Cunard Cruise Lines reports the tragic death of a 74-year-old female passenger from Great Britain who died by falling overboard the Queen Mary 2 after leaving New York for a 12-day Caribbean cruise. The woman was reported missing about 100 miles southeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey, and after searching the ship and, with the assistance of the Coast Guard, nearly 400 square miles of ocean, Cunard assumes she must have fallen overboard.

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On December 22, upon learning of the missing cruise ship passenger, the ship turned around and assisted in search efforts, which included reviewing CCTV footage for a while. How and when the bridge was made aware of the situation as well as when and how long it assisted in the unsuccessful search are unknown.

The ship resumed its itinerary and arrived at its first port of call—Pointe Blanche, St. Maarten, on December 26—where homicide detectives boarded the vessel and interviewed the missing woman’s husband, the Queen Mary 2’s Chief Security Officer, and a female passenger who advised them that the woman had fallen overboard shortly after embarking from New York. The husband claimed that he found the cabin’s balcony door open and his wife’s robe discarded on the floor. Deaths and injuries of US passengers aboard cruise ships fall under the investigative jurisdiction of both the Coast Guard and FBI. Our sincerest condolences go out to the family of the victim.


Cunard Line, based in England, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival, the world’s largest cruise line. Currently, there are only three ships in Cunard’s fleet, the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth. For such a small cruise line, Cunard has one of the most complex sets of rules and regulations—mandating how injured cruise ship passengers and their families can bring claims against it, as well as where and when those claims must be initiated.

The rules and limitations regarding claims for passenger injury or death against Cunard are found buried deep in the cruise ticket, known by Cunard as the “Passage Contract.”  Cunard uses two different contracts depending on the type of cruise that is purchased and where the cruise starts and finishes.

For personal injuries that occur from an accident onboard a Cunard ship that leaves or returns to a United States port or its territories, claims must be made in a Federal Court in Los Angeles, California, regardless of where the injured passenger may be from or where the accident occurred. If the cruise never docks at a US port or its territories, then claims must be brought in Southampton, England.

Regardless of which contract term applies, all claims against Cunard require written notice to be sent within six months of the date of the incident, filed within one year of the date of the incident, and then served upon Cunard within 90 days of filing suit. The complex Rubicon is designed to thwart the attempts of the unrepresented injured passenger or anyone represented by a lawyer who is not intimately familiar with the legal hurdles Cunard has in place to keep its profits intact and deprive those who are legitimately entitled to compensation.

Injured on a Cruise Ship—Contact an Experienced Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer

If you have been hurt while on a Cunard ship—or another vessel of any of the major cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, MSC, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Silversea, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania, and Disney—we recommend that you consult immediately with one of the best cruise ship accident lawyers.

Since 1991, our cruise ship injury lawyers have battled the major cruise lines on behalf of people who have slipped and fallen, tripped and fallen, been victimized by sexual assault and battery, and suffered other injuries onboard cruise ships. Contact us today for a free initial and confidential consultation—by telephone at 305-441-0440, toll-free at 1-866-597-4529, email [email protected], or SKYPE.

The sooner you allow us to begin our investigation, the more likely it is that we will be able to get you money for your lost wages, medical expense reimbursement, travel costs, loss of cruise, and pain and suffering. Not all accidents that occur on a ship lead to viable claims, but understanding the difference and proving the ship’s legal liability require a skilled, well-funded, and aggressive legal team. We are ready to help.