Contributors
Charles R. Lipcon

Charles R. Lipcon is the firm's founding attorney and has been handling personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims for over 40 years.Read More »

Jason R. Marguiles

Jason R. Margulies is an experienced maritime lawyer and an active trial attorney handling personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims.Read More »

Ricardo V. Alsina

Ricardo V. Alsina is an active trial attorney, handling personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims.Read More »

Michael A. Winkleman

Mr. Winkleman is an active trial and appellate attorney handling all personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims, as well as complex business disputes.Read More »

Articles Posted in Maritime Matter of the Week

Published on:

Royal Caribbean, Liberty of the Seas, passenger overboard, Florida Keys, cruise lawyersThey say that bad things come in threes. Well, it seems that for the cruise industry, bad things come with a lot more frequency than that. Our cruise lawyers here at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. have recently blogged about three tragic overboard accidents that have occurred within the cruise industry in just the last two weeks alone. And now, we’re shocked to learn that yet another cruise passenger has gone missing from a ship. If this isn’t a sign that there should be an industry-wide mandate to install man overboard detection technology on ALL ships, we don’t know what is.

According to news reports, the latest man overboard accident occurred on Sunday night. The victim, a male passenger who was sailing aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas cruise ship, allegedly disappeared while the vessel was sailing roughly 20 miles off the coast of the Florida Keys. As with the other three overboard accidents, Royal Caribbean hasn’t shared much regarding the incident. In fact, we don’t even know if the man actually fell or jumped from the ship!

The cruise line released a statement saying that surveillance footage was reviewed, which showed the man climbing over the railing on deck 12 of the ship, and then jumped. But is the cruise line sure he really jumped?

Continue reading

Published on:

Carnival Triumph, passenger overboard, Gulf of Mexico, cruise ship accident lawyersIt’s only been a few days since our cruise ship accident lawyers here at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. reported on a tragic overboard accident involving a Virginia Tech university student who fell overboard from the Carnival Glory, but now, we’re saddened and shocked to report that yet another Carnival Cruise Line passenger has suffered a similar fate.

According to news reports, the body of a male passenger who fell overboard from the Carnival Triumph has been recovered. The victim’s body was found today, Wednesday, March 18, after officials had been notified that a 54-year-old passenger had fallen overboard while the vessel was sailing into the Gulf of Mexico.

From what we’ve learned, authorities were notified of the overboard accident on Tuesday. After receiving a report of a possible overboard accident, the Triumph’s crew reviewed the ship’s surveillance footage, which confirmed that the passenger had, indeed, fallen from the vessel. News reports say the Triumph’s crew then initiated a search for the missing man and notified maritime and Mexican authorities of the accident. Officials in Mexico also initiated a search and rescue mission to find the missing passenger.

Continue reading

Published on:

SuperStar Libra, Star Cruises, overboard passenger, man overboard detection technology, cruise accident attorneysLast week, the cruise accident attorneys at our firm discussed a tragic overboard accident involving a Virginia Tech student. The victim, only 21 years old, was reported to have fallen overboard from the Carnival Glory while the vessel was sailing near the Bahamas. Though the cruise line did not offer much information surrounding the cause of the accident, one thing was made clear: cruise lines have yet to install man overboard detection technology, which could drastically improve the rate of survival for overboard victims.

We would hope that the more than 200 overboard accidents that have already transpired in just the last 20 years would have sparked a much needed change within the cruise industry regarding safety enhancements – especially when it comes to installing man overboard detection systems – but alas, this vital lifesaving technology has yet to be implemented industry wide. And now, yet another cruise passenger has fallen victim to an overboard accident.

According to a Malaysian news article, the body of a Star Cruises passenger was discovered last night (March 16). The victim, a 50-year-old Indonesian male passenger, was found by a fisherman in Malaysian waters three days after the overboard accident was alleged to have transpired.

Continue reading

Published on:

Cruise passenger, Carnival Glory, overboardOur cruise ship accident lawyers here at LMAW are saddened to report that the search for a missing Carnival Cruise passenger has officially been called off. The victim, a 21-year-old Virginia Tech student, fell overboard from the Carnival Glory while it was sailing near the Bahamas. Though the loss is a tragic one, the accident highlights yet another tragedy – the lack of passenger safety within the cruise industry.

According to NBC news reports on the matter, the U.S. Coast Guard called off the search for missing cruise passenger Cameroon Smook on March 10. Smook had been sailing aboard the Carnival Glory with some of his friends on a 7-day Caribbean itinerary when he was reported missing on Sunday, March 8, a day after the vessel set sail. After reviewing the ship’s surveillance footage, authorities were able to confirm Smook did, indeed, fall from the ship.

An air and sea search for the overboard cruise passenger was initiated roughly five miles south of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas, extending a 6,500 nautical square mile area (approximately). Reports also indicate that a second Carnival ship, the Carnival Ecstasy, was called to assist with the mission and diverted its itinerary in order to help maritime authorities in their search.

The loss of this young victim is not one to be taken lightly. A gifted student, Smook was just weeks away from graduating with a mining engineering degree from Virginia Tech. According to his family, Smook had recently accepted a job offer and was excited to start the next chapter in his life – a life that would end far too soon.

