Life Rafts Falls from Grandeur of the Seas in Charleston Harbor, Raising Questions Around Safety

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Mariner of the Seas cruise ship docked at Genoa harborWhen you embark on your cruise, you want to know that you are in good hands. With so many different cruise lines out there, you have a plethora of choices. Depending on where you want to go, what demographic you want to be a part of, and how much money you’re looking to spend, you may find yourself with a wide variety of choices.

No matter which company you choose, the most important aspect of your voyage is that it goes off safely and with minimal to no problems. While you are responsible for being aware of your own surroundings, the cruise line is also responsible for ensuring that facilities are up to code and ready for you. Especially when it comes to emergency responses, it’s important to feel that your ship is capable of getting you to safety if disaster strikes.

A recent story out of the Charleston Harbor has us wondering about the reliability of cruise ship lifeboats.

This week, a life raft fell from the side of Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas. The ship was docked in Charleston Harbor at the time of the incident. No one was on the life raft and no one was injured. Currently, the ship is retrieving the raft, and the U.S. Coast Guard will assess any potential pollution impacts as a result.

While this may not strike many as an event to cause alarm, it should raise a red flag for any good maritime attorney. In 2016, there were numerous incidents involving unsafe life rafts that fell loose during training exercises, injuring and even killing crewmembers in the process.

To hear that a life raft has, once again, fallen off of a cruise ship, is alarming. And while we are glad that no one was injured in this case, we know that events like this do not always have such a happy ending.

Life Rafts: A Continued Safety Concern

With so many life raft issues in recent months, we cannot help but to wonder what cruise lines are going to do about it? After all, these vessels are an important aspect to cruise safety. Should passengers ever need to use them, we should be able to rest assured that they are reliable, and, most importantly, will not cause harm.

However, at this point, we do not feel confident about the current life raft situation. And while we do not yet know what caused the life raft in this case to dislodge and fall from the ship, we can only imagine that there must be some underlying issue at play.

Hopefully, given the importance of passenger safety, and the integral role of life rafts in an emergency, the cruise lines will take this as a wake up call to begin assessing the reliability and security of their rafts. Preventative efforts are always the best method of ensuring safety, as they reduce the potential number of issues up front, as opposed to waiting for more accidents and injuries to take place.

As a maritime law firm that places the interests of our clients at the forefront of our work, we will continue to keep our eyes open for developments that may increase life raft safety in the future.

In the mean time, there’s still a chance that you could find yourself injured aboard your cruise ship. And if that happens, we are here to help. Our team is well prepared to handle claims against most major cruise lines. So, if you have questions about your legal situation and are ready to take the next step, do not hesitate to contact us.

We’ll gladly schedule an initial consultation, listen to your story, and help you determine the best next step on your road to recovery.