Recently, a 21 year old Virginia Tech student fell overboard while on a spring break Caribbean cruise. The young student, a senior majoring in engineering, went missing off the Carnival Glory ship on Sunday, March 8, just a day after the ship set sail. The student and several of his friends departed on the seven day cruise out of Miami during their university’s spring break.
Ship surveillance videos depict the victim falling off the ship while it was cruising near the Bahamas. He accidently fell overboard during the night and the search began on Sunday. For three days, the Coast Guard combed the ocean in hopes of finding the young student. Another Carnival ship, Ecstasy, diverted its course to assist in the search. After the extensive search did not turn up any signs of the victim, search efforts ceased. Friends and family members of this well known and loved Virginia Tech student are left mourning his loss.
In the past decade, our Miami cruise ship injury lawyers found that about 250 people have fallen overboard off cruise ships. Twenty two of these incidents occurred last year. While uncommon, when these incidents do occur, the results are catastrophic. Few people survive the plunge from the massive cruise ship deck, and those that do will face an immense challenge of surviving in often cold waters until help arrives—if it arrives in time. Given these odds, not many people survive overboard accidents.
Falling overboard is not easy to do and will not usually happen purely by accident. Often, alcohol is a factor when it comes to overboard accidents. A few overboard instances each year are suspected to be suicide, and the remaining are classified as mysteries. Foul play is suspected in a limited number of overboard instances each year, but determining the true cause of these falls is not always easy, especially when surveillance cameras are not present in the area of the fall.
In an effort to prevent overboard accidents, the Coast Guard developed the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act, which regulates railing heights and requires certain training of all crew members to respond to overboard accidents. Every ship will have a response plan in action so that emergency crews are departed as quickly as possible following notification of a person overboard.
However, technologies do exist that many feel would greatly prevent overboard deaths. Motion sensors and thermal detection systems would set off alarms in the event that someone falls overboard. The accuracy of these systems has greatly improved and several cruise lines now implement them. The Coast Guard is considering requiring all cruise ships to install systems to detect passengers that fall off ships in an effort to prevent the tragic death of overboard passengers..
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Seeking Justice for the Family Members of Deceased Cruise Ship Passengers
Losing your loved one due to an overboard accident is one of the most tragic events possible. If you have lost a relative on a cruise ship, the Miami Cruise Ship Accident attorneys at the law firm of Greenberg Stone and Urbano are here to help. Our lawyers have over 130 years combined experience and will zealously fight for your full recovery in a wrongful death action following an overboard accident. Our unmatched professional excellence has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and acknowledgement as one of South Florida’s top-rated firms by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an appointment so that we can begin fighting for your recovery.