Its never dull in the world of cruising. This week was no exception.
Our firm remained busy with cases against the cruise lines. At any given time, we and our co-counsel represent a little under 100 cruise passengers and crewmembers. New clients retained us this week after being injured on Carnival, Celebrity, Disney and Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Our advertising efforts in the Caribbean are paying off. Three crewmembers from Royal Caribbean retained us and our co-counsel Jonathan Aronson. The majority of our crewmember clients are former employee of Royal Caribbean who received poor medical care after being injured at work.
This week saw a passenger go overboard from the NCL Spirit cruise ship. The cruise ship was sailing on the Mississippi River south of New Orleans when he ended up in the water. How and why did this happen? There is no information available in the media so far. Its not easy to fall of a cruise ship (unless alcohol is involved), so he probably jumped or perhaps was pushed, I’m not sure. Its anyone’s guess at this point. The good news is that he is alive and well, which is not the usual situation in cases like this. Count your blessings my friend.
A 51 year old passenger was medevaced by the Coast Guard off of the coast of California from the Carnival Paradise. The passenger reportedly experienced convulsions ans was showing signs of a stroke, and was taken to a hospital in San Diego. Medevacs like this happen literally on a weekly basis. Its a “free” service of the U.S. Coast Guard. If you are going to have a medical emergency on a cruise ship, make sure it is within the reach of a Coast Guard cutter or helicopter which can take you to a U.S. hospital.
A passenger was assaulted in Bermuda but the police shrugged it off. This was one of the stranger stories we have blogged about. A Cruise Critic forum contained a post about a passenger from the NCL Dawn allegedly being jumped and beaten by a would be robber near the Maritime Museum. But there was no report of the crime on the official website of the Bermudian police department. The police then said that it was not an assault or robbery, it was just an injury due to a drug deal gone astray. Huh?
The incident occurred a week after two NCL crewmembers from the Dawn were assaulted early in the morning in Snorkel Park. A local newspaper published an article about the crewmember fracas entitled Warning of Tourism Fallout after Fight. Is Bermuda’s approach to public relations now to dismiss a report of a violent crime as a “drug deal gone bad?”
The Queen Mary 2 failed a CDC inspection. The U.K. Daily Mail reports that sanitation inspectors branded the Queen Mary 2 “filthy” five times in a report.
The week started with my blog article about former Royal Caribbean Staff Captain Bjørn Eidissen’s court case where a Miami judge permitted his lawyer to amend the lawsuit to seek punitive damages against the cruise line. The case arises out of the September 2005 leak of hydrogen sulfide on the Monarch of the Seas which killed three crewmembers and injured nineteen others. While researching the story, I ran across a report by the staff captain in which he alleges that four months later the Monarch of the Seas dumped tons of sediment and chemicals into the waters off of the shores of San Francisco as the ship was heading to a dry dock.
Staff Captain Eidissen claims that the incident was reported to the top executives at Royal Caribbean, but no one did anything. I cannot find any indication that the Coast Guard investigated the incident. If this is true, this seems like a heck of a blockbuster story. But there appeared to be little interest in the article. Perhaps the public is tired of stories about cruise ships polluting the oceans.
In an unrelated story, for the first three months of this year CLIA – the trade organization for the cruise industry – spent over $490,000 lobbying U.S. agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard.