Over the past week, two passengers on two separate cruise vessels had to be medically evacuated after they fell ill. In the first case, a passenger on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship began showing symptoms of appendicitis on the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship. The vessel was about 130 miles southwest of Key West at the time, and was heading back to Port Everglades, when the woman fell ill.
The United States Coast Guard responded to the scene and evacuated the woman. She was taken to a hospital and treated for her symptoms.
In the 2nd case, a passenger on a Norwegian cruise vessel suffered from an undiagnosed medical condition and had to be airlifted. This man was a passenger on the vessel Gem. The Coast Guard was alerted by crew members of the vessel, who reported the man was going into shock. The ship was located about 75 miles east of Wilmington, North Carolina, at the time. The Coast Guard evacuated the man, and he was taken to the hospital. There is no information about his condition.
Nothing spells “nightmare” on a leisurely cruise vacation quicker than an illness. It is the sort of thing that every passenger should be prepared for, but few really are. When a passenger falls ill on a vessel, cruise officials must be able to provide emergency medical care and attention. If the passenger’s condition is severe, and he cannot be treated further on the vessel, then the cruise operator is responsible for making arrangements to airlift the person to a hospital on shore.
The maritime law attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent passengers and crewmembers who have been injured on a cruise ship.