Articles Posted in Cruise Ship Injury

Spring break is officially here, which means there are going to be lots of kids, teens, families and college students taking cruises to exotic places. While some will be cruising with their parents, others will be venturing off into the seas with friends. Due to the fact that there will be a higher number of young passengers on board cruise liners, our Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton would like to point out some tips to keep yourself and those you are travelling with free from danger.

cruise ship departure in MiamiCruise vacations should be fun, relaxing and enjoyable. However, the reality is that many cruises can bring out all kinds of hazards, such as injuries, illnesses and even rape and other crimes. Statistics show that sexual assault is the number one type of crime that is most likely to occur on cruise ships, which is why it is essential for spring breakers to always be on high alert. If you have planned on going on a cruise during spring break, please review the following safety tips:

  1. Travel with a Group. It is much easier to become the victim of an assault or other type of crime when you are travelling solo. Always make sure you have a buddy with you, even though larger groups are preferable. Avoid exploring the ship by yourself at all times.
  2. Be Aware of your Surroundings. You should feel free to socialize with other passengers, but keep all interactions well within the public eye. In the event that there is any trouble, as long as you are with others, you will not be alone or isolated. Keep your communications in common areas and in sections of the ship where there is a lot of traffic, like the Lido deck or dining room. Do not allow yourself to be alone with a stranger in their stateroom or in yours. You never want to be in a secluded area that is away from cameras, passengers or other crew members who can assist in the event of an emergency.
  3. Keep a Close Watch on Your Beverages. Many cruise ship passengers become distracted when socializing and drinking, making it very easy to slip something in a potential victim’s drink, regardless of whether the drink is alcoholic or not. Since a drink can be drugged in just seconds, it is very important to always keep a close eye on your beverage. Should you walk away from your drink, always ask for a new refreshment when you return.

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Any time a dangerous situation erupts or a catastrophe occurs onboard a cruise ship it makes headline news. However, when a crime happens aboard a cruise line, we do not always hear about it despite the fact that cruise lines are obligated to report all allegations of serious crimes to the FBI.

Major cruise lines even post criminal data online for the general public to view. There are some limitations, though. Cruise lines are only required to report theft of items totaling more than $10,000, and assault causing serious bodily injury.

48210215_5bb70ad1c4_mWhile more than 22 million people travel via cruise ship every year, crime figures are actually quite low. Trips aboard cruise ships are not inherently dangerous.

Due to the fact that these ships sail internationally, the laws can be somewhat cloudy. Criminal investigations are usually handled by the FBI, but this also depends on where the ship is located at the time as well as where it is registered.

The main thing to be concerned with is how crimes are reported, investigated and tracked.

Should you find yourself the victim of a crime, make sure to report it right away to onboard security and demand that the crime scene be secured until law enforcement can gain access to the ship.

The other thing you want to make sure to do is write down the names of everyone involved in the incident – this includes witnesses. If a criminal act occurs while you are at a foreign port, contact the closest embassy or consulate.

Keep your eyes and ears open when taking a cruise. Trust your gut – if something appears odd or suspicious to you, it probably is. Should something appear out of the norm to you, take a trip to the Purser’s Office and let the staff know. They will appreciate the heads up, and you might just keep a criminal act from occurring.

Taking a cruise is a fabulous experience, so don’t think they are all bad. As long as you are prepared and watch out for your own safety, it will be smooth sailing all the way.

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