Why did a 79 Year Old Princess Cruise Passenger Spend the Night In a Bear-Infested Forest?

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Cruise Ship - Coral PrincessOne of the best parts of any cruise vacation is the possibility that await during your on-shore excursions. After being on board your ship for a few days, it feels great to have a chance to stretch your legs and experience the destination that you’ve traveled so far to see.

Disembarking and having a few hours to yourself, or with a guided tour, can make all of the difference in the world to your vacation. Whether you’ve chosen to sight see, shop, or eat, you’re sure to come back on board with pleasant memories of your time on land.

However, just because you’re off of your cruise ship, does not mean that you are immune to unexpected events and potential dangers. As maritime lawyers, we see plenty of personal injury cases that took place during on-shore excursions. So we know that being on land does not mean that you are entirely out of harm’s way.

A recent event in Alaska reminds us that being careful and aware of your surroundings is always necessary while you are on vacation, whether on land or at sea.

An Unexpected Night On Land

Last week, a 79-year-old cruise passenger on the Coral Princess had an unexpected night in a bear-infested park, when her ship left port without her. The Princess Cruise Line had docked in Juneau, Alaska for the day, when the woman disembarked to hike to the Mendhall Glacier Visitor Center.

Her journey, which should have taken only about 4 hours, giving her plenty of time to return to her ship, became much longer, when she became disoriented and took a wrong turn. This single mistake took her on a much longer hike, leading her on a different trail and causing her to miss her 4pm departure.

Luckily, ship authorities realized she was missing and alerted police in Juneau. However, the search team sent out to find her did not, ultimately, uncover any trace of her and gave up the search at midnight.

In this situation, the cruise line acted responsibly and alerted authorities on land.  Finding the woman was left in the hands of the search team, and when they were unsuccessful, this story could have taken a turn for the worst.

However, the missing woman knew enough to camp overnight. Despite having no camping gear, she spent the night in the forest, an area which has been known for black bear activity in the past. The next day, she managed to make her way to the visitor’s center.

We are glad to report that, although tired, wet, and presumably hungry, the woman was unharmed and able to rejoin her cruise at the next port.

It is always nice to bring news with a happy ending. Even when things do not go as planned, it is impressive to see people step up to the plate and deal with the cards they are given. Clearly, the woman in question had some experience with camping, as she fared well, despite her inconvenient and potentially dangerous circumstances. However, if she had not been so experienced, things may have turned out quite differently.

Let A Maritime Attorney Help You Navigate Your Claim

If you have been injured by an on-shore excursion or cruise ship negligence of some kind, you should know that we are here to help. We have handled many Princess Cruise Line cases, as well as cases with most major cruise lines, both domestically and internationally.

Do not hesitate to contact the office today to set up a free consultation. We would be glad to offer you legal guidance so you can get back to living your life.