Cruise Passenger S.O.S., International Maritime

Woman Falls Overboard the Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico


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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.

Unfortunately, this week has seen a series of tragedies at sea. Just days after learning of the death of a woman who fell two stories aboard the Carnival Elation, we have now discovered that another woman has become the victim of a serious accident on a Carnival cruise.

On the evening of Sunday, January 22, 44-year-old Juwanna Brooks reportedly fell overboard, as her ship, the Carnvial Triumph, made its five-day trip from New Orleans to Cozumel, Mexico. According to reports, the ship was on the second day of the journey when the incident took place.

The woman’s mother, Marilyn Winfrey, told reporters that this was her daughter’s first cruise. The missing woman was traveling with her husband, who bought the trip for the two of them as a Christmas present.

At this time, the Mexican navy has released the ship and is continuing search and rescue operations by sea and air. Vance Gulliksen, spokesman for Carnival Cruise Line, explained, “All appropriate authorities have been notified and Carnival’s CARE Team is providing support and assistance to the guest’s family.” We send our deepest condolences to the family of the missing woman and hope that they might receive some closure.

What Causes Overboard Accidents?

In the wake of this tragedy–the second this week aboard a Carnival cruise–we are left wondering what could have led to the woman’s fall? We have seen many cases where passengers have fallen overboard from cruise ships.  Our first concern is that the cruise line may have served this woman too much alcohol. In many cases, cruises will continue serving passengers even after it is clear that they have had too much to drink. Although we do not know if this was the case, it could be an explanation for what led her to fall overboard.  Other factors may have contributed to the incident as well – such as too low a railing for example.

Given the fact that we have no other information on this case, for now, we can only speculate. However, we hope that a proper search will be carried out, and that the family of the missing woman will not have to remain in limbo for much longer.

The unfortunate fact of reality is that overboard accidents are far more common than anyone would like. After an incident such as this, it is common for the cruise line to state that their ships meet all necessary safety standards. However, if passengers continue to fall over the railings, and the ships are indeed up to code, then it leads us to believe that there may be a larger issue here. Are crewmembers following best practices to help keep guests safe? Are guests fully informed of the dangers of traveling aboard a cruise? These are just a few of the questions we have with regard to the apparent frequency of overboard cases.

LM&W, PA Has Your Best Interest At Heart

If you have personal experience with the pain of losing a loved one aboard a cruise ship and feel that the cruise line could have done more to keep guests safe, we can help. At Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., our maritime lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience. This means that we know what you are facing and we know how to get you the results you deserve.

Although no legal ruling can ever undo the pain of losing a loved one, it can be a helpful tool to processing the past and moving forward with confidence. So if you have questions about your unique situation and are seeking advice you can trust, do not hesitate to contact us.

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