Maritime News & Info

The United States Coast Guard has announced that it will conduct surprise inspections on numerous cruise ships for the rest of the year.

The inspections will be brief and will work to avoid the delay of a cruise ship’s schedule; only serious flaws in a ship’s management that expose passengers or crew to danger will merit a longer examination. The unannounced inspections will come in addition to the routine Certificate of Compliance exams to which cruise ships are already subject, and are intended to provide officials with a “snapshot” of a cruise ship’s maintenance when maritime inspectors are not normally on-board. Conditions such as fire hazards, lifesaving equipment and other vital services will be inspected for compliance.

As a personal injury lawyer with a specialty in maritime injury, I applaud the coast guard’s move to ensure that all cruise lines are safe for passengers and crew. As we’ve seen in recent months and years, some cruise ships are dangerous and hazardous places that present serious health and injury concerns to passengers. Making sure that ships are in compliance with standard safety rules is critically necessary in ensuring the least amount of passenger injury or fatality. When you’re on a cruise, you’re on vacation—you shouldn’t worry about being in the hospital.

Virginia Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer | Maritime Injury AttorneyOver a hundred passengers of the Carnival Triumph are suing the cruise line due to the 2013 incident that left the cruise ship drifting for days.

The lawsuit comes after last year’s February 2013 event in which Carnival Cruise Lines’s “Triumph” cruise ship suffered an engine fire on the ship’s return from Cozumel. Without power for days, the ship drifted on the Gulf of Mexico; with no working toilets or air conditioning, the passengers were forced to endure awful and unhealthy conditions until rescue could arrive. Carnival Corp claims that the safe return, full refund, complimentary cruise in the future and a $500-per-person payout should be sufficient.

The “Triumph” incident was simply awful—one can only imagine what the passengers went through while stranded on a non-functioning cruise ship for days. Some of the conditions on the ship seem too awful to describe. As a maritime injury lawyer,  I know how injuries suffered at sea can stay with people for the rest of their lives, and I know that ship operators and cruise corporations have an indubitable responsibility to provide safe lodgings and a harm-free experience for their passengers whenever they are out on the ocean.

Virginia Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer | Maritime Injury AttorneyA passenger on a cruise ship in the Chesapeake Bay was medevaced due to a possible head injury, authorities report.

According to the Cost Guard and Virginia Beach fire crews, a 93-year-old man on a cruise ship in the Bay may have suffered a head injury; the Coast Guard and several members of the VBFD responded in a smaller boat at around 1:30 in the morning, taking the injured man and his wife to a nearby coast guard station, wherein they were transported by ambulance to a local Virginia Beach hospital.

I sincerely hope that the injured man is okay—one does not expect to suffer such an injury while on vacation, and being injured on a cruise ship can be particularly frightening and potentially fatal, given how distant such a vessel can be from major medical resources. As a maritime injury lawyer located near Virginia Beach, I know that operators of cruise ships have a responsibility to ensure that their passengers are safe and their facilities are free from any dangers to the guests. If the cruise line was negligent in ensuring a safe environment, then they may be liable for the injured man’s medical expenses and hospital bills.

The Coast Guard has rescued two individuals from a stricken ship off the coast of Virginia 40 miles east of False Cape State Park in Virginia Beach, according to authorities.

The vessel, called the Lauren Dorothy, was taking on water roughly forty miles off of the Virginia coast when the crew radioed for help. The Coast Guard responded with an HC-130 Hercules rescue aircraft and managed to arrive about forty minutes after the distress call was issued. The Coast Guard was able to successfully remove the two crew members and transport them to Air Station Elizabeth City.

As a personal injury lawyer with a specialty in maritime injuries, I know how frightening, injurious and even fatal an accident at sea can be. I was relieved to learn that the coast guard successfully rescued the individuals on the stricken vessel. Rescue at sea is always risky and dangerous. Any and all crew members and captains of sea vessels should be aware of the proper safety protocols, as well as the proper disaster responses, in order to ensure that there is no life lost in any at-sea disaster.

The reckless behavior of a ship captain led to the sinking of a ship and the death of the captain and one crewmember, according to authorities.

The Tall Ship Bounty, which sank in October of 2012, went down after the captain “sail[ed] into the well-forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy.” The Coast Guard held a hearing this year to investigate the matter, leaving experienced seamen incredulous as to how the captain could have acted so irresponsibly and without heed to the lives on board.  Numerous crewmembers had expressed hesitation about sailing near the storm, but the captain elected to sail anyway; in the sinking of the ship, the crew was forced to abandon the vessel, and the captain and another crew member both died.

This was a terrible incident, and it is still upsetting to hear about even a year and a half later. Maritime accidents and sinking ships are incredibly dangerous, and while it is heartening that fourteen crew members survived, it is still tragic to read of the lives lost. I have handled wrongful death claims related to maritime injury, and I know how awful it can be to deal with the loss of a loved one from an at-sea death. With any luck, future sailors and captains will take heed from this tragedy and ensure that it is not repeated.