In the media there have been a number of stories recently about cruise ship rescues. Because there are literally dozens of cruise ships sailing the ocean’s seas on a daily basis, it is inevitable that once in a while the ship will come across stranded boaters, often times many miles from shore. What the cruise ship captain does in such a situation tells the passenger a lot about the cruise line’s ethics, and their following of the law.
The ethics of rescuing a stranded person, or people, are simple. If a ship is cruising far from shore, and it happens upon a boat in distress, the ship has an ethical duty to assist. A recent example of a situation in which the ship did not assist resulted in the deaths of 2 Panamanian men. The cruise line, Princess, is accused of having left the men to die, after passengers alerted the crew to the men’s distress. The ship did not aide the men, and 2 of the 3 men later died. The cruise line is now facing several law suits relating to the matter.
The cruise line also has a legal responsibility to assist stranded passengers. There are potential civil and criminal penalties for ignoring those who have been stranded at sea. These are long standing maritime statutes.
If you are ever aboard a cruise ship and see people stranded at sea, do not assume that the crew, or the captain, already knows about it. Make sure to file a report with the closest crew member you can find, and physically show them the stranded boaters. Next, follow up with guest relations and be sure to get across to them the urgency of the situation.
Hickey Law Firm, P.A. – Miami Injury Attorneys