In January 2012, the Italian Costa Concordia cruise ship brought the reality of disaster on the high seas to the public eye. This cruise ship was owned by Carnival Corporation, a popular cruise ship corporation. The ship was traveling off the coast of Italy when it struck a rock and issued out a distress call. Thirty minutes later, all passengers were evacuated as the ship began to sink. Cruise ship accidents have been happening even before the Titanic, but most people don't board a luxury liner with the thought that disaster might occur.
As a maritime vessel, there are still many dangers that beset both workers and passengers. All passenger liners are required to adhere to provisions listed by the International Maritime Organization. The two major requirements are: being able to muster the passengers (conduct a lifeboat drill) within 24 hours after the ship has embarked and being able to perform a full abandon ship within 30 minutes. Cruise liners that do not adhere to these regulations are in danger of liability in the event that an accident occurs.
If you were involved in a cruise ship accident that caused you injury or illness, you need an injury lawyer in Coral Gables, specifically one from Mesa Law Firm who may be able to help.
It is generally accepted that passengers on cruise ships would be worth a considerable amount of ransom. These passengers are also assumed to have valuables such as cash and jewelry with them on board. For these major reasons, there have been a handful of piracy attacks on cruise liners. One of the most notable of these attacks is the Seabourn Spirit, a German-made ship that was commandeered in 2005 while traveling off the coast of Somalia. Somalia is a hotbed for maritime piracy, and has the most dangerous waters to travel in by far. As a preventative measure against future attacks of piracy, some cruise ship employees are now able to store guns and some ships even come equipped with long range acoustic devices, or "sonic cannons."
Another safety improvement that has been made within the past few years is increased stability. Passengers began inquiring into "rooms with a view" to which liners responded by placing passenger cabins to the superstructure rather than inside the hull so that some rooms can have balconies. This resulted in ships getting higher, which makes them more susceptible to waves and strong winds. To compensate, ships are manufactured with lightweight materials up top so that the heaviest components can remain located at the lower section of the ship. Overall in the cruise ship industry, there were only 16 fatalities on passenger liners from the years 2005 to 2012.
Norovirus and Legionnaires' disease are notable illnesses that can affect passengers of cruise ships. These are rare illnesses that only affect around one percent of passengers. Illnesses of this nature can happen if the ship has not met the Center for Disease Control vessel sanitation requirements. Another type of illness that can occur is food poisoning. Cruise ships come fully equipped with a number of different restaurants and bars. Just as a person can litigate against restaurant's careless food preparation, so too can a passenger of a cruise ship file suit after becoming severely ill due to a food-borne illness.
The Port of Miami is the world's largest cruise ship port. Being based out of Miami-Dade County, our firm has an intimate understanding of the cruise ship industry. If you or a loved one were injured on a cruise ship, then speak with our firm. There are many accidents that could happen in conjunction with a cruise on the high seas.
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