By:   Jason R. Margulies

Our Cruise Ship Drowning Accident Attorneys Help Families Hold Negligent Cruise Lines Accountable

Lipcon, Margulies & Winkelman, P.A. has headquarters in Miami, FL and 7 offices located across the United States with 15 experienced cruise ship accident and maritime lawyers ready to help drowning accident victim’s family members get justice. We first started advocating for client’s rights back in 1971 and in our 50+ years handling personal injury and maritime accident claims, we have handled more than 3,000 cases and recovered $300,000,000+ in insurance settlements and trial verdicts. Our law firm has been selected as one of the “Best Law Firms” ® in the U.S. while multiple Lipcon, Margulies & Winkelman, P.A. attorneys have been selected to “Best Lawyers” ® by US News & World Report for almost 10 years running.

We pride ourselves on appearing as expert guests on personal injury, cruise ship accidents, and maritime claim cases on some of the nation’s most reputable talk shows and national TV programs. Our founder, Charles Lipcon, even handled some of the country’s landmark cruise ship and maritime accident claims, shaping the way the nation handles similar cases. Our team is here to help your family get through these devastating times. We are uniquely qualified to help your family hold reckless and irresponsible cruise ships and crew members accountable when cruise ship passengers suffer fatal injuries in drowning accidents.

Cruise lines have the power to prevent nearly every drowning accident, and failure to do so is tantamount to negligence. Whether your loved one was enjoying a pool aboard the cruise line or fell overboard, our cruise ship drowning accident attorneys can help you make at-fault cruise lines pay. Read on to learn more about how our maritime and cruise ship accident attorneys can help your family demand justice and access the financial compensation you are entitled to. Contact our team as soon as possible to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation so we can start building a powerful case against those responsible as soon as today.

Drowning Deaths and Near-Drowning Tragedies on Cruise Ships

Throughout the past few years, several people died or were nearly killed in cruise ship drowning accidents. Sadly, many victims were children.

For example, a toddler was hospitalized in 2016 after a near-drowning on the Carnival Splendor, while the ship was in Port Miami. Sadly, these cruise ship drowning accidents are nothing new. The absence of lifeguards onboard cruise ships is undeniably one of the most important maritime safety issues facing the millions of cruise ship passengers who sail every year. Since October 2013, more than a dozen children have drowned or nearly drowned aboard the major Miami based cruise lines. But things are beginning to change. In a 2017 interview with the Miami Herald, LM&W partner Michael Winkleman said, “Public sentiment shifted because of the sheer number of children that began drowning on cruises.” In addition, the high-dollar cost of successful lawsuits brought by our firm, forced the industry to change. Norwegian and Royal Caribbean added lifeguards at their swimming pools in 2017 and Disney followed soon after. While this can’t bring back the lives of any of the children that have died at unguarded cruise ship swimming pools, we are elated that many ships now have lifeguards at their pools.

Why Are The Cruise Lines Finally Adding Lifeguards?

Cruise lines can be held liable for any drowning accident on a ship. Cruise lines have a responsibility to provide reasonable care to all passengers aboard, which includes ensuring shipboard pools are monitored by properly trained lifeguards. One of the many ways drowning accidents can be prevented is by hiring trained lifeguards on all ships.

Yet remarkably there are still cruise ships that do not have lifeguards. Instead of doing all that is within their ability to prevent drowning accidents, cruise operators post signs by their pools that merely warn passengers to “swim at their own risk.” The problem is that anyone can fall victim to a drowning accident, whether it’s a child or an adult. And without lifeguards present to prevent a dangerous situation and assist, the chances of survival are often minimal.

