The Costa Concordia disaster of 2012 may be the most well-known recent case of a cruise ship venturing too close to shore, but it is definitely not the first one. The Canadian Coast Guard has filed a lawsuit for a cruise ship accident that caused damage and potentially serious pollution to area waters.
In 2010, the MV Clipper Adventurer unexpectedly ran into an uncharted rock shelf off the Canadian coast, near Nunavut. Canadian Coast Guard officials rescued the 128 passengers aboard the ship after the cruise ship’s crew was unable to get the vessel off the shelf.
According to the lawsuit, the cruise ship was carrying 13 tanks containing fuel, fresh water and sludge that came open in the crash. The Coast Guard is asking for nearly half a million dollars from the cruise ship to “prevent, repair or minimize” the damage from pollution caused by those tanks, according to CBC News.
Interestingly, the Clipper Adventurer’s owners filed a lawsuit of their own against the Canadian government last year stating that the government owed them more information about the hazards of the uncharted rock shelf. The Coast Guard’s lawsuit states that boaters have known about the rock shelf since at least 2007, three years before the accident.
Luckily the Clipper Adventurer’s passengers and crew all made it to safety, so the only issue at hand is the environmental impact of the cruise ship accident. However, it is entirely possible that the damage to the ship could have resulted in a dangerous situation for those on board. The situation was not as grave as it could have been, but its causes should still be investigated to prevent similar accidents in the future. It will be interesting to see if the courts find that the cruise ship crew should have known of the rock shelf and its risks, or if the government will be held liable for not making the shelf’s existence known.
Hickey Law Firm, P.A. – Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys