credit: simplonpc.co.uk