Continue reading

Published on:

Carnival Glory cruise passenger reported missingMany believe cruise vacations are all about having fun and leaving worries behind. Rightfully, they should be. Unfortunately, as our cruise accident lawyers here at LMAW know all too well, that’s not always the case. There have been over 240 overboard accidents reported in the last 20 years alone, and now, it appears as though there may be one more to add to that harrowing statistic.

According to a recent post on CruiseJunkie, a website created by Sociology Professor and cruise expert Ross Klein and devoted to informing the public about cruise and maritime accidents, crimes, and other important statistics, there have been reports that a passenger has gone overboard from the Carnival Glory cruise ship.

The post explains that the passenger went overboard sometime in the early hours of Sunday, March 8, while the Carnival Glory was sailing to Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. According to passenger accounts, crews reviewed the ship’s surveillance footage and the vessel did not make its scheduled call on the Bahamian port. Instead, the CruiseJunkie post explains the ship “did circles” around the area, and was joined by another Carnival vessel in a search for the missing passenger.

Continue reading

Published on:

Rip currentThe recent drowning death of a Disney Wonder cruise passenger at Castaway Cay has brought to light the host of hazards that not only cruise passengers can face, but any beach-goer in general. The accident shows us that no matter how old you are or how skilled at swimming you may be, accidents can still happen. So, in keeping with our focus on ocean safety, our maritime lawyers here at LMAW would like to call attention to one of the most common dangers for beach-goers and the factor most often responsible for lifeguard-assisted rescues: rip currents.

Rip currents are narrow, localized, and very strong currents that form near beaches as breaking waves push water toward the shore. When the volume of water near the shore becomes too great, it needs a way back out to sea. Enter rip currents. The easiest way to explain a rip current is to think of it as a drain, removing excess water from the shore and leading it back out into the ocean.

Continue reading

Published on:

Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line, lifeguards, cruise ship acident lawyerOur cruise accident lawyers here at LMAW have come to learn of a tragic accident involving a Disney Cruise Line passenger. According to news reports, the victim, a Disney Wonder passenger, died on February 26 after suffering a drowning accident in Castaway Cay, a private island owned by Disney. The passenger, who was on a 5-night cruise to the Bahamas, is reported to have been a 38-year-old man from New York. He allegedly drowned around 4 p.m. while swimming in the waters off the Cay.

A spokesperson for Disney claims crew members and medical personnel responded to the emergency right away. But at this point, we don’t really have much information to go on as to what could have possibly contributed to the drowning. Bahamian authorities are investigating the incident and explained an autopsy would be performed to determine the cause of the accident.

Several factors could be at play here. The man could have been pulled under by a rip tide or he could have even suffered a medical condition while in the water. We will have to wait to see what the investigation reveals, but one thing that has been brought to our attention is the claim that there were no lifeguards on the beach where the accident occurred.

Continue reading

Published on:

Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas cruise ship

Our cruise lawyers here at LMAW have been lucky that, being in Miami, FL, we haven’t had much to deal with in the way of bad winter weather. Unfortunately though, there have been several areas across the United States that have experienced extremely hazardous weather conditions. And these conditions don’t stop at the shore, they extend all the way out to sea.

In fact, we’ve just come to learn that a Royal Caribbean cruise ship carrying Ohio State football fans and coach Urban Meyer was stranded at sea due to heavy fog. The adverse weather closed the Tampa port and resulted in the cruise ship’s delay. The vessel was scheduled to return to port on Monday.

Ohio State football fans were celebrating an annual cancer charity fundraiser on Royal’s Brilliance of the Seas ship. But thanks to the fog, it looks like the cruise lasted a little longer than everyone expected.

Continue reading

Published on:

Cruise ship medical emergency, Coast Guard medevac, Norwegian Getaway, Puerto RicoA cruise vacation can be a lot of fun for kids. Between the numerous kids’ lounges and “clubs”, water slides, and endless supply of pizza and ice cream, it’s no wonder that the trend in cruising has undergone a major shift from a mostly adults type of vacation to one that is more family oriented. But unfortunately, the fact that there are a lot more children cruising means that cruise ship safety has to be held at an even higher standard than usual. And, even more unfortunately, it appears as though this need is being overlooked.

So far this year, there have been numerous incidents involving young children on the high seas, including the near-drowning of a four-year-old boy who was sailing aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas last month. Our cruise ship lawyers are, quite frankly, shocked that most major cruise lines have yet to start employing experienced lifeguards on ships, despite the fact that a large number of accidents involving children are occurring. And now, we’ve come to learn of yet another cruise ship medical emergency involving a child.

Continue reading

Published on:

Valentine's Day cruise risksIn our last blog, our maritime attorneys here at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman talked about how a Valentine’s Day cruise can be a breeding grounds for potentially life-threatening scenarios at sea. While many cruisers embark on a Valentine’s cruise to have a good time with their significant others or even celebrate the single life with their friends, there are several risks that can present themselves on a holiday sailing. Last time, we discussed how scorned travelers can create a threatening situation on a ship. Scorned travelers are individuals who may be suffering from severe heartbreak, loneliness, or any other depressive state of mind. The actions of these passengers can be unpredictable, and can lead to troublesome situations on the high seas, including violence.

However, there are a number of other factors that can create a dangerous environment on a Valentine’s Day sailing besides scorned travelers. Below are some of the main safety threats for passengers cruising on Valentine’s Day and how to best avoid them:

 

Higher likelihood of sexual assault

Many of the individuals who opt for a Valentine’s Day cruise are single women who are just looking to have a good time with their also single girlfriends. Continue reading