Woman Falls Overboard, Treads Water Until Rescued: Who's Responsible?

Carnival Destiny Cruise Ship - Man OverboardInside Edition aired a program about a 29 year old woman "Sarah" who sailed on the Carnival Destiny to celebrate her 30th birthday. After too much drinking, she fell from the balcony into the water. 

Despite the pleas of her cabin mate and another passenger, the captain sailed on. It took an hour and a half to turn around and rescue her. Carnival then allegedly delayed her medical treatment by refusing to call for emergency medical evacuation.

Carnival says that it acted properly.  

The case has ended up in court and raises a number of issues common in the cruise industry.

Is this a case simply of a passenger exercising a lack of personal responsibility by drinking too much? Or is this a case which involves a lack of corporate responsibility by over-serving the passenger too much alcohol and then sailing on after there was a reasonable indication that she had gone overboard?

Why didn't the cruise line have an automatic man overboard system as required by the Cruise Vessel Safety & Security Act which was enacted into law to deal with this exact situation?

Read our articles about the case:

Why Did Carnival Delay Rescuing An Overboard Passenger From The Destiny?

Carnival Booze Cruise Disaster Ends Up In Court,

Disappearances at Sea: Cruise Industry Refuses to Comply with Cruise Safety Law,

If you have a thought about this case, please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page. 

 

 

Photo credit: Jetaria Taylor

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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
C. Pavlus - October 20, 2013 2:30 PM

Was the Cruise Vessel Safety & Security Act a United States law or an International body? During ship inspections by various authorities would not this device be on their checklist?
thanks C.P.

John Goldsmith - October 20, 2013 5:02 PM

Again, we see only one side of the whole episode.After too much drinking.......Pleas of cabin mates and other passenger.....I'm guessing they may have been drinking???? Lack of personal responsibilty? Obvious.
Sensors for Man overboard? How do you do that? Every passenger to have a sensor? The cruise line to monitor 24/7 the movements of every passenger and crew? What form of privact invasion will that be?
Please publish the results of the court cases, and what the judge and/or jury decided in this case.
Just askin'....

Debbie - October 21, 2013 7:48 AM

I think it wouldn't be too difficult for each passenger to wear a sensor. Each passenger has their ship ID card that already has all kinds of information embedded into it why not something that would track and send an alarm if someone falls overboard and then be able to find them in the water using that same technology.

But if you are drinking or climbing on the rails you still need to take at least some responsibility for your actions. In this day and age it seems to be someone else's responsibility when you act foolishly. I think it was a combination of the passenger and the cruise line's responsibility here. The passenger was drunk, she leaned over too far and fell in. How does someone just fall in? The rail on any of the balconies we've ever had comes up rather high on me (mid-body level or above). It would take someone standing on a chair or table to fall over the railing. Once an emergency is called in for a possible person overboard the ship should have been stopped while a search was going on. They should have searched the ship and the water at the same time to save time.

Luis Rodriguez - October 21, 2013 11:05 AM

deberia agradecer que esta viva gracias al rescate que hizo el crucero.....que no se hizo a tiempo??? pero que cree que un crucero es un coche que para inmediatamente??? lo rescatable de esta historia es que hay que estar atentos a los pasajeros que beben demasiado y maximo si sus cabinas tienen balcones o vista al mar...que si los sensores, que si vigilancia 24/7, esas son historias que trataran de evadir la verdadera responsabilidad o responsable: LA SRTA. PASAJERA.

tinikini - October 21, 2013 11:52 AM

At least she admitted to the drinking....so the cruise line needs to admit that they over served her, if she was that intoxicated. She is very lucky to be alive.

@Debbie good points on the ship cards and stopping the ship as well and searching the ship at the same time. Also in agreement that the balcony railing is quite high and it seems as though you would have to be climbing around or sitting on the railing to fall off..but then again I am only 5'4" so the railing is about chest level to me.

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