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Lifeboat Accident Demonstrates Safety Problems on Cruise Ships

In February 2013, the Thomson Majesty was in the midst of a seven-day cruise arriving in Santa Cruz de La Palma when it conducted a safety drill involving the 1,498 passengers and 594 crewmembers on board the ship. At the end of the exercise, (which involved instruction regarding how to deal with general emergencies and lifeboat safety), a group of crewmembers entered three lifeboats in order to conduct further safety drills. When one of the lifeboats was being hoisted, the wire rope fall at the forward of the boat failed, leading to a series of events that culminated with the lifeboat falling more than 20 meters into the water with eight crew members onboard. Five crew members died. The safety report was recently released regarding this fatal accident.

Cruise ship accidents take many forms, including tragic events during safety drills. At Greenberg Stone and Urbano, our dedicated Miami cruise ship accident attorneys have more than 120 years of collective experience in getting justice for accident victims, regardless of how they were injured. We are ready to help you as soon as you contact our firm.

The safety report that came out after this terrible incident indicated that the wire rope had failed as a result of corrosion and that the rope appeared void of the necessary lubricant to maintain its strength and effectiveness. The lack of proper maintenance apparently had led to the deterioration of the strands to the point where the strands of the wire rope separated and permitted contaminants and seawater to enter and compromise the structural integrity of the rope. In addition to these problems, the wire rope was not fitted in accordance with the specifications of the manufacturer and the proper lubrication was not utilized during the maintenance that was done. This all should have been detected had proper inspection techniques been used. Passengers take lifeboats and the feeling of security one gets from seeing them in place too much for granted.

As a result of this incident and the subsequent review of the root cause Core Marine Ltd., which is a subsidiary of the Louis Cruise Lines and operates the Thomson Majesty, has incorporated changes to its safety protocols in order to improve lifeboat safety. In addition, new recommendations about how to maintain the wire rope have come out of this investigation. The ship has 14 lifeboats, none of which were manufactured to be self-righted. The safety regulations for the lifeboats did not require them to be able to right themselves, which contributed to the deaths of the five crewmembers.

This tragic accident demonstrates the problems with the safety protocols in the cruise industry. Due to the international registration of the cruise ships and the companies that operate them, there are very few regulations that mandate specific protocols that a cruise line must implement in order to ensure the safety of its passengers and crew. These discrepancies lead to serious problems, including:

• Fires on the cruise ship;
• Engine failures that lead to incapacitated ships that are far from port;
• Equipment failure that compromises the structural integrity of the ship;
• Breakdown of onboard generators that lead to food spoilage, loss of air conditioning, and other serious problems for passengers;
• Defects in the cruise ship, including improperly secured railings, raised or worn carpeting, and other dangerous conditions; and
• Other safety defects that imperil the health of the passengers and crew.

The lifeboat accident on the Thomson Majesty involved the deterioration of a wire rope that caused a tragic chain of events. However, there are many other safety hazards that regularly lead to serious accidents and fatalities on cruise ships.

Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano Fight for Victims

When a wonderful vacation leads to a terrible accident on board a cruise ship, there are many challenges that a person faces in getting the compensation that he or she deserves. If you or a loved one is injured on a cruise ship, whether through an accident, due to an illness, or assault, contact the preeminent law office of Greenberg Stone and Urbano today. For over three decades, we have fought for the recovery of cruise ship accident victims and their families. Our commitment to zealous representation has earned us an “AV” rating from Martindale Hubbell, and it is why we have been asked to join Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. Moreover, the Miami Herald voted us as one of the top-rated South Florida law firms, and, we have earned the title of “Superlawyers,” designating us as being among the best lawyers in America. We want to put this dedication to work for you, so call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400, or visit our website to schedule an initial consultation.

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