Just this week, the captain aboard the P&O Britannia diverted his ship in order to rescue 10 men, stranded on a wooden boat, 26 miles off of the Spanish coast. The men, reportedly migrants of North African origin, were brought aboard the ship before being handed over to the Spanish authorities.
In explaining his choice to divert the ship in order to perform the rescue, the captain referenced a legal and moral duty to help these stranded men. One onlooker went on to say that no one objected to the slight inconvenience. Given the good weather in recent weeks, Spanish authorities report that many individuals have recently attempted to cross the sea. In fact, the day before this rescue, 100 people were rescued off of the Spanish coast.
At sea there is a duty to rescue, if you are in a position to do so safely and with little or no risk of loss to your boat or the lives aboard. This rule of the sea applies equally to cruise ships – and was properly followed here.
For many, setting out on a cruise vacation is the dream of a lifetime. Considering the low cost and abundant options available, it is no wonder that so many people have prioritized cruise line travel in recent years. And while cruising is an excellent vacation choice for relaxation – it is important to remember that even the most well planned cruise vacation is often subject to unexpected itinerary changes necessitated by the weather, unexpected events at scheduled ports of call, or other events – such as medical emergencies, rescues, or incidents occurring at sea. As maritime lawyers, we are sad to say that far too many accidents and injuries take place at sea. The duty to rescue notwithstanding, the fact remains that a shipboard accident or incident is the most likely event which will occur during a cruise which would alter your travel plans and, potentially, your life.
Cruise Lines May Not Have Your Best Interest At Heart
We are glad to know that, when faced with the opportunity to potentially save so many lives, this captain made the morally sound choice. After all, with so many people stranded in a small vessel, there is no telling if they would have made it safely to shore or not. However, we know that this kind of thoughtfulness is not always the case. When a shipboard accident or injury occur, very often the cruise lines immediate response will be to protect their own interests – rather than acting in the best interest of the injured passenger.
In the past, we have handled cases against cruise lines whose captains and crewmembers have made decisions that did, in fact, increase the danger and potential threat to everyone else on board. This is unacceptable and is not something that you should ever have to face on your own.
LMAW Is Here For You
That is why we are here. At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., we have 100 years of combined experience in maritime law. This means that we know not only what you are facing, but also how to navigate it, head on. Our maritime lawyers are highly celebrated for their breadth and depth of knowledge. We are frequently turned to as a trusted choice for legal advice on national news programs, and are proud of the high quality of service that each and every attorney on our team provides.
So when you are facing an uphill battle for an accident or injury that took place at sea, do not settle for anything less than LMAW, P.A. We are ready to listen to your story and stay by your side until the very end. Ready to take the next step forward into your future? Do not hesitate to contact us.