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April 16th, 2013

Lax Cruise Safety Regulations Place Passengers, Crew Members at Risk

The recent Carnival Triumph disaster, in which a massive cruise ship with thousands of passengers on board lost all power and was left floating in the ocean for more than 24 hours, has made headlines. However, this is not the first time that passengers have been inconvenienced at sea, when a fire broke out on board, cutting off all electricity. Such incidents have occurred before, and passengers have been greatly inconvenienced by the consequences.

Yet, the cruise ship industry does not seem to be particular interested in ensuring that such incidents do not happen again.

For instance, back in 2010, a similar fire broke out below deck on the Carnival Splendor. There were 4,500 passengers on board the Splendor. When a Coast Guard conducted an inquiry into this incident, it found that there were major inadequacies in the firefighting instructions that were delivered to crewmembers. One of those inadequacies included a discrepancy that actually instructed crewmembers to pull a valve that was designed for turning.

However, in spite of those inadequacies, we’re still to see a final report about exactly what went wrong on the Splendor. Houston maritime lawyers and anybody who’s interested in cruise safety knows that such delays are fairly common as far as cruise ship investigations are concerned.

One of the many inadequacies on modern cruise vessels that passengers should be aware of is that many cruise ships lack backup systems that can help them return to port, when there’s a power failure, as it happened on the Cruise Triumph. The Triumph had to be towed back to shore when all power failed on board.

Although no serious injuries occurred in the Triumph incident, a cruise ship injury lawyer knows that conditions like the one that existed on the Triumph -no power, no water, sewage backups and food shortages – provided ripe conditions for an epidemic of infectious diseases.

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