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Rough Weather Injuries on Cruise Ships

Cruise Ship At Kraft Davies Olsson PLLC, based in Seattle, Washington, our award-winning cruise ship injury lawyers have more than 65 years of combined experience representing cruise ship passengers in claims against some of the largest cruise ship companies in the world. When you leave the dock on a cruise ship, you are literally putting your life in the hands of the crew and your rely on the captain and other officers to make good decisions about sailing into inclement and rough weather conditions. While rough weather cannot always be avoided on cruise ships, the cruise line has a special responsibility to exercise reasonable care to properly warn its passengers of any inclement weather and provide adequate safety instructions to cruise ship passengers. The cruise line also has a duty to make certain that the cruise ship is reasonably prepared for heavy sea conditions and that all equipment is properly secured. Many of the passengers on cruise ships are elderly and are particularly vulnerable to serious injuries from falls and other injuries that occur in rough sea conditions.

Duty to Prepare Cruise Ship for Rough Weather

Due to the nature of a ship moving on the ocean, it is important that cruise ship operators follow accepted maritime architecture practices, have proper handrails for passengers, and that stairs have uniform rises and runs. In the event of a storm, these practices will help passengers avoid injury. Moreover, all chairs, tables, dishes, and other items that will shift in heavy sea conditions must be properly secured to prevent objects from flying into cruise ship passengers. Most of the time the vessel officers are aware of severe weather conditions and they have a duty to make certain that the vessel is properly prepared and secured in advance of the storm. In some cases, the vessel officers may have a duty to divert the ship to avoid severe weather conditions and hurricanes that pose a serious hazard to safety of passengers on the vessel.

Operation of Cruise Tender Vessels in Rough Weather

Another frequent problem occurs when smaller tender vessels are used to ferry cruise ship passengers to shore and back during heavy sea and weather conditions. Conditions may even change while passengers are on shore. Under these circumstances, the cruise ship has a duty to exercise reasonable care not to operate its tender vessels in sea conditions that are hazardous to passengers traveling on the cruise ship tenders or attempting to make transfers to and from the tenders. Many cruise lines will attempt to push the limits of safety in order to board passengers back on the cruise ship to maintain their schedules and fail to take appropriate action to protect cruise line passengers. If you are injured due to heavy sea conditions on a cruise ship tender vessel, it is important that you get immediate medical attention. If possible, try to document the sea conditions with video and obtain the contact information for any other witnesses that were present with you on the tender.

Call Us Today for a Free Consultation – 206.624.8844

If you are injured due to rough weather conditions where equipment was not properly secured or passengers were not adequately protected from injury, contact one of our award-winning cruise ship injury lawyers for a free consultation today at 206.624.8844. The cruise ship ticket will likely limit the time period you have to bring a claim, therefore, it is important that you act quickly to contact a experienced cruise ship injury attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case.