Recent Articles

How Common are Cruise Ship Accidents?

It would seem from recent events that cruise ship accidents happen quite frequently. According to cruise enthusiast Ross Klein, 31 cruise ship accidents occurred in the first quarter of 2013. This was comprised mostly of ships running aground or power outages that left passengers stranded, hungry and wallowing in sewage. Despite these figures, Mr. Klein says that in general cruise ship accidents happen rarely.

Officially, there are no statistics available that would enable a definitive longitudinal assessment of cruise ships in terms of passenger safety. This is because most cruise ships, while they cater to the US market, are usually registered in other countries and are not subject to US regulations or reporting requirements. The figures available from sources such as Mr. Klein are mostly self-reported by cruise lines, so there is no way of knowing how many unreported accidents occur unless deaths or cruise ship injuries occur.

When cruise ship accidents do occur, the most common cause is power outages, which essentially results in the ship and its passengers being adrift at sea. Usually, though, such outages last for just a few hours. Fires are also fairly common, and so are overflowing toilets. Sinking, however, is a rare occurrence these days. It is more likely that a ship will run aground rather than sink, and most passengers are evacuated safely. There are exceptions, of course, and these can result in deaths and serious injuries.

According to the website of the Louis A. Vucci, PA based in Miami, Florida, passengers on cruise ships who suffer injuries due to some type of negligence on the part of the cruise ship operators may be eligible for compensation. However, because cruise ships are often registered outside the US, there are unique problems associated with any litigation involving a foreign company. It is important that any legal representation retained for a civil tort claim has experience in handling cases involving cruise ship injuries.