Sadly, we have learned of yet another catastrophic accident involving an excursion in a foreign country, this time the Bahamas. Last Saturday, a tour boat carrying 10 Americans and two Bahamians exploded, killing one passenger and injuring 9 others. The engine exploded only three minutes after leaving the shore, causing the boat to burst into flames. According to reports, the 40-foot charter tour boat was operated by the company Four C’s Adventures.
Our firm was saddened to hear about this tragic accident that resulted in catastrophic injuries and a death. A 22-year-old passenger, Stefanie Schaffer, is among those who were injured in the explosion. She sustained injuries so severe that she unfortunately required amputation of both of her legs. Tiran Jackson and his wife Maleka were in the Bahamas celebrating their anniversary. Maleka passed away from the explosion and Tiran is still recovering in a South Florida hospital. He has severe burns and had one of his feet amputated.
It was only a few months ago in January when another tour boat in Mexico carrying passengers from a Royal Caribbean ship sank off the coast of Cozumel. Fortunately, in that incident, there were no serious injuries or deaths. We had also reported on another fire aboard a Casino Shuttle Boat in Florida which resulted in one death.
This tragic accident in the Bahamas, as well as a number of other recent excursions involving serious accidents including the tour bus excursion accident in Mexico that killed a number of Royal Caribbean cruise ship passengers, again highlight the fact that excursion companies in foreign countries often are not following the same safety standards that we are accustomed to here in the United States.
Who is Responsible?
As for excursions that are sold on board cruise ships and purchased by passengers, passengers are led to believe that the cruise ship companies stand behind these excursions and will be responsible for any accidents that occur. However, passengers who have been involved in a shore excursion accident purchased on board a cruise ship quickly learn that the cruise ship company will vehemently defend against being held accountable for any negligence during the excursion, claiming the excursion companies are independent contractors for which they have no liability. This is despite the fact that the cruise ship companies promote these excursions as their own, select the operating companies, market them directly to passengers, and sell them on board for a substantial profit. The sale of shoreside excursions during cruises accounts for one of the leading sources of revenue for the cruise lines. However, cruise ship companies are quick to distance themselves from the company operating the excursion if & when something bad happens.
Advocates for Those Injured or Harmed at Sea
Our firm advocates for safety at sea and we are always working to determine the cause of these serious accidents and how they can be prevented. We believe that through holding companies accountable for their negligence, and proving how and why these accidents occur, and how a reasonably safe operator could have avoided such an accident, we have made things safer for anybody who chooses to participate in either a cruise or an excursion purchased while onboard a cruise. We will be closely following the investigation surrounding this most recent explosion in the Bahamas that caused such catastrophic injuries. This week, the Bahamian government issued a cease and desist order against Four C’s Adventures while the investigation continues,
Experienced Tour Boat Accident Attorneys with Maritime Experience
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury at sea, or any type of injury related to a cruise, maritime law will govern your claims. The maritime laws are unique and different than state law on many important issues. An experienced maritime lawyer can navigate the complex legal issues often encountered in a maritime claim attempting to hold a company liable for harm suffered at sea, or in connection with a cruise.
Our lead maritime excursion attorney Brett Rivkind has handled and is currently handling many cases involving boating excursions, including those involving boat fires and explosions resulting in serious and deaths. He has represented numerous people who have been injured in foreign maritime excursions. One of the cases we are currently handling involves cruise ship passengers who were injured in a tour bus crash in New Zealand. We are seeking to hold the cruise line liable for selling passengers tickets to this tour excursion without properly vetting the transportation company. In the case of the tour boat explosion in the Bahamas, Four C’s Adventures, the company operating the excursion, along with who sold the excursion to these passengers could be held liable for this tragedy. An experienced maritime lawyer would be necessary to hold these companies liable.
Our lead maritime excursion attorney Brett Rivkind has been handling maritime cases since 1983 and has been an invited speaker before the United States Congress as a MARITIME EXPERT on issues involving maritime law including cruise ship safety and security. His firm focuses exclusively on maritime law.