Florida’s Port Everglades is one of the busiest cruise ship ports in the world. In 2003, an astonishing 15 cruise ships were in port, the single highest number in history of any port worldwide. Like any major cruise terminal, the port is a central hub for tourists both domestic and international. Cruising is a multibillion dollar industry, but it’s also one fraught with risks: as both passenger and crew can attest, cruise ships are no strangers to accidents both minor and fatal.
The 2012 sinking of the Costa Concordia will no doubt go down as one of the most spectacular maritime accidents since the HMS Titanic’s watery end a century earlier. A reckless maneuver allegedly ordered by the ship’s captain caused the massive vessel – one of the largest ever to sail the sea – to hit a rock and run aground, resulting in the deaths of 34 passengers and the total loss of the ship. A dramatic nighttime evacuation marked by chaos, confusion, and a supposed lack of direction by the crew ended with some panicked passengers jumping into the sea to swim to shore.
The sheer scale of the Concordia accident shone a harsh light on safety in the cruise industry, giving pause to ship’s crews and cruise executives in port cities from Sydney to Port Everglades. But many cruise ship accidents never even make the news at all. Occasionally, stories emerge of a passenger who falls overboard or a crime at sea resulting in injury or death. But significant varieties in international laws dealing with accidents and crimes at sea often mean that very few incidents occurring on a pleasure ship show up in statistical reports, much less undergo prosecution. The cruise industry claims theirs is still one of the safest means of travel today, which is probably true. But many more incidents happen than are ever publicized.
In March 2011, a young woman named Rebecca Coriam, a crew member on the Disney cruise line, vanished without a trace. Whether she fell overboard, met with an untimely accident in port, or chose to disappear is a mystery that may never be solved. Her story was a high profile one, a fact that offers her little consolation to her family. They have complained widely about the lack of serious investigative work that went into solving her disappearance and the cursory way the cruise company responded. Is Rebecca’s disappearance emblematic of the cruise industry’s response to accidents at sea? There is no clear answer.
For visitors to Port Everglades, Long Beach, Seattle, and other exotic port destinations, the cruise ship industry retains a certain glamour. Many cruise ship tourists probably prefer not to give much thought about the likelihood of Port Everglades accidents on their vacation. The survivors of the Costa Concordia undoubtedly felt the same way.
For cruise ship mishaps and Port Everglades accidents, you need immediate legal assistance. The Law Offices of Jason G. Barnett are keenly aware of the tactics used by the organizations you’re up against. Don’t lose your right to compensation that is rightfully yours. We are a work injury law firm that will fight for your rights. Call 888.854.8700 or visit http://barnettlawyers.com/
Bringing Safety Concerns at Sea to Light