T his year, thousands of Americans will board cruise ships in search of romantic, stress-free getaways. They will head to exotic ports, like the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America. Some head north for colder climates, like Alaska, while some will be heading to Greenland to view polar ice caps and arctic wildlife. Of course, being on a cruise ship also means a few added dangers for passengers and crew. Although most cruise companies are extremely good at maintaining safe and comfortable experiences for their passengers, sometimes companies cut corners in search of higher profits. Here are five of the most common cruise ship injuries.
Being on the open ocean in a large vessel can sometimes be misleading. People often forget they are even on a ship. Ships are not built like buildings. There are a lot of moving parts and added trip hazards that require careful attention. Between the adventure of vacation, alcohol, and unfamiliar surroundings, the most frequent type of passenger injury is a slip and fall injury.
Falls can also be deadly. Consider one family that boarded a cruise ship in Galveston, Texas but quickly experienced horror, when their toddler fell from a balcony. The injuries were severe and required a helicopter to airlift the toddler to a land-based hospital in Florida for further care, according to news reports at the time.
II. Watertight Door Injuries
Federal regulations require specific construction standards for commercial passenger ships like cruise liners. One important requirement is that different sections of the ship be capable of being sealed. This is to prevent the ship from sinking, in the event of a structural breach. However, sections are separated by doors that are designed to seal under extremely high pressures. People have been seriously injured and even killed when they tried to rush to beat a closing door.
III. Pool Injuries and Drownings
Most of the larger cruise ships now have on-board pools, especially those operating in warm weather climates. While there are almost always trained lifeguards on hand, there are times when negligent management forgets to schedule lifeguards or when lifeguards have received inadequate training. Worse yet, pools may not be designed safely.
IV. Alcohol-Related Injuries
Just like injuries on dry land, alcohol is often a factor in cruise ship accidents. When people are intoxicated, it can lead to serious injuries. As blood alcohol levels go up, a person’s judgment generally goes down. With impaired judgment, slow reflexes, and altered behavior, alcohol plays a role in many serious cruise ship injuries.
V. Assaults and Physical Altercations
Sadly, not everyone on a cruise ship is there to have fun. There have been a growing number of sexual assaults and physical attacks on cruise ships in recent years. NBC News explains that there were 62 reported sexual assaults on board cruise ships in 2017, of which the vast majority were committed against minors.
Hiring a Texas Maritime Personal Injury Lawyer
Corpus Christi and Galveston are home to a number of major ports and harbors, and they serve as major arteries for cruise ship companies. When someone gets hurt at sea, there can be challenges to getting compensated. You need the skill and experience of a firm that understands maritime injuries. Do not take on the cruise ship companies without first talking to a Houston injury lawyer. Contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of the dedicated attorneys of The Oweyssi Law Firm, PLLC.