Are Cruise Ship Companies Risking Lives By Heading Into Storms?

rough-day-1380234The attached article discusses the recent adventure with the Anthem of the Seas, a large passenger cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. The cruise ship company decided to head into an area where weather forecasts predicted severe weather. The cruise ship encountered winds as high as those of a category five hurricane. The ship encountered 30 foot waves. The ship’s propulsion system was damaged.

Obviously, although the cruise ship survived intact, and the more than 4500 passengers returned safely other than the ordeal they had been put through by the ship being navigated into such severe weather, there was a significant risk the passengers and crew were subjected to. A CNN report  indicated that Senator Bill Nelson in Florida has demanded an investigation into why the cruise line headed into the storm and hopefully there will be a magnifying glass on the decision and not simply an acceptance of the typical argument by the cruise line that the storm simply worsened unexpectedly.

There is a history of cruise ships taking chances by continuing forward on planned itinerary and cruises even though severe weather is forecasted. The cruise ship companies believe that their huge mega size cruise ships can withstand anything, and it is very costly to cancel cruises or change itineraries. Therefore, the cruise ship companies deliberately decide to go forward with their planned itineraries or cruises, and have adopted a mentality that these cruise ships are bulletproof when it comes to rough weather. They take their chances on being able to navigate around a storm, prioritizing profit over the comfort and safety of its passengers and crew members.

However, the attached article is interesting because it discusses a debatable issue, which is whether these huge mega cruise ships built like hotels with amusement parks on top of it are actually safe and stable, especially when encountering such severe weather.

Cruise ship companies must not await for another disaster like the Titanic, or the Costa Concordia, before they recognize the severe risks involved when cruising in such sever weather. They should act accordingly to guard against these risks rather than subject passengers and crew to the risks of serious injury or death by believing that these ships can withstand such severe storms. Why take a chance?

We need more stringent laws, and regulatory agencies on their back, so that a disaster does not happen.The cruise line has enjoyed favorable treatment for too long.

Our firm has handled several cases where cruise ships have navigated into rough seas and caused injuries to passengers. We are experienced maritime attorneys for over 30 years, and continue to handle cases involving injuries and deaths occurring on the seas.We have helped thousands of victims of negligence by ship operators, including assisting passengers and crew of cruise ships involved in disappearances, sexual assaults, slip and fall accidents, shoreside excursion incidents, medical negligence, shipboard activities, rough weather, and any other type of incident where the cruise ship company breached their duty owed to the crew or passengers.