Cruise Passenger S.O.S., Cruise Ship Law

MS Oosterdam Experiences Delays After Cruise Passenger Suffers Heart Attack Onboard


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Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. is comprised of attorneys that are nationally-recognized industry leaders in the field of maritime and admiralty law. Our team of lawyers has over a century of combined experience, has successfully handled over 3,000 cases, and has recovered over 300 million dollars in damages for our clients.

There are many times in which cruise ship passengers become ill and require medical assistance that the ship’s medical facilities cannot accommodate for. When someone becomes sick or suffers a medical emergency that crewmembers cannot fully help with, it is the responsibility of the line to reasonably make sure that individual obtains the treatment they need within a prudent time frame.

Usually, cruise operators will either call the Coast Guard to have the victim evacuated, will divert their course to a nearby port where the victim can be transported to a local hospital, or will seek out help from other emergency personnel.

Although cruise vacations are intended to be fun and exciting, it is not uncommon for passengers to experience a medical emergency onboard a vessel or while ashore during a port visit. However, if the line’s operators do not act within a reasonable amount of time to procure the medical attention the victim needs to survive, the line may be found at least partially liable for any further complications the patient experiences or death.

In the event this kind of tragedy occurs, victims and their surviving loved ones can turn to a cruise ship passenger lawyer, such the attorneys at our firm, Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., for assistance in filing a claim and protecting their rights. Our attorneys strive to procure a successful verdict for victims when they were either denied medical care or suffered additional injuries because of a cruise operator’s negligence in seeking emergency help. Victims may be entitled to compensation, including money damages and medical care, so it is imperative that all sick passengers and surviving family members act quickly to protect their rights.

Just two days ago, on Jan. 22, a cruise ship was delayed in the Rangitoto channel near Auckland, New Zealand after an 80-year-old passenger suffered a heart attack on board. The woman, an Australian tourist, was traveling on the Holland America Line ship MS Oosterdam as it was heading to Fiji when she suffered the heart attack shortly after it left the port.

The MS Oosterdam crew notified emergency services at around 6:30 p.m. local time and Auckland’s Westpac Rescue Helicopter arrived soon afterwards.

According to helicopter manager Greg Brownson, a paramedic was lowered onto the ship’s deck and the woman was hoisted onto the helicopter and transported to Auckland Hospital in a serious condition. There has been no update since then of the status of her condition.

While not many people may believe that these types of cruise ship emergencies take place, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter reports that it has already performed 83 missions in January alone and is likely to surpass last January’s record high of 96 missions.

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