The Diario newspaper in Aruba reports on a passenger from Princess Cruises' Caribbean Princess cruise ship who died in an accident ashore in Aruba.
The unidentified passenger rented a four wheel ATV (all terrain vehicle) and collided with what the newspaper reports is a Dodge Ram pickup truck.
The Cruise Critic website includes several comments by passengers on the cruise who saw the aftermath of the accident.
Many Cruise Critic readers commented on dangers ashore in port of call when passengers rent mopeds and ATV's and encounter different road conditions and traffic on the "other side of the road."
The driver of the ATV was apparently not wearing a helmet. The comments to the story seem to suggest that the ATV was rented privately, and not as part of an excursion sold by the cruise line.
Companies which rent ATV's and mopeds should require that all drivers wear helmets, and should not rent the vehicles unless the company provides a helmet to the driver. It is unknown whether Aruba requires helmets to be warn in these situations.
April 22, 2010 Update:
The cruise passengers involved in the accident are Frederich Norman, age 41, who was killed, and his wife Christine Norman, age 37, who was injured, according to the LondonFree Press in Canada. There is a suggestion that the pickup truck may have swerved into an oncoming lane, causing the collision with the Normans' ATV. There is also mention of drugs being found in the truck. These accounts appear to be based on the Diario newspaper in Aruba.
The London Free Press points to the incident as raising the issue of the questionable safety of many excursions cruise passengers may choose during their cruises.
Princess Cruises PR person, Julie Benson (photograph right), is quoted as stating that the ATV rental was not one sanctioned by Princess Cruises. Ms. Benson claims that Princess Cruises requires a "stringent set of rules and safety measures" before recommending local companies to its cruise passengers.
In February a Princess Cruises passenger was killed and other passengers were injured when a cruise excursion bus with no seat belts, operated by a driver named "Crash Dummy" with a record which included criminal conduct and reckless driving, crashed while descending a steep hill in Tortola.
It will be interesting to see exactly what Princess Cruises' "stringent" excursion safety rules look like.
Photograph of ATV Diario Online Newspaper
Photograph of Princess PR Julie Benson Twitter