FlowRider The Independence of the Seas returned early to Fort Lauderdale this morning because a passenger sustained a serious injury yesterday.

Several passengers emailed me stating that the Royal Caribbean passenger sustained major head trauma after he fell on the FlowRider. It is unclear exactly when or how the accident occurred, but the Independence of the Seas returned to port in Fort Lauderdale this morning around 3:00 A.M.

Flowriders are exceedingly dangerous. There have been numerous broken ankles, wrists, elbows, shoulders and necks and even one death on Royal Caribbean cruise ships when a passenger broke his neck and was killed. We believe the FlowRiders are unreasonably unsafe, defectively designed with negligent instructors. 

Most passengers do not realize that the Royal Caribbean waiver which the cruise line forces passengers to sign is illegal and unenforceable under Maritime Law.  

Don’t forget to read: FlowRider Accidents: Royal Caribbean Liability Waivers Are Unenforceable!

Danger on the High Seas – Royal Caribbean’s Deadly FlowRider. Don’t watch video if you are squeamish. 

Have a comment? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page. 



Video Credit: Jim Walker

  • James Nixon

    Ahh I love the flow rider especially the stand up surf.. Not everything can be safe in this world and I hope they can’t sue royal. I have been on 3 cruises with it and every year they get more cautious allow you to do less tricks it’s so lame my first one i could enter from the top. Then on the second one they stopped that… To dangerous… I Was 21 years old that should of been my decision the third one they severely limited flips on the boogie board.. Now I’m going on the navigator in December which got one installed in its refurb. Wish nothing but for more flow riders… In fact since my first cruise with a flow rider I have only cruised on ships with a flow rider it adds so much fun. They are padded so I’ve never gotten hurt..

    *I have been on 11 cruises so far and 4 of them were Royal Caribbean

  • Meredith Fortin

    i was there just after the accident. It occurred around 2:40pm on Saturday, May 9, 2015. There were several passengers who had video of the accident.

  • Sheadyn Rogers

    I agree that these Flow Riders are unsafe, too many people have suffered injuries riding them. I would not allow my kid to get on one. Also, the limitation of liability waivers should be unenforceable because of the old concept that you should not be allowed to contract out of your own negligence. Hopefully, the injured passenger will recover and Royal Caribbean will compensate him for his injuries.

  • Alvaro Geldrez

    It it very unfortunate that someone got badly hurt and I wish them a quick recovery. I use the flowrider a lot and it can be considered an extreme sport however like any sport this is not to be taken lightly. I would not suggest an out of shape individual to play a 3 on 3 basketball tournament either, or get on roller skates or ice skates. Injuries can happen anywhere. In my opinion this is not an issue with the Flowrider but an issue with the choices people make. I know my limits and I play with in them. I would hate for this to become a movement against flowriders. All the best to the injured individual.

  • sara sloan

    If anyone has updates on the gentleman who got hurt on the Flow Rider May 10 please post. I was there when it happened and am very concerned for his health. Praying for his recovery. That said, I believe it was an accident. I believe that with any extreme sport there are risks. No one forces you to participate in the event. You are given ample opportunity to observe the participates as they partake in the activity. I tried it one time and realized it was not for me. My sons on the other hand absolutly LOVE the flow rider and look forward to that part of the trip every cruise.

  • Greg Crouch

    It can be dangerous but so is driving a car, crossing a street. I flowride, surf, rock climb and my worst injuries have come from ten pin bowling and football. Everything we do has an inherent danger. Are you in life or trying to be safe. I only cruise on ships with a flowrider, yes I have had injuries but none more than any other sport, I do. As in other sports I warm up before I do it, if I injure myself it is not their fault they have waivers and briefings unless the product is defective and all daily checks have not been performed then it is there fault.

  • Jeff S

    After falling on the padded and curved side wall of the FlowRider, I concluded it’s inherently dangerous, especially when standing up.

    I only tried it due to my child’s urging and in less than 10 seconds I had suffered rib fracture(s) from the fall — I guess I was lucky the injury wasn’t worse.

  • Don M

    I enjoy the Flowrider, yes it is possible to be injured but then ice skating is pretty easy to have a serious head injury. Some people should probably not do either. If you have problems controlling your fall doing a balance sport such as skating, skiing or the sort you should not ride the Flowrider stand up style. Falls can happen suddenly, you can mitigate the chance of injuring if you react to the fall, if you don’t have this skill ride the lay down board and stay off the stand up and you’ll be fine.