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 »

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boating season, boating accidents, boating safety, boating accident lawyersSpringtime is here, which means that boating season is back in full swing. Temperatures are warming up around the country, and eager sailors are ready to hit the waters and take advantage. Unfortunately, while boating season brings a host of exciting opportunities to experience the beauty of the great outdoors, the thrill of sailing, and the pleasure of spending quality time with loved ones, it also brings with it a greater number of dangers that can lead to serious accidents.

During boating season, you’ll naturally see a huge increase in traffic on waterways. What makes this an issue is that not everyone operating a boat or water craft is experienced or careful to abide by proper maritime safety laws. Because there are a greater number of people occupying waterways, there is a larger chance of finding reckless boaters who will disregard safety regulations. There will be a greater number of boaters who will speed, drink while boating, fail to ensure their vessels are properly maintained, and engage in a slew of other unsafe actions.

Though our boating accident lawyers here at LMAW have offered several tips on how to stay safe while out on a boat or personal water craft, there are some boaters who don’t understand the gravity of engaging in reckless actions in open waters, and place themselves – and everyone within their radius – in harm’s way. It’s important to remember that even the most prudent and experienced of boaters can fall victim to an accident, whether due to their own or someone else’s careless actions or because of unforeseen circumstances.

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Tunisia, cruise passengers, terrorist attacks, cruise ship lawyersOur cruise ship lawyers here at LMAW have just heard about a recent tragic incident that has left several cruise passengers dead. According to news reports, 17 passengers on board Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises who were visiting Tunis were killed in a terrorist attack. The tourists were later fatally shot inside a museum in Tunisia.

According to USA Today, the two gunmen were tied to the Islamist State militant organization.        A total of 21 people were killed, 17 of which had been passengers on board the MSC Splendida and Costa Fascinosa. While none of the people injured were North American, the terrorist attack raises questions about the safety of North American passengers who travel to, and participate in, shore excursions at politically volatile ports of call.

It’s no secret that cruise lines travel to sometimes politically fraught nations. Cruises also often visit areas that are wrought with crime, sometimes so much so that passengers often face risk to personal safety and valuables if they leave the small “secure” tourist areas. And, even these “secure” areas may be unsafe.

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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.

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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.

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Cruise shipWith the spring and summer warmth quickly setting in, many people are making summer vacation plans. For many, those plans include a cruise vacation. But, if you’ve never been on a cruise ship before, you may wonder whether taking a cruise is a good choice for your summer or spring vacation. Before you make a decision for or against cruising, there are some things you should keep in mind.

One reason many travelers opt for a cruise vacation is due to the plethora of deals they may find. Sure, it may seem like a deal at first, but while the cost of the cruise itself may seem relatively inexpensive, the price doesn’t include the cost of beverages, shore excursions, or tips for the wait staff. Many cruise passengers get drawn in by exotic destinations and low costs, only to realize that there are additional fees for activities that take place off the ship. These costs, over the course of a five to seven night vacation can quickly add up. Even so, cruises can be incredibly affordable, as long as vacationers plan for the incidental expenses and don’t just base the travel budget on the ticket price.

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Safe docking, boating accidents, boating accident attorneysAs any boating accident attorney at our firm can tell you, docking in a crowded marina can be a stressful experience. Unlike maneuvering out in the open water, there are many obstacles you’ll need to navigate, including other boaters. It can be challenging enough to navigate around stationary objects. Navigating around other moving vessels can raise the blood pressure of even the most seasoned boaters.

Boat owners and operators are responsible for any damages they cause, and can face steep bills if serious damage is inflicted upon docks or other boats. These costs don’t take into account the human toll that docking accidents can exact. Every year, countless individuals are injured or killed in boating accidents that could have been easily prevented.

So, how can you become a safer boater at the dock, and avoid costly accidents and repair expenses?

For one, before any captain tries to dock a boat, he or she should become familiar with maneuvering the vessel in open water, where there are fewer hazards and obstacles. Every boat handles differently. Just because you are good at handling your parents’ dinghy doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to safely dock your best friend’s motor yacht. The more confident you are at handling your vessel, the less likely you’ll be to find yourself hitting a dock or other boaters in the marina.

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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.

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Safety tips, cruise ship rape, spring breakersSpring break is around the corner, which means there are going to be a lot of kids, teens, and college students cruising around the world. Some will be cruising with their parents, while others will venture off into the seas with friends. Given the higher number of young passengers that will be sailing on cruise vacations in the upcoming weeks, our attorneys here at LMAW would like to take a moment to discuss one of the largest threats that often face young and female travelers while out at sea: cruise ship rape.

Though cruise vacations are intended to be fun and relaxing, they often become a breeding grounds for cruise ship rape crimes. Statistics show that sexual assault is the type of crime that occurs most frequently on cruise ships, which is why it is imperative that spring breaker cruisers remain as cautious as possible. If you have planned on going on a cruise during spring break, our cruise ship rape lawyers have three important tips that can help you avoid becoming a victim of a sexual crime: Continue reading

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Safety tips, fishing, boating accident lawyerFishing is often seen as a relaxing sport that allows participants to enjoy time in nature, and maybe get a nice meal or two out of it in the process. But with fishing season is fast-approaching, it’s important to remember that though fun, any activity in open water carries a risk of danger – even fishing. Any boating accident lawyer at our firm can tell you horror stories of fishermen that can leave you cringing, but the best way to avoid a tragedy is through awareness.

So, before you take out your tackle and hit the coast, shore, or high seas, be sure to take the time to brush up on safety laws and tactics. Below are seven important safety tips that will help reduce your risk of accident and injury while fishing, whether you are an experienced angler or novice fishing enthusiast: Continue reading

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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.

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