Cruise ships by and large are safe, but injuries and illnesses do happen. Thinking of taking a cruise to an exotic locale for a little rest and relaxation? You’ll want to keep something in mind before booking your trip. Statistics from the Insurance Information Institute show that in 2014, maritime accidents killed 2,118 people and caused upward of $783 million in insured losses. Of these deaths, 2,000 occurred on passenger ships.
Cruise ship accidents most commonly are the result of four top causes:
- High waves: Rogue waves can reach up to 100 feet.
- Storms: Weather experts report 10 storms per season on average.
- Fires: A total of 72 cruise ship fires occurred between 1990 and 2011.
- Collisions: Ships can collide with rocks, reefs and icebergs with devastating results. Most recently, the Costa Concordia capsized when it struck a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea just off the eastern shore of Isola del Giglio on Italy’s western coast. The collision tore a 160-foot gash on the port side of the ship’s hull and 32 people were killed.
Illness also is a factor. Statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show an average of 15 major cruise ship virus out breaks each year. Influenza, food poisoning and sun poisoning also are frequent complaints. By and large, America’s cruise ships offer safe and enjoyable experiences. But accidents and incidents resulting in injuries, illnesses and even death do happen. If your cruise ship excursion is marred by someone else’s negligence or deliberate act, contact a maritime accident lawyer with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111.