Cruise passengers and crew members may soon be consulting with a maritime lawyer following an outbreak onboard a Celebrity Cruises vessel. The ship experienced delays departing from Southampton after an outbreak of Norovirus was suspected onboard. Celebrity’s Constellation cruise ship arrived in Southampton’s port around 06:00 GMT to finalize a 12-night itinerary. According to Southampton’s Port Health Authority, roughly 350 passengers became ill, experiencing symptoms that coincide with those of Norovirus, including vomiting and diarrhea. The vessel was delayed until 20:00 until a thorough cleaning is performed on the vessel to eliminate the risk for others to become sick.
According to spokeswoman Rosie Zambra, “concerns over an increased levels of what appeared to be Norovirus” were reported several days before the cruise ship’s arrival in Southampton. The vessel, which was traveling around the coasts of Spain and France, was carrying roughly 2,200 passengers and 900 crew members. Since Norovirus is highly contagious, a representative of the Southampton Port Health Authority has boarded the vessel and determined affected staterooms and public areas that need to be decontaminated.
Norovirus is an illness that contributes to gastroenteritis. It is transmitted via ingestion of contaminated materials, including food and water, and also by an infected person’s bodily fluids. While the illness may last roughly two or three days, there is no treatment for it and those who are infected are advised to stay as well hydrated as possible to ease the symptoms. In addition, those in close proximity to the virus or who have already been infected are asked to wash their hands frequently to prevent the spread of the disease.
The outbreak has caused several passengers to miss out on enjoying their cruise vacations. According to one traveler, David Mattey, his trip was “completely ruined” after becoming ill with Norovirus, adding that “the sanitation on that ship is bad.” According to a statement from Celebrity Cruises, the crew was conducting “extra cleaning and sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal as preventative measures.” The cruise line added that its hygiene procedures were “comprehensive and always strictly adhered to.”
Unfortunately, sometimes illnesses like Norovirus occur. Cruise ships are especially notorious for Norovirus outbreaks because of how many people are onboard, in addition to their confinement aboard the vessel. However, cruise ships can also be a breeding grounds for worse incidents to take place, including potentially fatal illnesses and accidents. Cruise operators are responsible for protecting those onboard – including both passengers and crew members – and when the safety of those who are aboard the ship is compromised, they may be held liable for the victims’ pain and suffering. If you or someone you know was injured or became ill and did not receive the proper and prompt care they needed, turn to our maritime lawyers immediately for assistance.
At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., our maritime attorneys have represented several thousand cases involving passengers and crew members who have been involved in a cruise ship accident or who have become ill and did not receive the medical attention they needed on time. We will fight so you and your loved ones can receive the benefits you deserve as well.
For more information on filing a claim, contact our maritime lawyers today to schedule a consultation and protect your rights.
PHOTO SOURCE: cdc.gov (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)