On Tuesday, November 7th at 10:30am, a distress call went out to the 920th Rescue Wing at Florida’s Patrick Air Force Base. According to reports, a man aboard the Royal Caribbean ship, Grandeur of the Seas, was suffering from appendicitis.
At the time of the distress call, the ship was 500 miles off of the coast of Florida. Due to the extreme distance from shore, the team was presented with a challenge. One major obstacle stood in the way of a successful rescue as it became clear that rescue helicopters would not have enough fuel to make the entire journey. To bypass this dilemma and ensure a problem-free mission, two helicopters carrying additional fuel traveled with the rescue helicopter.
What could have been a logistical nightmare resulted in a smooth operation that successfully brought the ailing man and his wife to shore. Once on dry land, the couple was taken to a local hospital for proper treatment. Although one pilot reported hearing that the patient was in stable condition, we do not have any further information at this time. We send our best wishes to the man and his wife, so that he may have a full and speedy recovery.
Medical Attention At Sea Can Be Challenging
We are always glad to hear of an operation that goes off without a hitch. In this specific situation, there were countless opportunities for potential disaster. And yet, thanks to the proper preparation of the rescue teams, the entire operation was completed without any difficulty, allowing the sick passenger to experience minimal discomfort during transport.
Requiring serious medical treatment while at sea is arguably the last situation that anyone wants to experience. However, as maritime lawyers, we can say that these kinds of scenarios happen more often than anyone would like.
Although it is always advisable to get a final stamp of approval from your doctor before heading away for an extended period of time, we understand that there are some medical concerns that appear when you least expect them. Unfortunately, it is our experience that the medical care available aboard ships is very poor. Ship’s doctors are very rarely trained or credentialed in the United States and, very often, they are not specialized to adequately handle anything but the most minor of injuries. Couple that with the lack of resources available to them in a ship’s medical facility such as very poor imaging equipment and it becomes apparent why so many injuries and medical issues that occur aboard cruise ships end in disaster.
Our Legal Guidance Can Help
Unfortunately, many individuals suffer accident or injury at sea due to the negligence of the cruise line. Whether the cause for injury is an unsafe floor or an ill-equipped crewmember, the cruise line should be held accountable for its behavior.
So if you or someone you know has fallen victim to accident or injury at sea, you should know that the team at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is here to help. With 100 years of combined experience in maritime law, we are well acquainted with a wide range of legal issues and know the steps needed to achieve the resolution you deserve.
After all, you did not ask to be given this legal burden, and you should not have to navigate it on your own. So when you are ready to move forward and put the past behind you, do not hesitate to contact us.