Cruise ships are always looking for the next best thing when it comes to attractions and activities for passengers on their ships. For Royal Caribbean, one of these popular attractions for surfing enthusiasts and novices alike is the FlowRider. However, most passengers do not realize the dangers associated with the FlowRider. There have been numerous reports of injuries including broken ankles, wrists, sprains, traumatic brain injuries and accidental drownings. There has even been a reported death onboard Royal Caribbean after a passenger broke his neck and was killed while on the FlowRider.

What is a FlowRider?

A FlowRider is a surfing simulator which allows people to surf while on a dry surface, specifically the ship’s deck. Royal Caribbean ships offer this free attraction on many of their vessels. The FlowRider creates waves formed by water traveling up to 40 mph, which mimics the flow of water in the ocean.

FlowRiders come with certain safety regulations, including how many people can be on the FlowRider at a given time and how to properly “surf” while on the FlowRider. The activity is a public one, which allows others to watch the rider surf and cheer him or her on.

Riders can use a surf board, as well as a boogie board while on the ride, and many of these attractions offer lessons while enjoying the experience. Like other attractions on a Royal Caribbean ship, participants must sign a waiver before using the FlowRider, which says that they accept any risk of accident as their own responsibility.

However, it is important to know that just because you sign this waiver it does not mean you lose the right to receive compensation for your injuries if you are involved in a FlowRider-related accident.

What Is the Risk of Injury on the FlowRider?

The FlowRider does not require that a person have a certain level of skill before getting on, which means if someone has never gotten on a surf board or boogie board, he or she can still try the FlowRider. The attraction is also a public one, which means that others will be watching you while you are on the ride. Many times, as friends and family are cheering on the person on the ride, this applause can lead to false confidence and even a little showing off, which can result in injury or much worse. Some of the most common injuries we see as cruise ship passenger attorneys as a result of the FlowRider, include but are not limited to: broken bones, sprains, concussions, TBI’s, and near drownings.

What Can You Do to Be Safe While on the FlowRider?

If you are not confident or have hesitation getting on the FlowRider, avoid it. See what others are doing to learn what to do, as well as what not to do. In addition, make sure that you closely listen to the instructions of the FlowRider instructors before trying it. It may also help to start on a boogie board instead of a surf board. The fall will be a little less severe and cushioned for a rider on a boogie board. It is recommended that the rider wear tight swim clothing while on the FlowRider. Since the water will be splashing in your face, also prepare for limited visibility while riding on the FlowRider. If you believe this will be a problem, make sure you are wearing goggles or some type of protection that will allow you to see.

What Are Common Injuries on the FlowRider?

The fact that you must sign a waiver before getting on the FlowRider should raise some concern that Royal Caribbean is aware that there is a possibility of injury. The waiver is meant to protect Royal Caribbean from lawsuits if someone who is on the FlowRider is injured. However, this does not mean that they have a free pass for any negligence-based injuries that may be sustained.

Many Flowrider accident victims attest to not receiving proper medical care after being injured on the Flowrider. Others attest to the cruise ship’s Flowrider instructors as not being properly trained at their job and not providing proper instruction prior to the accident. While other times there can simply be something wrong with the Flowrider itself that may have caused your injury.

Injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to the more severe, such as broken bones, sprains and strains. Depending on how the rider falls, he or she can also sustain traumatic head or brain injuries, which can be permanent and even life-threatening. Other injuries can include accidental or near-drownings.

Royal Caribbean has a liability to its passengers to provide safe activities while onboard its ship, ensure that its crew members and instructors are properly trained in these activities, and maintaining these activities to the highest standards of quality and safety.

Do You Need an Attorney If You Are Hurt on a FlowRider?

If you have been injured while on the FlowRider on a Royal Caribbean cruise, it is important to contact an experienced Flowrider accident attorney immediately. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a large company that employs a team of experienced and aggressive attorneys to defend claims from passengers who are injured while on their cruise ships. We are passionate about holding Royal Caribbean International accountable when they put their corporate profits ahead of passenger safety. We recently obtained a 2/3 of a million dollar judgement for a Royal Caribbean passenger who sustained an ice skating injury onboard Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Sea.

Most cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, MSC, Disney, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Regents Seven Seas and Oceania require that claims against them be pursued in a very specific place under very strict deadlines. Failure to comply with each individual cruise lines deadlines can result in a complete loss of any and all legal rights.

If you have been injured aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship whether it be on a FlowRider or anywhere else on the ship, it is important to contact our office immediately. Important data on the ship such as CCTV footage, witness statements, maintenance and inspection logs, and crewmember records will be needed to understand how and why an injury occurred. Contact us TODAY to schedule a free consultation or Chat with us LIVE and let our decades of experience help protect your legal rights and compensate you for your injuries and expenses.