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In January, passengers and crew from a Disney’s Magic cruise ship miraculously found and rescued a 22 year old male passenger of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas who had gone overboard off the coast of Mexico near Cozumel.  The Oasis of the Seas is one of the world’s largest cruise ships, with a capacity to carry of over 6,000 people.

This month: Carol Tremblay, a 66 year-old man from Canada, was captured by CCTV aboard the Celebrity Cruise Ship, Constellation going overboard from the 11th deck (110 feet) of the Constellation at about 3:00 AM 23 miles off Summerland Key on the way to the Port of Key West.

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Man Overboard Cruise Ship

Passengers going overboard from cruise ships do not occur frequently.  According to Cruise Junkie, in the last 15 years Carnival leads the major cruise lines reporting 51 MOB cases, followed by RCCL and Celebrity 49 and NCL with only 15.

When our cruise ship passenger accident law firm is asked to investigate a potential man overboard (MOB) claim against a cruise line– one of the first things I do is try to determine how and why the passenger actually fell off the ship. To investigate the claims we were closely with maritime safety experts, the US Coast Guard and FBI.

Sometimes alcohol is involved, sometimes foul play or suicide, but often we cannot figure out why the passenger fell. There is however, technology available now that can assist cruise lines in detecting when someone fall or jumps overboard. The systems include motion sensors and thermal detection systems designed to alert the ship’s bridge to stop and deploy search and rescue protocols.

I am a member of the The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA) founded in 1899. Last year, I attended a seminar in NYC at its annual convention that provided information regarding the latest available technology in man overboard detection systems.  Yet most ships still do not use them.

One reason the cruise industry seems to ignore the regulation requiring MOB technology may be due to the ‘‘Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010’’ which only requires ships that are built after 2010 to be equipped with this technology.

§ 3507 Section D of the Act states that…vessels … built after 2010…shall integrate technology that can be used for capturing images of passengers or detecting passengers who have fallen overboard, to the extent that such technology is available.

If you have been injured aboard a cruise ship like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney, Norweigan, Princess or Holland America call me today for a free initial consultation: 1-866-597-4529 or email us at: [email protected].  Remember most cruise lines require written notice of a potential claim within 180 days of the incident and that a lawsuit be filed here in Miami in Federal Court within one year of the accident regardless of where in the world the incident may have occurred.