A Look at Cruise Ship Fires

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Burning sailboat in the seaCruise lines have a responsibility to ensure reasonable steps are taken to protect passengers from the risk of serious harm. Since there is a substantial risk of serious and even fatal injuries if a fire breaks out aboard a ship, it would stand to reason that most cruise lines would have systems in place to prevent fires, alert passengers to a fire, and try to put out fires that arise. Unfortunately, all too often, cruise lines fail to take such important steps.

From cabin fires on the Carnival Valor Vessel to a cruise ship fire in St. Lucia that caused three deaths, stories of fires aboard cruise ships are far more common than most passengers like to think.  Of course, hearing about cruise line fires is nothing compared to living through one, or even seeing one on video. This is why potential cruisers are likely to find one recent video especially troubling. The video shows passengers jumping into the sea from the top deck of a cruise ship in Ha Long Bay in order to escape flames.

When passengers experience incidents like this, there is a very real risk of death or permanent injury due to smoke inhalation, burn injuries, and injuries from jumping overboard. Drowning is also a possibility. Whenever someone gets hurt, they should explore their options for getting compensation for cruise ship injuries.

Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. has a long track record of representing clients in class action litigation and other legal claims after fires have broken out aboard cruise ships. For victims who are hurt as a result of a fire, contacting a cruise ship injury lawyer with knowledge of this type of case is advisable.

Cruise Ship Fires Cause Substantial Harm to Passengers

Fox News reported on the troubling video in which passengers had to jump into  Ha Long Bay.  More than 40 crew members and tourists were forced to jump into the water, with onlookers watching nervously.

Passengers who were aboard the wooden cruise ship at the time indicated the crew members were trying to provide instructions to the passengers, but unfortunately the crew members were young and did not know exactly how to keep order, so the scene descended into chaos.  The cruise line, Aphrodite Cruises, admitted that the ship had many flammable surfaces but was not equipped with an automatic fire-fighting system or other protections to try to reduce the risk of injuries by fire.

While passengers were fortunate that no fatalities occurred in this particular situation as they jumped from the ship, this is not always the case. Cruise ship deaths can happen both from jumping overboard as well as from the other risks associated with fire.

Life aboard a cruise ship even becomes dangerous when a cruise line is able to put out a fire but passengers are forced to remain on board for any length of time. The damage done by the fire can create many hazards for crew and passengers onboard, such as when the Carnival Triumph experienced a fire which knocked out power and affected onboard systems.

For four days, passengers were forced to endure no working toilets, lights or air conditioning, as well as limited food and water as the ship drifted before it could be towed. In 2013, Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. filed a class action cruise ship injury lawsuit on behalf of passengers who were aboard the Carnival Triumph.

In cases like this one, it can be difficult for victims to prove both the direct cause of their harm and the extent of damages suffered, making it hard for victims to obtain appropriate compensation from a cruise line on their own. However, our attorneys can help.  Contact Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. if you have been affected by a cruise ship fire to learn more. Call us today at 877-233-1238 or contact us online to speak with a lawyer.