Natural Hazards That Can Lead to Injury on a Cruise Ship

When you are on a cruise your main goal is to relax and have fun. Whether you are heading to a tropical destination like the Caribbean or are taking a winter cruise to beautiful Alaska. However, Mother Nature does not always play nice. Natural hazards can come along and in some cases can lead to injury on a cruise ship. Here are some of the most common:

Storms- rough weather is always a threat when you are out on the water, but some areas of the world are more prone to storms than others. Rough seas can toss the ship around and cause injury as people fall. Items can also get dislodged and fall on passengers. Most cruise lines have safety procedures in place for when rough weather is encountered so it is important to follow all orders by ship staff when rough weather appears. Most often rough weather may lead to minor injuries and illness but nothing too serious. In rare cases serious injury can occur and there many a risk of skinning if massive storms cannot be avoided.

Lightning- as a true force of nature, it is impossible to tell where and when lightning will strike. This is why it is important to not be out on deck during a storm or when it seems a storm is moving in. Lightning can strike well ahead of the actual storm. Electrocution from being struck by lightning is more common than people realize and it most often happens when people are on deck when they shouldn’t be.  In rare cases lighting strikes can also spark fires on the ship that out all passengers at risk. During a storm you need to be below deck where you are protected from the threat of lightning strikes.

Drowning- cruise ships by nature go out on the water and at times can be many miles away from land. If something goes wrong and the ship begins to sink. Life rafts must be used or drowning becomes a very real risk. Likewise, someone falling overboard faces the risk of drowning before they are able to be rescued by the ship’s crew. If the ship has an onboard pool for passengers the risk of drowning is much higher. Children and younger passengers may wander to the pool or fall in unsupervised. Most ships have safety measures in place but they are not always enough.

Fire- fires are a very big threat when on a cruise ship since there are not many places you can run to get away from it. Fires can start for several reasons. Lightning strikes can set things on fire and it can quickly spread throughout the ship. Chemicals and fuel that might have spilled during storms and turbulent seas can also catch in fire and cause problems for the ship the crew and the passengers. Fire can quickly spread throughout the ship if proper safety measures are not in place and if the crew and passengers don’t know how to respond. In most cases fires never happen and if they do they are minor but this natural threat is still a serious one.

Ice- when taking a cruise to colder regions, ice becomes a hazard that has to be dealt with by both the passengers and the crew. Cold seas often mean there is the risk of encountering icebergs that can pose a very real threat to ships and the passengers who are onboard. Ice can also form on desk if a winter storm is encounters out at sea. Ice on the decks are a hazard because it is impossible to walk the decks safely and excessive ice buildup can make the ship top-heavy and also make it harder to control as it moves through the water. It is rare for ice to be a serious threat but it can happen in some areas while on a cruise.

Extreme Temperatures- the final threat that you need to be aware of and prepare for as you get ready for your cruise is extremes in temperatures. Winter destinations bring snow, ice and frigid temperatures that can lead to problems if proper clothing is not worn while out on the decks. Summer destinations bring heat, sun and high temperatures. High temperatures can cause dehydration, heat stroke, and sunburns. It is important to know what temperature range and extremes to expect and what is common for the area and what you need to do to prepare and make sure you are safe while on your cruise.

If you or a loved one has been on a cruise and suffered an injury, you may have grounds for legal action. Action can be taken if the cruise line, the crew, or someone else is responsible for the injury. This could be due to negligence, improper procedures, poor medical care, or someone not doing what they should have done during an emergency situation.  If you have questions about your injury on a cruise ship, call us today. We will review your case, talk with you about your experience, and get the necessary information to determine if you have a case. Call us today and let us help you through the process. All it takes is one call to get started, so contact us today!