Hurricane Sandy has been causing quite an effect in the Caribbean, and cruise line operators don’t want to take any chances when it comes to the safety of their passengers and crewmembers. Vessels that were already out at sea on Wednesday when the Sandy was still a tropical storm, including Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, were trying to evade the storm as much as possible. Some cruise lines went as far as changing their itineraries to avoid any possible cruise ship accidents that might occur because of unfavorable weather conditions. Allure of the Seas was supposed to dock in Falmouth, Jamaica on Wednesday, but the island was under a hurricane warning, so cruise ship operators decided to avoid the port altogether and instead, set forth toward the next destination on the itinerary, Cozumel, Mexico, early.
Carnival Cruise Line ships also changed their itineraries to avoid the storm. Carnival Destiny skipped a scheduled call at Georgetown in the Grand Cayman Islands on Tuesday and opted to head toward Cozumel instead. Carnival Glory made plans to leave Nassau in the Bahamas earlier than scheduled on Wednesday and sail toward to Port Canaveral, Fla., instead of the scheduled visit to Freeport. Carnival Pride also skipped a stop at Freeport. Several other vessels also altered course to protect those onboard from possible cruise ship injuries the hurricane might case.
Meanwhile, Sandy continues to gain strength and is currently a Category 2 hurricane. Leaving destruction in its wake, Sandy has already passed Cuba, bringing with it heavy rains and winds that caused extensive damage to some homes. So far there have been no known fatalities in Cuba, but reports suggest there were two fatalities elsewhere in the Caribbean. There were no reports of injuries at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba either.
Although some storms lose strength as they cross over land, Sandy’s intensity remains high. As of early Thursday morning, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph and is expected to remain as strong as it moves toward the Bahamas. The storm’s bands might also cause unfavorable weather conditions along the southeastern Florida coast, the Upper Keys and Florida Bay by Friday morning.
While natural disasters like hurricanes cannot be prevented, there are steps cruise lines can take for the safety of everyone onboard. These cruise lines abided by proper maritime safety protocols in altering their course to avoid the storm’s path, but not all cruise lines keep the safety of their passengers and crewmembers at the top of their concerns. Several cruise ship accidents take place each day, and many go unreported. The majority are not due to weather conditions, but are the result of someone’s negligence.
Since cruise line operators are responsible for the safety of all whom are onboard by exercising reasonable care, it is imperative that cruise accident victims seek legal help. If you or a loved one were hurt or killed as a result of a cruise ship accident, turn to our maritime lawyers immediately for assistance in filing a claim. Our cruise ship accident lawyers have already recovered over $100 million in damages for both crewmembers and passengers and will endeavor to help you and your loved ones obtain the benefits you deserve. Call us today to schedule a consultation and visit our Lipcon cruise law blog to keep up with the latest news in maritime law.
PHOTO SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST