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This week, our Miami passenger cruise ship attorneys are saddened to learn of the drowning death of a ten-year-old New York girl aboard the Norwegian cruise ship Gem. We send our sincere condolences to her family.

The Gem had departed from New York for a seven-day cruise to Florida and the Bahamas.  The ship was positioned about 75 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, when the Coast Guard was alerted.  The Gem was then sent to Port Canaveral, Florida, where it arrived last Monday. As of today, over a week since the incident, very little is yet known about how the child died.

According to NCL,

… the ship’s medical team responded to an emergency call from the pool deck, as a ten-year-old female guest was reported unresponsive. The team quickly administered CPR and full emergency care. After extensive efforts, the guest could not be revived.

Increased Number of Children Drowning on Cruises

As lawyers who sue cruise lines, like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Celebrity, we have seen an increased number of drownings and near drownings of children on cruises.  Sadly, this is not the first time a child has drowned aboard this very ship. Just last year, there were two tragic cases on the same NCL Gem.  A four-year-old boy drowned to death, and his six-year-old friend was med-evaced off the ship by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Earlier this year, a four-year-old Italian boy nearly drowned on RCCL’s Oasis of the Seas.   Ascanio and his family were on a seven-day cruise that had left from Port Everglades, Florida. Luckily, a fellow passenger spotted the boy underwater, jumped in, and pulled him out. Unfortunately, Ascanio had been without oxygen for six minutes.

Some Accidents on Cruise Ships are Preventable

With over 1.5 million children sailing aboard cruise ships every year, it is unforgivable that Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean–the three largest cruise lines in the world–do not post lifeguards at any of their swimming pools.  As of today, only Disney Cruise Lines mandates lifeguards.  With the Norwegian Gem employing more than 1,100 crew members per voyage, it is inconceivable that they do not employ lifeguards at their swimming pools.

As a maritime accident lawyer in Miami, I know and understand the importance of parents’ keeping a close eye on their children at all times when on a cruise. Realistically, however, when vacationing dads and moms are distracted by the sun, waves, margaritas, and other shipboard activities and let their guard down for a minute, tragedy can occur, especially around the pools.  The CEOs of the major cruise lines–Carnival, RCCL, and NCL–are urged to put their passengers’ safety ahead of corporate profits . . . today. Employing lifeguards will protect their young and most vulnerable passengers–children–and eliminate preventable cruise ship accidents.

Investigating and Evaluating Your Potential Cruise Ship Claim

Our maritime accident law firm in Miami has represented passengers who have suffered accidents on cruise ships for nearly 25 years.  We fight hard to hold the cruise lines accountable for putting their profits ahead of passenger safety.  If you have been involved in an accident aboard a Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or Norwegian cruise ship, most likely your claim will have to be filed here in Miami, Florida, within one year of the date of the incident.  Other cruise lines, like Disney Cruise Lines (Orlando), Princess (Los Angeles) and Holland America (Seattle, Washington), bury other mandatory venue clauses deep in their passenger tickets.

Free Consultation for Cruise Ship Claims

One thing that almost all cruise lines have in common is the one-year statute of limitations. This is time-limit clause that sets forth when and how to protect your rights–or risk losing them forever. Therefore, if you have been hurt during your cruise, I urge you to contact an experienced maritime attorney today.

We offer all injured cruise ship passengers a free initial consultation.  We will help you understand your rights and the strengths and weaknesses of your potential claim.  Bear in mind that not all incidents that occur on or during a cruise are the fault or legal responsibility of the cruise line.   But knowing the difference and investigating the truth is important, and we are here to help you.

Please call us today, toll free at 1-866-597-4529, or email us at [email protected].  We also offer consultations via SKYPE or FACETIME with one of our experienced attorneys and investigators.