When planning a cruise vacation, we understand that what to do on board as well as at each of the vessel’s destinations is one of the main things that cruisers consider.
However, what many do not take into account is the fact that a shore excursion pose just as much safety risks as exists when visiting any foreign (unfamiliar) city or country by any other means. As we always say, enjoy your vacation but keep your vigilance and attention high.
A recent story out of Dominica reminds us that shore excursions require just as much precaution as all other aspects of your cruise vacation.
Bus Crash Kills 1, Injures 9
On November 10th, 2016, a cruise ship tour bus was involved in a collision while carrying passengers to their excursion on the Caribbean island of Dominica. One passenger died and nine others were injured in the crash.
The passengers had been traveling aboard the P & O ship Azura, which was carrying more than 3,000 passengers on a two-week tour of the Caribbean. All those involved in the accident were treated at a local hospital.
At the time of this post, the cause of the accident is unknown. However, the cruise line was able to report that the majority of those injured were discharged from the hospital. And while we are grateful for the many lives that were saved, our hearts and thoughts go out to the family of the deceased.
As tragic as this accident is, what is worse is that it is not an unusual occurrence. Earlier this year, we reported on a bus crash involving cruise ship passengers in St. Martin. Thus, we cannot help but to wonder how passenger safety can be improved for the future?
Because the cause of this accident is not yet known, we are left to speculate as to what could have caused the unfortunate event. However, we can offer a few words of advice to those traveling on tour busses.
What Can You Do To Stay Safe?
First, it’s important to remember to wear your seatbelt if one is available. It’s almost always a safer choice to buckle up. Especially if your vehicle is involved in a collision, you cannot underestimate the power that your seatbelt may have in saving your life.
But, beyond that what else can you do to increase your own safety? Unfortunately, you are unable to choose the person driving your tour bus. You are also unable to choose who else will be on the road while you are en route to your destination or the condition of the bus or the roads. As a result, it is up to the cruise line to do everything it can to ensure that they do a comprehensive vetting of those to whom they decide to entrust the life and welfare of their passengers and the make sure to pick ports of call with good infrastructures or at the very least warn their passengers of the risks they may face on their excursions.
While there is no way to take precautions against every possible issue, the cruise line is responsible for taking care to put passenger safety first. Then, if you and the cruise line have done everything in your power to increase your safety, the rest is out of your hands.
Two more thing, if you do decide to take a shore excursion you have much better off doing it with a Company connected to your Cruise ship than to venture out on your own. Those few extra dollars you might pay are well worth it should something go wrong. Lastly do keep in mind that most excursions do go off without any problems.
However, if you have been injured or a loved one has died due to a Cruise Line related incident, whether on the ship on shore or during a cruise ship excursion, a maritime attorney can help.
We are skilled in handling shore excursion cases against most major cruise lines, and have proven that we fight for our clients’ best interest, time and time again. So, feel free to contact us. We’ll set up an initial consultation to hear your story, and help you decide how to move forward.