Monthly Archives: February 2017

Proudly Representing Cruise Ship Cases in Miami, Nearby Areas of Florida and Nationwide

  • A North Carolina woman is suing a Miami area cruise company for $25 million.
  • The woman alleges that she was raped by a member of the ship’s crew during a 2015 cruise.
  • The alleged victim claims that the ship’s doctor could not complete a rape kit because the ship did not have one available.

A North Carolina woman has filed a massive lawsuit against a Miami area cruise line, alleging that she was raped by one of the company’s crew members.

The plaintiff claims that on June 24, 2015, while sailing on the SeaDream I cruise ship, she consumed sleeping medication – which she had done regularly for years – and a pill for seasickness that she received from a concierge. After taking the pills she and a friend strolled over to the piano bar and met up with a bartender that she had seen on previous cruises. He reportedly gave her several drinks including water and a glass of wine.

The plaintiff believes that the combination of pills caused her to lose consciousness, a situation which the bartender exploited to sexually assault her. According to the Miami Herald report on the incident, the plaintiff reports that she remembers her friend leaving her with the bartender, and him raping her behind the bar. After the alleged rape the victim was then dropped off at her room.

The victim called the ship’s doctor for assistance some time after the incident, but as the ship did not have any rape kits available, proper documentation of the incident was not possible.

The plaintiff is suing SeaDream Yacht Club for $25 million, claiming that it failed to provide a safe environment for her.

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  • A fire was reported aboard the Costa Magica cruise ship on Friday.
  • The fire lasted approximately 90 minutes, and was extinguished without injury.
  • The Magica also made headlines two weeks ago, when a crew member committed suicide in his cabin room.

The Costa Magica cruise ship reportedly caught fire on Friday, as it sailed toward Pointe-a-Pitre in Guadeloupe.

According to the Maritime Herald the fire lasted approximately 90 minutes, but did not result in any smoke or visible signs of danger. Passengers shared their stories through social media after the ship’s authorities issued an announcement about the incident. The fire was extinguished with no injuries.

The cause of the fire has not been released, but cruise ship engine room fires are relatively common.

Engine room fires are one of the most dangerous occurrences with which cruise ship officials must contend. There were numerous reports of cruise ship fires in 2016, including at least one incident which saw an Amazonian cruise ship explode and sink.

The fire is the second recent indecent to strike the Magica. The ship also made headlines in recent weeks after a crew member committed suicide while in his cabin room.

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  • Royal Caribbean has finally announced that it will begin to station lifeguards at its onboard pools.
  • The company says 14 ships will receive lifeguards by mid-April, with the remaining sips receiving them by mid-June.
  • Royal Caribbean joins Disney as the two major cruise lines to offer lifeguards at onboard pools.

After years of tragic headlines relating to children drowning and nearly drowning in cruise ship pools, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has decided to station lifeguards at its pools.

The company, and most major cruise lines, had inexplicably refused to provide lifeguards at its pools for years. As the companies continued their tone-deaf refusals, they had to simultaneously defend against the outcry of parents who lost children in cruise ship swimming pools, and industry watchers who levied harsh criticisms every time another child was injured or killed by drowning.

Until now Disney Cruises was the only major cruise company which had decided to provide lifeguards. Disney, too, had refused lifeguards for years, but changed its policy in 2013 after a child’s drowning death.

Royal Caribbean announced that 14 of the company’s ships will see the lifeguards go on duty by mid-April, with the remaining ships receiving lifeguards by mid-June. The lifeguard personnel will be dedicated to their jobs and will not have any additional duties aboard their respective ships.

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  • Police arrested an Irish man this week, in connection with the disappearance of his wife from a cruise ship.
  • The man was reportedly arrested as he tried to board a flight from Rome back to Ireland.
  • Authorities say that the man’s wife was only reported missing at the end of a 10-day cruise that the couple took with their children in Italy.

Police arrested an Irish man on Tuesday, after suspecting that he had something to do with his wife’s going went missing from a cruise vacation.

A 45-year-old man was arrested after his wife went missing during a Mediterranean cruise on February 10th.  Authorities say that the man is being held for questioning in connection with his wife’s disappearance.

“We want to know what he knows about his wife and why she was not with him when he disembarked from the ship. He has told us a very contradictory story and we want to get to the bottom of it,” a police official in Rome is reported as saying.

The man was reportedly arrested on Tuesday as he tried to board a flight from Rome to Ireland with his two children.  

Authorities say that the man’s wife’s disappearance was only noticed 10 days after family boarded the ship in Genoa.

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In today’s technological age, it would stand to reason that major cruise companies would have all of the information they need to avoid dangerous weather conditions at sea. Cruise companies can make use of state of the art radars, weather prediction models, and some of the most advanced ships in the world to help keep passengers safe. But despite these advances, cruise companies continue to test mother nature.

Below are some videos of what happens when cruise ships choose to sail into dangerous waters.

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  • Passengers who sailed on the Golden Princess cruise ship recently were notified that they may have been exposed to Hepatitis E.
  • Authorities identified passengers who sailed on two cruises out of Melbourne, on February 8th and 15th, as possibly having been exposed.
  • Health officials say that the risk of transmission was low.

