Cruises are meant to provide a fun and relaxing vacation, so you should not have to worry about getting injured while boarding the boat. Gangways, which are the ramps that allow cruise ship passengers to enter and exit the ship, are unexpectedly dangerous. Laws require gangways to comply with certain safety standards, but the required maintenance and safety checks are not always performed. Despite maritime rules, gangway related injuries are reported each year.
Here are some common issues with gangways that lead to injuries:
- Wet surface – If the gangway becomes wet, the moisture should be wiped away before passengers use it. A slippery gangway can be dangerous
- Length – If a gangway is too short, it will be much steeper than it should be. Ships are encouraged to provide long gangways with less of an incline to keep passengers safe.
- Skidding – Gangways should have non-skid strips or other types of rough surfaces that keep travelers from slipping. If not properly maintained, the non-skid material can deteriorate due to the number of people using it.
- Handrails – Gangways should be fairly narrow so that people are able to reach the railing on each side. Wide gangways lead to more accidents.
- Height – Gangways can be especially dangerous for small children. If the railing is too high, or if there are not bars or wires, children can slip through and fall from the gangway. There is often only concrete under the gangway, which offers no cushion to someone that falls from a gangway.