Cruise ships are inherently dangerous places. Out on the ocean, the boat is the only protection a person has against the elements, and sometimes even the boat offers scant safety. In high winds or on a slippery deck, it is frighteningly easy for a person to go overboard. The safety rails are there to save you, provided you can grab one as you go careening past.
In just the last few months a number of cruise ship passengers have gone overboard in a variety of circumstances, including:
- A March 17th, Spring Break incident in the Gulf of Mexico, where heavy fog is common
- A late night fall overboard on a cruise in the Caribbean on March 22nd
- A 43 year old man who slipped from the deck of a cruise ship on February 2nd
Though the time of day and circumstances of each incident are different, there is one thing these tragedies have in common. In each circumstance no one noticed the passenger was missing until it was too late, and in each case the cruise ship had video of the passenger going overboard. Cruise ships have security cameras everywhere, but don’t bother using those cameras to make things safer for their passengers. If a system were developed to properly monitor the cameras, staff could see the person fall overboard and respond immediately, hopefully in time to save a life.
If you or someone you know has been hurt or killed while on a cruise, please contact an attorney to help you pursue the proper course. Cruise lines continue to refuse even basic monitoring systems to ensure the safety of their passengers. Only the proper pressure through the courts will convince these companies to do what is right.