At the beginning of April, two dockworkers were assisting the Royal Caribbean ship Independence of the Seas in releasing its moorings and departing from the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. According to passenger reports, the two workers were in a small boat and were working to remove the final mooring lines. Statements indicated that the Independence of the Seas moved out before the men were free of the ship, with tragic consequences.
There are many different cruise ship accidents every year, many of which result in little more than a slap on the wrist for the cruise line. However, the suffering of the victims and their families lasts indefinitely. The compassionate and knowledgeable Miami cruise ship accident attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano understand how to get justice for victims of the negligence that is widespread on cruise ships. Our attorneys have more than 120 years of collective experience fighting for the rights of those who have been injured during a cruise.
The tragedy in St. Kitts could have been avoided if the cruise ship had confirmed that the dockworkers were a safe distance before pulling out. Instead, the wake of the large ship swamped the much smaller boat, forcing both men into the water. The force of the impact was enough to remove the life-vest that one of the men was wearing. Although the other man still had his life-vest on when he went into the water, it was not enough to save his life. After the two dockworkers had been thrown into the water, the vessel in which they had been sitting then slammed into another cruise ship that was in port, the Carnival Silhouette. It is believed that the powerful currents that were created by the departing vessel pulled the men under water, where they drowned.
The Royal Caribbean ship returned to port after learning about the accident, but the rescue attempt was unsuccessful. After several hours, the Independence resumed its cruise and left the port.
Unfortunately, this type of accident is not unusual. Cruise ship mishaps occur at sea and in port and impact passengers, crewmembers, dockworkers, and innocent bystanders. Many of these tragic incidents are caused by negligence, which appears to be the case with the horrible accident in St. Kitts. If the cruise workers who were overseeing the embarkation process had diligently watched the dockworkers helping with the undertaking, the two men would have had time to get to safety. However, at this time, the final reports about the accident are not available so it is not possible to know who was ultimately responsible. Many times, the terrible cases that happen in foreign ports make it difficult to hold the cruise lines responsible for the harm that their negligent actions caused.
There are many things that may have gone wrong and led to the tragic deaths of the two men. The port workers who were responsible for the dockworkers may not have communicated properly with the cruise ship during the final moments. However, this accident could have been prevented and that is the truly sad part of this event. It is important for the rules and regulations that apply to cruise ships to be strengthened to protect passengers, crew, and other parties. While efforts to improve the applicable maritime laws continue, experienced cruise ship accident attorneys will get the best results possible under the existing laws.
Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano Help Victims
Many people spend years planning on that once in a lifetime cruise while others regularly set sail to various ports-of-call. Regardless of whether it was your first cruise or your fortieth, if you suffered an injury as the result of negligence on a cruise ship, it is important to get the right accident attorneys on your side as soon as possible. The knowledgeable and compassionate South Florida cruise ship attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano have spent more than three decades representing accident victims. Our commitment to justice has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and an invitation to join Primerus, the highly selective international society of leading law firms. The Miami Herald also has voted our firm as a top-rated South Florida law firm. Please call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an initial case evaluation.