Families from all around the world turn to Florida to fulfill many of their travel and entertainment needs. From the Disney World Resort to the beautiful beaches of Miami, Florida boasts many of the world’s most exciting destinations. But what happens when fun and adventure turns to tragedy?
Unfortunately, when large amounts of people are brought together for any purpose, there are bound to be mishaps and accidents that can throw a wrench into a family vacation. But what if an injury or even a death can be prevented? This underlying question may perfectly describe an incident that occurred off the coast of Myrtle Beach, North Carolina in May. According to various news outlets, the United States Coast Guard was alerted on May 17th that a 10-year-old girl had died aboard the Norwegian Gem.
According to a statement released by Norwegian Cruise Lines, headquartered in Miami, medical crews that were on-board the Gem were dispatched to the family pool on the upper deck. When the responders arrived, they contacted an unresponsive 10-year-old female that had been pulled from the pool water. The medical team attempted to administer CPR to revive the girl, but such efforts proved fruitless. The cruise ship was traveling from New York to the Bahamas, but was diverted to Port Canaveral, the Coast Guard said.
A History of Accidents
Tragically, this incident isn’t the first child swimming pool death aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. A four-year-old boy died and his six-year-old friend was injured in an incident at the Norwegian Breakaway’s pool in 2014. In that incident, the younger of the two boys also died on-board the Gem.
There likely isn’t anyone that will dispute the fact that parents should keep an eye on their kids, whether they are on vacation or at home. But the law requires that when a company creates an environment where children can be injured, they take steps to ensure the safety of the children. Many cruise lines have been reported to have no lifeguards at any of their pools on any of their ships. Instead, most will place signs around the pool area that warn parents of the absence of a lifeguard. Although the cruise lines may view the precaution as a sufficient substitute for a lifeguard, that may not always be the case. Signs may be hidden, obstructed, or otherwise absent. Furthermore, if other cruise ship employees act as lifeguards by patrolling the pool area, parents may be misled into believing that the welfare of their children is in competent hands, when in reality, the kids are left to fend for themselves in the often crowded, rowdy, and noisy cruise ship pools.
Although cruise ship passengers hail from all around the world, most cruise ship contracts require that any legal action is brought in Florida and according to the state’s laws. Because of the often fact-specific nature of cruise ship accidents, those who have been involved (or have had a family member involved) in an accident aboard a cruise ship should contact an attorney immediately. The skilled professionals at the Tallahassee Law Firm of Fasig & Brooks have decades of experience getting injured clients just like you what they deserve. Give us a call today to set up your free initial consultation at (850) 222-3232.