Some passengers who sailed on the Golden Princess cruise ship recently were warned that they may have been exposed to Hepatitis E. Those at risk include passengers who boarded the ship during two recent sailings out of Melbourne.

Authorities say that those who sailed on the affected cruises, which embarked on February 8th and 15th of this year, may have been exposed to a crew member who was battling the illness at the time of the cruises.

Professor Charles Guest, Victoria's Chief Health Officer, says that passengers were at a low risk of infection.

Hepatitis E is a virus which can be transmitted by coming into contact with infected humans, animals, or their feces. The virus is not usually fatal, but can cause a range of symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

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  • The legal guardian for a 12-year-old girl sued MCS Cruises last September, after the girl was allegedly sexually assaulted aboard a February 2016 cruise.
  • The suit alleges that cruise worker Rudy Samuel Santos Hernandez entered the girl’s cabin room when she was alone and sexually assaulted her.
  • The suit claims that the victim suffered physical and psychological injuries as a result of the assault.

MCS Cruises was sued recently, after a minor accused one of the company’s employees of sexual assault.

In September 2016, the legal guardian for the alleged victim filed suit against MCS in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division. Also, named in the suit was Rudy Samuel Santos Hernandez, the alleged perpetrator.

The suit claims that on February 14, 2016 a man and his 12-year-old granddaughter were sailing on a 7 night Caribbean itinerary aboard a MCS cruise ship. Upon seeing the girl enter her cabin room alone, crew member Rudy Samuel Santos Hernandez allegedly used his service key to enter behind her. While in the room alone with the minor Hernandez reportedly sexually assaulted her, leaving her with significant physical and psychological injuries.

The plaintiff holds MCS Cruises (USA) Inc., MSC Crociere SA liable for not providing the plaintiff with safe conditions, and for failing to monitor and supervise crew members.

The suit seeks compensatory damages and interest, and any other compensation provided for by the courts.  

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  • A man who sailed on the Carnival Freedom in February 2016 is now suing the company.
  • He claims that a ship doctor refused him necessary medication during his voyage.
  • The ship’s doctor, Catalina Carvajal, M.D., is also named in the suit.

A man who sailed with Carnival Cruise Lines in 2016 is suing the company, claiming that its medical staff refused to help him.

In February 2016 Samir Gharfeh was on a cruise aboard the Carnival Freedom when he began to suffer abdominal pain. At the time, he was traveling with his son, who is a physician. According to a complaint filed by Gharfeh earlier this month in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, Gharfeh’s son contacted the medical desk of the cruise ship and asked for antibiotics to help treat his father’s diverticulitis.

The complaint alleges that Carnival Cruise Line and Catalina Carvajal, M.D. negligently refused to provide Gharfeh with the medication he needed, resulting in personal injury. The suit claims that Carnival and Catalina Carvajal, M.D. acted negligently in refusing him the medication.

The suit seeks damages and interest, legal fees, and any other relief provided for by the court.

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  • A woman fell overboard from the Sun Princess cruise ship while taking a Pacific cruise yesterday.
  • The woman was rescued about 45 minutes after falling into the water.
  • The woman is one of the relatively few people who are ever rescued after falling overboard from a cruise ship.

 

A woman reportedly fell overboard from a cruise ship during a Pacific cruise yesterday, but was rescued less than an hour later.

The woman, who has not been identified, is one of the relatively few individuals who have fallen overboard from cruise ships and lived to tell the tale. According to Stuff.co.nz, the woman fell overboard at about 4:00 p.m. on Friday, triggering the crew of the Sun Princess cruise ship to sound the “man overboard” alarm.

Following standard procedure in such situations, the ship was turned around in order to conduct a search. Crew members threw two life rings into the water where the woman was last believed to have been seen.

A witness to the incident, singer Will Martin who works aboard the ship, said "By the time the ship made it back to the vicinity, all onlookers could see that both life rings were in fact empty  -  she hadn't made it to either one  -  no one could see her," according to the story. The ship also dispatched a zodiac vessel to search for the woman.

After about 45 minutes in the water, the woman was located by the Zodiac vessel and rescued.

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  • The Carnival Elation cruise ship returned to Jacksonville, Florida yesterday, just days after one of its passengers was lost at sea.
  • 24 year old Kevin Wellons fell from the ship on Monday morning.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard deployed air and sea assets to search for Wellons, but he was eventually determined to have been lost at sea.

The Carnival Elation cruise ship returned to Florida yesterday, after one of its passengers fell overboard and was lost at sea during its voyage.

On Tuesday night the U.S. Coast Guard announced that it was suspending the search for 24 year old Kevin Wellons, who went missing as the ship sailed about 15 miles off the coast of Abco, Bahamas. The Warner Robins, Georgia resident’s wife notified the ship’s authorities at about 8:30 a.m. Monday morning that her husband was missing. Upon checking the ship’s surveillance video, Wellons was seen failing from the 11th deck.

The Coast Guard scrambled air and sea assets at about 11 a.m. Monday morning to search for the victim. Despite searching for a day and a half, the Coast Guard was unable to locate him.

Carnival issued a statement about the matter, which read in part, “Carnival’s CareTeam is providing support to the missing guest’s family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”

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