The drowning of a passenger who fell from the Carnival Liberty cruise ship last month serves as a reminder that improved safety measures are necessary to prevent the tragic death of those who fall overboard. The passenger disappeared from the ninth deck of a vessel in the Bahamas according to the Coast Guard. While it might be comforting to assume that this type of incident almost never occurs, approximately 290 people have fallen overboard since 2000 reports cruise expert Dr. Ross Klein. Many of these incidents could be prevented with the exercise of due care by the cruise line and ship personnel. In this blog, our cruise injury lawyers review new legislation designed to improve cruise safety and mitigate the risk of passengers drowning after accidentally falling from a cruise ship.
While Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Actin in 2010 (CVSSA), which mandated various safety features including the implementation of automatic passenger overboard systems, the cruise industry has been slow to adopt this technology. Many cruise lines continue to rely on traditional safeguards like railings, reports from the crew and family members, and unmonitored surveillance systems. These solutions cause delays in discovering a passenger in the water so that the passenger is washed out to sea, drowns or suffer hypothermia before a search and rescue attempt can be initiated. Continue reading →