Cruise lines five times would have put profits ahead of passengers

New times Last week, we described a decades-long network of cruise lines or incompetently covering sexual assaults on board ships. In one case, an employee who had been fired by Carnival after such an allegation had quickly found work on another ship. And a member of the crew who assaulted a child admitted his crime and was then quickly returned to India, his home country, at the expense of the company, thus avoiding prosecution. Cruise lines and politicians have resisted efforts to have independent law officers on board ships to ensure the safety of passengers and eliminate the disbelievers.

Here are five other opportunities where cruise companies have protected their financial results instead of paying passengers:

1. For years, cruise lines did not provide lifeguards, allowing children like Qwentyn Hunter, 6, to drown:

Thanks to an obscure law dating back almost 100 years, cruise companies are not responsible for the lawsuits that can be brought against hotels and resorts on the ground when a child is drowning. If a passenger dies at sea, the cruise line usually has to answer only for actual expenses, such as the cost of the funeral. For a kid like Qwentyn Hunter, it could only be $ 10,000.

Thus, rather than paying lifeguards to watch swimmers, cruise lines simply consider lawsuits as a result of occasional drownings as a lower cost of doing business, says Jim Walker, a South Miami shipping lawyer who writes a blog about popular cruise. "My point of view, of course, is that cruise companies do not hire lifeguards because it does not fit their business model," he said. "It's a place they can tap into and make extra profits in a very competitive industry."

This obscure law is so important to the net profit of the cruise industry that companies have spent millions of dollars lobbying all efforts to force shipowners to pay families for their suffering or even their own negligence.

2. Cruise ships with poorly equipped medical providers have killed several passengers, including Cynthia Braaf, a Sunrise woman:

Although Cynthia could have been evacuated from the ship once the Royal Caribbean doctors realized she was in critical condition, she was not evacuated quickly and her condition worsened overnight. limited medical assistance, says the trial. …

It is not uncommon for passengers who fall ill on cruise ships to die after failing to receive adequate medical care on board.

Just a few months before Cynthia's death, at the age of 54, Amy Tong began to suffer from complications of lupus while she was on board a Royal Caribbean cruise in Naples on June 30, 2017. Although her husband immediately asked for medical help, he was first informed that the only 5,000 people aboard the Freedom of the Seas were closed. More than 20 minutes later, he was able to get help for his wife, but the flight attendants did not administer proper care, according to a complaint filed against Royal Caribbean last August. In a few hours she was dead.

3. In 2017, the Norwegian Break away knowingly, they entered a "cyclone bomb", scary passengers, according to a lawsuit:

Lawyer Michael Winkleman of the Miami Lipcon firm, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, commented that it was not the first time that a cruise company was putting passengers on the road to safety. #################################################################################### 39, a big winter storm. In February 2016, the Royal Caribbean Sea Anthem was damaged and its passengers were deeply shaken after a day of waves and hurricane force winds, during a trip from New Jersey to Florida .

"This is not an isolated case," said Winkleman, whose office also represented the passengers of this vessel. "And you really have to see him from [the cruise line’s] perspective, which is that if they do not stay on the route, they do not earn money. So, if they get out of their way, they lose a lot of income in different ways, which, in my opinion, largely explains why they are willing to put the lives of the passengers in danger. It's the almighty dollar, which is really tragic. "

NCL, who according to the passengers did not offer a refund after this trying experience, declined to comment on the lawsuit. The company previously described the tumultuous trip as "stronger than expected weather conditions".

4. Royal Caribbean continued to promote a zip line operation in Honduras after at least 10 people complained that the company was operating in a dangerous manner:

Alyda Chimene was one of at least ten passengers who complained to Royal Caribbean about their trips to Ziplining in Roatan prior to July 5, when Igal Tyszman, 24, was killed at the time. this same excursion. Tyszman crushed his new wife, Shir Frenkel, 27, during their honeymoon, according to a complaint filed by Frenkel last November in a case that caught the attention of the world. …

Although the zip line is generally safe and thousands of customers have enjoyed it around the world, there have been major problems during the Royal Caribbean to Roatan tour. To chronicle these problems, New times reviewed e-mails from and to tour operators and the cruise line's legal department, customer injury reports, passenger statements and reports submitted via a customer feedback portal. The problems evoke those that would have led to Tyszman 's death and Chimène' s injuries: little or no communication between the departure and arrival platforms, lack of visibility and braking system that did not always work properly.

5. Cruise companies have withstood the installation of man-overboard detection systems, despite repeated calls from crew members and Congress:

According to various manufacturers, such a system would cost between $ 300,000 and $ 500,000 per vessel, which is a significant expense, but less prohibitive if a mega-vessel over 1,000 feet is considered to cost more than one person. billion dollars. The installation of a fleet-wide system would represent an expense of several tens of millions for large companies. But in the absence of restrictive regulations, Klein says, "Why not spend money?"

Of course, automatic MOB technology could also result in other costs for cruise companies. It's easy to see how automated alarms (recording real MOBs and occasional false positives) can dramatically disrupt ship routes and visits, delay routes and ports, and missed flights and other inconveniences for passengers during of their return to earth. (Cruise ships sometimes participate in search and rescue missions, but often calculate based on distance traveled since the incident, as well as advice from authorities.) Financial consequences for cruise lines occur a or twice a month – and more, perhaps, with false positives – could certainly add.

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