Carnival Cruise Ship ElationFor most people, cruise vacations are meant to be relaxing and carefree experiences. Removed from the hustle and bustle of daily life, disconnecting for a few days can sometimes be the best medicine.

However, cruises aren’t always just fun and games. Unfortunately, accident, injury, and even death can happen aboard a cruise. As a maritime law firm, we believe it’s important to keep you up to date on the latest news, so that you can make the most informed decisions when you set sail.

A recent story out of Georgia reminds us that cruise ship overboard accidents happen far more often than anyone would like.

This week, 24-year-old Kevin Wellons was reported missing by his wife on the Carnival Elation. Mrs. Wellons reported her husband’s disappearance at 8:30am, saying the last time she saw him was at 2:30 that morning.

Video footage revealed that Wellons fell overboard from the 11th deck of the ship at around 2:45 in the morning. The cruise ship was about 15 miles off of the coast of the Bahamas at that time.

The Coast Guard was called in to search for Wellons, and Carnival’s Care Team stepped in to provide support for Wellons’ family. After an unsuccessful search of the water, the Coast Guard ultimately had to call off any further investigation.

We send our deepest condolences to the Wellons family, as they navigate this difficult time.

Overboard passenger events are very troubling.  We have handled many cases of passengers falling overboard from cruise ships and continue to be alarmed at the frequency that these events occur.  In many cases, the cruise line fails to immediately recognize that a passenger went overboard and fails to have or implement timely rescue operations in order to recover the passenger.

Keep An Eye Out For Your Traveling Companions

In the wake of this accident, we are reminded of the importance of timely reporting. We understand that traveling companions and family members may not always know where you are on the ship during your cruise. However, when it comes to finding someone who has fallen overboard, every minute counts.

Given the strength of currents and the unpredictability of the weather, the longer you wait to report a missing person, the more challenging it may be to find them. No matter how many people are in your traveling party, you might consider setting up check in times when everyone meets up, or even sends a text message, to confirm that they’re safe and out of harm’s way.

By establishing an easy system of checking in with each other, you can decrease the chance of multiple hours passing before you realize that someone you love has disappeared.

That said, even the best-made plans can fall through. And if you find yourself facing a maritime legal situation, you can rest assured that we are here to help. A maritime attorney can make your difficult case feel a little less difficult, and help navigate you through every step of the process.

So, if you have questions and are ready to take the next step, do not hesitate to contact us. We’ll be glad to set up an initial consultation, listen to your story, and help you get your life back on track.