Carnival Cruise Passenger Injured After Falling from Deck

On October 8th, 2019, a 23-year-old man who was a passenger on the Carnival Valor cruise ship was seriously injured after falling off a railing. It appears that the man was sitting on the railing when he slipped and fell onto the deck below. Early reports suggested that the man fell into the water, but those reports proved to be false.

The passenger sustained serious injuries as a result of his fall and was eventually airlifted off the ship in the early hours of the morning by the U.S. Coast Guard after the ship’s medical team determined that he was too injured to remain under their care. The ship’s doctor accompanied the injured man to New Orleans University Medical Hospital, where he was admitted in critical condition.

The cruise ship was around 65 miles off the coast of Louisiana when the incident occurred. The man fell more than 16 feet onto a lower deck of the ship. More specific details about the incident are not known at this time, but the ship’s railings were secure at the time of the accident and foul play is not suspected. Although the man’s injuries are reportedly serious, no additional information about his injuries or current condition has been released to the public.

The Coast Guard was notified at 1:14 a.m. that they were needed to medevac the man to safety. However, the man was not airlifted off the ship until 5:45 a.m., more than four hours after the accident occurred. Video footage of the man being taken up into the helicopter when the Coast Guard arrived was provided by the Coast Guard to the news media.

This accident comes at a bad time for Carnival, who was chastised by U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz in a Miami federal court hearing earlier this month for failing to adequately correct another area of their operations, which is minimizing or eliminating the amount of pollution their cruise ships dump into the ocean.

In 2016, Carnival was slapped with a criminal pollution conviction, and the company is now halfway through a probationary period in which they are being forced to clean up their act.

Staying Safe on Cruise Ships

Over 30 million people embarked on cruises in 2019 – a number that shows just how popular taking cruises is for people who are seeking a relaxing vacation. Because of this, it’s important that passengers know how to remain safe while they are aboard cruise ships.

It is quite easy, on crowded, boisterous ships, for people to become seriously sick or injured. In fact, hundreds of people get injured on cruise ships every year. Cruise ship passengers need be vigilant to avoid dangerous situations while they’re at sea, where emergency medical care may take hours to arrive, as in the case of the man on the Carnival Valor.

Slip-and-fall accidents are one of the most common types of cruise ship accidents. Passengers can help prevent these by wearing practical, easy-to-walk-in shoes. Passengers should also always stay in brightly-lit or heavily-trafficked areas of the ship so that if an accident does happen, they can be easily found. Additionally, passengers should never climb on railings or tall structures, since this can lead to serious injuries or death.

Of course, passengers who have taken all the appropriate measures to stay safe may still be the victims of cruise ship accidents, so it’s equally important to know how to deal with an emergency, and to understand that medical care provided aboard ship may be limited.

Cruise Ship Medical Care

Medical care on cruise ships is not intended to handle serious injuries or illnesses. While all large cruise ships are required to meet certain medical standards, including having an examination room and a medical professional on-board at all times, they sometimes fall short.

Intensive care facilities all exist on all large cruise ships, but there are rarely any doctors who are trained to work in an emergency room setting. This means that when there’s truly an emergency, patients may find themselves in an unnecessarily risky situation.

When patients can’t be accommodated using the ship’s resources, they will sometimes be dropped off at the nearest port so they can be treated on land. However, the quality of care patients receive depends entirely on where the ship is situated on the water. While the man aboard the Carnival Valor was able to be airlifted to a well-respected U.S. hospital, some passengers won’t be so lucky.

Under-equipped hospitals in unfamiliar countries may pose risks for patients who have to be treated there. Language barriers between medical professionals and patients, both on cruise ships and on land, are just another obstacle that may impact the quality of medical care.

When patients stay on-board for their medical care, they may find it more difficult than it should be to receive treatment. Though by law, cruise ships have to hire a medical professional who is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, medical centers on cruise ships are usually open for only a limited amount of time each day.

Additionally, medical insurance may work differently while at sea, meaning that it’s a good idea for passengers to check up on their cruise’s medical policies and their own insurance policies before leaving home.

Do You Need Help? Give Louis A. Vucci P.A. a Call

Cruise line companies should be held accountable for their negligence in dealing with cruise ship injuries. If you have been hurt in an accident or did not receive proper treatment from medical professionals on a cruise ship, Louis A. Vucci P.A. can sit down with you to discuss your options. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at (786) 375-0344 or reach out to us through our website.