You Can Never Be Too Informed

Below is a list of the most recent cruise ship drowning accidents and near-drownings:

  • A 10-year-old boy drowned in swimming pool accident aboard Dream Cruise’s Genting Dream in November of 2019
  • An 8-year-old boy died in a cruise ship drowning accident aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas vessel in December, 2015
  • A 10-year-old girl drowned in a cruise ship pool aboard the Norwegian Gem in May, 2015.
  • A 4-year-old boy nearly drowned in a “kid-friendly” swimming pool aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas cruise ship in January 2015
  • A 4-year-old boy died and his 6-year-old brother was hospitalized after drowning and near-drowning accidents in a pool aboard the Norwegian Breakaway in February, 2014
  • Michael Ward (aka Birdie Africa), a 1985 MOVE bombing survivor, died at age 41 after drowning in a hot tub aboard the Carnival Dream in September, 2013
  • A 4-year-old boy was airlifted from the Disney Fantasy after nearly drowning in one of the ship’s pools in April, 2013

Yes, Drowning Deaths Happen On Cruise Ships

Anyone who is swimming in a pool, ocean, lake, or relaxing in a hot tub can become the victim of a drowning accident. Most of the time, drownings occur in just mere seconds — even if the victim is an experienced swimmer. However, these kinds of tragedies can be prevented. The easiest way to stop a drowning from happening is to closely supervise those in the water. No one should be left unattended in a pool or body of water, not even adults.

The following are some statistics that you might be surprised to learn about:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that an estimated 388,000 drowning deaths occur every year
  • It only takes a few minutes for someone to drown
  • The human brain begins to fail after four minutes of being submerged underwater
  • Survivors can still suffer a number of injuries, including lung and esophageal scarring, as well as permanent brain damage
  • Children between the ages of one and four are most likely to experience drowning accidents

How to Avoid a Cruise Ship Drowning Accident

While drowning is always a possible risk factor for anyone who is out in open waters, there are measures you can take to improve your safety. Here are a few tips from an experienced boating accident lawyer that can help you avoid a drowning accident:

  1. Take Swimming Lessons – Swimming lessons can drastically reduce your chances of becoming a drowning accident victim. Even if you think you can swim like a fish, it’s always good to brush up on proper techniques and learn how best to react when an emergency strikes. That way, if you are involved in a boating or personal watercraft accident, you’ll be better able to handle unfavorable conditions, conserve energy, and hopefully swim toward a safe location.
  2. Wear a Life Jacket – All the boating accident lawyers at our firm have stressed this time and time again. Wearing life jackets can mean the difference between life and death, especially in the event of a boating accident. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, roughly 72% of boating accident deaths in 2010 were the result of drowning, and 84% of these victims were not wearing life jackets. If you are injured or become unconscious, a life jacket is the only thing that will keep you afloat.
  3. Refrain from Alcohol Consumption – Another risk factor that leads to drowning is alcohol use. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and motor reflexes, which can impede someone who is involved in an accident at sea to react with the necessary quickness and stamina required to survive. Save the alcohol for land-based activities (and definitely not those involving driving).
  4. Learn CPR – If you are a regular recreational boater, swimmer, or water sport enthusiast, you may want to consider learning CPR. If someone in your party does sustain a drowning accident, by performing CPR, you can save their lives.

By following these easy steps and abiding by proper boating safety laws, you can reduce your chances of becoming a drowning accident victim.

Our Cruise Ship Drowning Accident Attorneys Will Help You Fight for Justice for Your Loved One

Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. cruise ship drowning accident attorneys have years of experience and in-depth knowledge of international maritime injury and cruise ship accident laws. Several of our lawyers have been named to “Best Lawyers” ® and our firm has been named to “Best Law Firms” ® by US News & World Report for nearly 10 years. If someone you love was fatally injured in a drowning accident or you suffer debilitating injuries in a near drowning aboard a cruise ship or after falling overboard, our drowning accident lawyers can help you understand your rights. Our team has an unparalleled track record of success and is prepared to go up against the liable party so you can demand justice and access the financial support you need and deserve.

When you are ready to make negligent cruise lines pay but do not know where to begin, reach out to our cruise ship drowning accident attorneys for a 100% free consultation. Contact us as soon as today or call our office at 877–233–1238 to take advantage of this opportunity and schedule your initial case evaluation with a dedicated personal injury lawyer.