Cruise passenger disappearances occur more often than anyone might like to imagine, but it is rare when such a tragic occurrence has a happy ending. Two days ago, a passenger who was sailing onboard the Carnival Cruise Line vessel Carnival Destiny jumped overboard off the coast of Florida but not much time elapsed before she was rescued by crewmembers.
Witnesses on the cruise ship saw the victim, a 29-year-old woman, jump off the vessel just after midnight local time as the ship was en route to the Caribbean on the first night of a five-night itinerary. As soon as crewmembers got word of what happened, a search-and-rescue mission was initiated and miraculously, the passenger was located and brought back onboard.
The woman, who has yet to be named, received treatment at the ship’s medical center. To further assist the passenger, the Destiny also altered course on Sunday so the woman could receive better medical attention. Instead of going on to call on Ocho Rios, Jamaica, as had been planned, the vessel docked in Key West for the day. The ship’s next port of call, Grand Cayman, is still scheduled for Tuesday and the voyage is expected to resume as scheduled.
While the majority of passengers who go overboard are not rescued, this woman seemed to have had luck on her side. Authorities have yet to reveal what caused the woman to go overboard and whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the cruise ship accident. Many times, passengers go overboard because they have had too much to drink and lose their balance, because they suffer a dizzy spell or sometimes even because of the conditions on the ship, i.e. wet floors, unstable hand rails, etc. While some cruise passenger disappearances cannot be prevented, what happens in the vital moments after the incident is reported will make all the difference.
Cruise authorities are required to initiate a search and rescue as soon as they receive world of the cruise accident. The ship must then turn around and return to the area where the victim was last seen. In the meantime, cruise authorities must also contact the Coast Guard so every possible search option is exhausted. Every so often, missing passengers are recovered, such as this past February, when crewmembers were able to rescue a fellow worker who jumped from the Carnival Magic.
Unfortunately, there are times in which crewmembers do not act hastily enough and a victim that might have been saved is lost at sea. With the most recent overboard passenger accidents occurring onboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas and P&O Cruises’ Aurora, the need for surviving loved ones to seek legal help is at an all time high. Many cruise ship authorities are directly blamed for the deaths of overboard passengers because they did not act fast enough. It is the cruise line’s responsibility to make sure everyone onboard is safe, and when a tragedy like a passenger going overboard occurs, the line can be held liable for the victim’s injuries or death. If you have lost someone at sea, turn to maritime law firm Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. immediately to discuss your options and file a case.
Our cruise ship accident attorneys work diligently to help you and your loved ones receive compensation for your injuries or losses. With over 100 years of combined experience in representing those who have been injured or killed onboard a cruise vessel, you can be sure that LMAW will work their hardest to obtain justice for the suffering you have endured. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation and be on your way to protecting your rights.