This week, the Coast Guard medevaced a 76-year-old man who had suffered a stroke on his cruise. According to reports, the passenger suffered a stroke and possible internal bleeding aboard the Norwegian Breakaway, when the ship was roughly 75 miles southeast of the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay.

When the captain put out the call, the Fifth District Command Center in Portsmouth, Virginia responded with an aircrew and an MH-60 Jayhawk to bring the man and a nurse to shore. Once on land, he was transported to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital. His current condition is unknown.

In incidents like these, when an individual’s health and safety is on the line, time is of the essence. Lt. J.G. Christopher Saylor, Operations Watchstander at the command center explained, “Letting the Coast Guard know of these situations as soon as possible is vital…In this case, the fast notification helped facilitate a diligent response and got the victim the proper care in a timely manner.”

We are grateful to know that the cruise line followed all necessary protocol and that as a result, the passenger in need was taken to shore as quickly as possible. We send our best wishes to him and his family, in the hopes that he will make a fast and full recovery.

Medical Emergencies At Sea Are a Real Possibility

Although no one ever sets out on a cruise vacation expecting to need serious medical assistance, the truth is that incidents like this can happen when you least expect it. Generally, we recommend that all cruise-goers with potential health concerns visit their physician before embarking on their journey–this gives everyone peace of mind. However, even if you do have a doctor’s stamp of approval to travel, there are some situations that cannot be avoided. And when the worst case scenario happens, you want to be able to rest assured that your cruise line will have your best interest at heart.

Unfortunately, we know that this is not always the case. Far too often, the cruise line attempts to avoid responsibility for any role they may have played in causing your accident or injury.    Other times a passenger’s condition is made worse by the cruise lines’ decision to put profits before passenger safety and the well-being of an ill or injured guest.  Despite the urgency of a situation, a cruise line will often choose to keep on schedule rather than to divert a vessel to ensure that an injured passengers get to the medical facility capable of providing the necessary care.

This is unfortunate, but not impossible to overcome. While taking on an internationally known cruise line may seem daunting, you should know that we are here to help.

We Understand Your Concerns

At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., our firm has a combined 100 years of experience in maritime law. Every maritime lawyer on our team has a breadth and depth of understanding in this extremely specialized legal niche. This means that we have a firm understanding of what you are facing and keen insight as to how to achieve the results you deserve. Regardless of whether your case took place while the ship was in US waters, or elsewhere around the world, no concern is too complex for us to handle.

There is no reason for you to face your legal burden on your own. So if you have questions about your unique situation and are seeking advice you can trust, do not hesitate to contact us.