In July, a cruise ship passenger fell from her cabin balcony on the Costa Fortuna while it was docked at a Norwegian city. Authorities could not confirm whether the passenger jumped or fell as she was in a coma when rescued. Now, the 53 year old has woken up and states she was not suicidal and did not jump. The woman informed police that she was in an abusive relationship and went on a cruise in an attempt to mend it. She and her allegedly abusive boyfriend argued shortly before the fall.
While she cannot remember being pushed, she believes there is no way she jumped. The passenger did not want to commit suicide and remembers the long drop during which she screamed for help. Surveillance video depicts the woman hanging from the balcony for a few seconds before falling over. Police have not officially named the passenger as a suspect, but investigations are ongoing and in light of this new information, the incident will be closely examined.
Overboard Accidents Are Often Not Pure Accidents
Overboard accidents are uncommon, but when they do occur the results are often catastrophic. There have been over 250 overboard accidents in the past decade. Last year, a Virginia Tech student fell off a Carnival cruise ship and was never found. Few overboard accident victims survive the fall, making this Costa Fortuna accident a rarity.
Falling overboard is often not the result of pure accident. Often, excessive consumption of alcohol will play a role in overboard accidents on cruise ships. Heavily intoxicated passengers may lean too far over the rail and plunge to their deaths. At other times, foul play is suspected. Cruise ships have been the unfortunate site of murder, with loved ones in turbulent relationships finding themselves overboard. Suicides are also a common cause of overboard accidents, with a few severely depressed or despondent passengers taking their own lives.
It can be difficult for investigations to uncover the cause of overboard accidents. Surveillance cameras are generally posted around the cruise ship, but they do not capture every area of the ship and a suicidal person or someone bent on murder can seek out areas without cameras.
Overboard accidents can be prevented or at least minimized through proper precautions. All cruise lines must be at least a certain height to prevent accidental overboard falls. Even further, several companies have produced cutting edge technologies that use motion detectors and thermal detection systems to alert officials on the cruise line in the event someone has fallen overboard. With immediate detection of the individual overboard, quick action could save the life of the falling individual. Some cruise lines have implemented this technology and the Coast Guard is considering requiring all cruise lines do the same.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Exceptional Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a cruise ship accident, contact the Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano. We have of 130 collective years of experience representing those injured in all manner of cruise ship accidents across South Florida. We seek to obtain the best outcome possible for each of our clients, which will often include recovering for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our firm has received a coveted AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and the Miami Herald recognized us as a top firm in South Florida. Allow our exceptional attorneys to provide you with superior legal services in the South Florida area. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.