Cruise Ship Excursion Guides Mauled By Brown Bear in Alaska

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Sow and cubCruise ship excursions can be some of the most memorable parts of your cruise vacation. After traveling by boat to your destination of choice, there is nothing better than getting a chance to disembark, stretch your legs, and have a look around. While cruise ships are equipped with more than enough to keep every kind of passenger occupied, it always feels good to get up and explore a new locale.

Thankfully, there are a plethora of excursions that passengers can choose from on any given cruise, in any given port. Whether you’re drawn to the shops or the wildlife, you are practically guaranteed to have a wide range of excursion options from which to choose.

With all of the excitement around getting off of the ship, the last thing you want to have to worry about is your safety. However, safety on land is just as important as it is at sea. And no matter how much you or your guides have planned, there are some situations that are truly out of your control.

A recent news story in Alaska reminds us of the varied shore excursion accidents that are possible.

On Friday, August 19th, 2016, a group of cruise passengers and two wilderness guides from the Wilderness Explorer, set out on a hiking excursion on the Sitkoh Creek Trail, about 30 miles north of Sitka, Alaska. The group consisted of 24 people—22 passengers and their two guides, a man and a woman.

During the hike, the group came between a brown bear and her cub, which caused the bear to attack and maul both guides. No passengers were harmed during the incident, but both guides were airlifted to Sitka for medical treatment. The female guide, who was more severely injured during the incident, was further sent to Seattle, where her needs could be better met.

Although the reports are not specific, the Coast Guard, who airlifted the two guides, reported that there were “multiple injuries and severe lacerations.” The current condition of the guides is unknown.

Expect the Unexpected

Bear attacks are always a potential threat when hiking in the wilderness. However, it is always disheartening to learn when one occurs. Although we are thankful that no cruise ship passengers were harmed during the excursion, we are sending our thoughts to both wilderness guides, in the hope that they will make full and speedy recoveries.

Nature is one of the most unexpected elements one can face. Especially when it comes to encounters with wild animals, there is no way to predict what the outcome may be. But if severe or life-changing injury does occur, you should not have to face it alone. We have extensive experience with shore excursion injuries and would be more than happy to speak with you.

Injuries on shore excursions during cruises are among the most difficult cases we handle because they always involve difficult issues of jurisdiction and which law(s) apply. That is why it is critical to speak with an experience maritime attorney regarding injuries which occur abroad.

A skilled maritime lawyer can explain the legal process and help you navigate the often-complex situation that you may be approaching. You may have had to endure the injury on your own, but you should not have to endure the recovery that way. Rest assured that our team is here to help you, should you decide that hiring an attorney will make your life a little bit easier.

So if you have sustained serious injury while aboard a cruise ship or while on a cruise ship shore excursion, we are here to help. Feel free to contact the office today to set up an initial consultation.