Falls Overboard on Cruise Ships

This week, a 32 year woman fell overboard from the Carnival Ecstasy about 27 miles from Freeport Bahamas. This comes just 4 months after a 33 year old, Samantha Broberg, fell overboard from the Carnival Liberty which departed from Galveston, Texas on a four-day cruise of Mexico.

Data compilations from cruisejunkie.com illustrate that in the past 10 years, Carnival Cruise Lines has reported approximately 42 accounts of persons (passengers and crew) falling overboard. This is by far the highest number of reports followed by Royal Caribbean with approximately 28 reports in ten years, and then Norwegian Cruise Lines with 13 reports. The disappointing thing is that in most overboard falls, the relatives have little closure as search teams are not likely to find or determine what happened to the victim.

Cruise lines owe a duty to protect their passengers, maintain safety equipment (including railings), comply with a multitude of safety regulations and requirements, maintain safety and rescue protocols, and ensure quick response to any reports of passengers being hurt or falling overboard. Clearly the cruise lines are aware of the existence of multiple issues resulting in the unacceptable number of reports of overboard falls which continues to climb annually.

In many instances, the cruise lines will label it as an accidental overboard or suicide, disclaim liability, and make the discovery process difficult to prevent victims’ relatives from learning about the cruise line’s failure to comply with numerous duties it owed to the victim and other passengers. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, the first thing you should do is hire a competent and knowledgeable attorney to assist you in your claim against the cruise line.

Since 1983, Cassidy & Black, P.A., has been the go-to Miami cruise ship injury and maritime law attorneys for hundreds of clients. Discover what sets us apart, and what you should do next for your own claim, during a free case evaluation with our team.