Department of Marine and Ports Investigates Norwegian Star Cruise Accident

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

An investigation into a cruise ship accident that involved the Norwegian Star and Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas is fully underway, even though Transport Minister Walter Roban insisted that “every precaution was taken on that day” and nothing could have been done to prevent the incident from taking place.

According to Roban, high winds caused the Norwegian Star to break free of its lines and crash into Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas on Sept. 14. He added that the dock, Heritage Wharf, was safe and had performed “admirably” following the accident.

“Clearly in this situation the ropes broke and the squall dropped literally out of nowhere,” explained Roban. “I am happy and satisfied we did everything we could have done at the time. We look forward to the investigation and whatever it can show us so we can learn to be ready for the next time.”

Roban contends that that the investigation is not being carried out with the intention of finding someone to place blame on, but rather to help better prepare authorities on how to deal with incidents like Friday’s should a similar one occur in the future.

“I would like to be clear in stating that the intent of the post mortem or investigation is not to determine cause or apportion blame, it is to determine how we can be better prepared to deal with and respond to a similar situation should it occur in the future,” he said.

The investigation is led by Department of Marine and Ports. No one was injured in the accident and the ships incurred minor damage.

Although the accident could have ended more tragically, there may have been a way to prevent it. Old mooring lines could have been responsible for the incident, and if they were, Norwegian could be held liable, had any injuries resulted from the collision. Ships are required to uphold reasonable standards of safety and when a cruise line does not check to ensure equipment is intact or functioning properly, they may be held responsible for negligence.

Cruise ship accidents resulting from negligence are extremely common. Whether they involve a slip and fall because of a wet floor or an illness due to improperly cooked food, victims may be entitled to compensation for any injuries and/or losses that result from the actions of cruise personnel. If you or someone you know has suffered an accident while onboard a cruise ship, we are here to help ensure your rights are protected.

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