Our cruise ship accident lawyers here at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. often talk about the many faux pas of the cruising industry, including the all-too-often failure of cruise lines to maintain their ships in a safe condition, as well as the inability of many cruise lines to practice safe maritime protocols. Unfortunately, the general public sees only a glimpse of what really happens behind closed doors that leads to a tragedy, and usually only after a major accident has occurred. Now, we’re learning the shocking extent of cruise lines’ negligent practices from a Coast Guard report – and this information is available for everyone to see.
According to the Coast Guard’s most recent report on cruise ship safety deficiencies, the organization found – and issued – safety citations on 329 safety failures and deficiencies in 2014. As a way to keep the public informed about the most common safety failures and deficiencies, the Coast Guard listed the most frequent safety issues reported on cruise ships. Below are the top ten safety features on cruise ships that failed to pass the test.
#1—Fire Screen Door Failures: Fire screen doors help keep fires isolated when, and if, they occur on a cruise ship. These doors, when in proper operation, can prevent the vessel from experiencing a ship-wide conflagration. Yet, when the Coast Guard tested the doors, citations were issued in 31 cases where the doors were damaged or unable to close properly.
#2—Blocked Escape Routes: Doors, hatches, and other escape routes located on board ships were found to be blocked. These blockages could create an unsafe evacuation situation in the event that people needed to be able to leave an area of the ship quickly in an emergency. Continue reading