We’ve seen a lot of crazy things happen onboard vessels far and wide here at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. . When we say “crazy”, we’re not talking about 100-foot waves that appear out of thin air or casino slot machines suddenly spewing never-ending reams of cash. We’re talking about the kind of crazy that stems from a cruise line’s sheer disregard for passenger safety. You know, those times when a passenger has succumb to a life-threatening injury but wasn’t evacuated off the ship. Or when a passenger is sexually molested, but the cruise line fails to apprehend the perpetrator or contact FBI agents. The kind of crazy happenings that make you think twice about sailing in the first place, unless of course you’re travelling with a full entourage of body guards, doctors and maritime lawyers.
Unfortunately, crazy seems to be the operative word used to describe cruise line behavior these days. As accidents and crimes continue to escalate – even in the wake of the U.S. government vowing to take a stand against the lack of transparency in cruise accident crime and accident reporting – we can’t help but wonder what is really preventing the industry from taking a steadfast approach to improve safety conditions onboard ships. This year alone, we’ve seen several overboard accidents, more sexual crimes than we would like to even think about, a host of Norovirus outbreaks, and an array of other accidents or mechanical mishaps.
More often than not, passengers who are hurt don’t get taken off ships. Likewise, criminals are also oftentimes not taken off a ship and handed over to police. The point we’re trying to make is that it is not very often we see someone get taken off a ship, even when all signs point to the need to have that individual disembarked, whether to treat an injury or to take them into custody.
But this week, someone did manage to get taken off a ship. Like you’re probably wondering right now, our cruise ship lawyers also wondered what could possibly have happened that resulted in someone getting removed from their vessel? It must be something extraordinarily catastrophic, right? Wrong.