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Atlanta Cruise Ship Injury Attorneys Discuss Cruise Ship Death Cases

March 22, 2018

Our attorneys discuss a relevant story involving how cruise ship companies can be negligent for the injury or death of a passenger. A 32-year-old Decatur, GA man allegedly fell into the sea below while on a cruise ship, according to WSBTV. The missing man was cruising on a Carnival Cruise line ship which had departed from Port Canaveral, FL and was heading to Nassau, Bahamas. The ship was in the Bahamas when the incident occurred. The man remains missing and is presumed lost at sea despite the cruise ship's effort to locate the man. The United States Coast Guard also assisted with the search. Investigators are not saying at this point whether this tragedy was a suicide attempt, a mishap or a type of prank.

The Carnival cruise ship was about 10 miles north of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas when authorities received word of a man overboard. Cruise line employees immediately sprung into their protocols in a desperate attempt to locate the man. The ship's captain turned the vessel around to search the waters where it was believed the man went into the water. The ship's commanders called for help to find the man. Two other cruise liners which were nearby joined the search. The United States Coast Guard provided additional assistance with the search by flying search and rescue helicopters over the area and dispatched a ship to the area to help with the search. Meanwhile, the cruise liner continued to Nassau. The cruise ship was then returning to its home port.

The investigation revealed that the passenger argued with his mother earlier in the evening. Ships in the area, along with the ship from which the man jumped and the U.S. Coast Guard, joined the search for the man.

The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that four to five people each year fall overboard from cruise ships in Florida waters. Investigations conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard reveal that falls from cruise lines are seldom purely accidental. The U.S. Coast Guard explained that alcohol is frequently involved in these incidents, which usually happen at night. The lack of light makes locating a floating person who is not wearing a flotation device equipped with emergency lights. Additionally, the railings lining decks and cabin balconies are generally 45 inches high. Therefore, it is very difficult simply fall over. Rather, an effort must be made to scale the railings. 

The Coast Guard conducts its searches for overboard passengers believing the best case scenario exists. The best case scenario for the Coast Guard is an athletic, sober person, who is a strong swimmer, and has a life preserver before going overboard.

Cruise ships owe their passengers a duty of care to protect them from known dangers. The failure to protect their passengers can expose cruise lines to civil liability.

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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.