This week, a P&O cruise was forced to return back to shore after a fight broke out between passengers waiting to use the restroom. The brawl broke out aboard the P&O Pacific Explorer, as it made a three day cruise in Australian waters around Sydney. During the fight, a 37-year-old Russian woman, who is believed to be a partner of one of the men involved, attacked a 21-year-old man with an empty wine bottle. The blow resulted in a head laceration.
The ship returned to Sydney, where the six men and one woman were removed from the ship and met by the local authorities. While the men were released without further questioning, the woman was charged with reckless wounding and affray. She was granted bail to appear in a Sydney court on March 9th.
A spokesperson for the company explained that they called the authorities as soon as they learned of the violent exchange, saying, “This is in line with our strict policy of zero tolerance of excessive behaviour that affects the safety, comfort and enjoyment of other guests.”
In the wake of this event, we are glad to know that the rowdy passengers were removed as soon as possible. However, many believe that alcohol may be to blame. And if that is the case, the situation serves as a reminder of what can happen aboard cruises when passengers are served far more alcohol than they should be allowed.
The Serving of Alcohol Should Be Monitored
Unfortunately, given the free-flowing nature of adult beverages aboard cruises, it is not uncommon for passengers to be served drinks even after it is clear that they have consumed more than they can handle. This high level of intoxication often leads to behavior that otherwise would not occur–such as the fight that broke out in this most recent situation.
Although cruise lines would like to argue that they have no way of preventing adults from consuming alcohol, the truth is that their servers can draw the line when it seems that an individual or group’s behavior may be getting out of hand. However, in most cases, the cruise line would prefer to continue serving guests, so as to not make waves. This is clearly not in the best interest of the passengers, as it can result in the fight described above, on the P&O Pacific Explorer.
Compounding the problem is the fact that there is no police officers on board the ships. Although cruise lines have some employees trained in security, this is not the same. There are not enough security personal on the vessel to handle the thousands of passengers sailing. Without the knowledge that law enforcement is an active force at sea, some passengers may feel more inclined to participate in behaviors they would not normally in another situation.
There is no reason for you or your traveling companions to be put at risk because of a cruise line’s negligent behavior. And if you have sustained an injury at sea that you believe could have been prevented, then rest assured you have come to the right place.
We Will Hold the Cruise Line Accountable
At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., we have experience helping individuals navigate the legal waters after their accident or injury at sea. With over 100 years of combined experience, you can trust that the maritime lawyers on our team are prepared to fight for you, so that you achieve the results you deserve.
So when you are ready to take the next step, we are here to help. Do not hesitate to contact us to get started