Tuesday, our cruise ship accident lawyers recounted the hellish story of an elderly cruise passenger who was killed after a rogue wave crashed into the vessel he was sailing on. The victim, an 85-year-old man who was identified as James Swinstead, was one of two cruise passengers who were severely injured after a massive wave crashed into the side of the MS Marco Polo ship on February 14, shattering several windows in the dining area and harming a number of passengers. Swinstead and the other passenger were evacuated to the nearest shore side hospital, but sadly, Swinstead did not make it. The other injured passengers were treated onboard.
Our firm has talked extensively about the cruise industry’s failure to properly abide by maritime laws regarding safety, and while recounting this tragic accident yesterday, one of our attorneys, Michael Winkleman, discussed how cruise lines often attribute “rogue wave” accidents to chance so as to avoid taking responsibility for any accidents that ensue due to their own failure to protect the safety of their guests.
By definition, a rogue wave is basically a giant wave that appears to come out of nowhere. It is much larger than surrounding waves and has enough power to impale a cruise ship. But while these natural phenomena do appear to pop up spontaneously, they tend to appear in areas known for dangerous waters and during massive storms.