Falling Overboard on a Carnival Cruise Ship in Miami, FL? Learn Your Legal Options From Our Accident Lawyers

Nothing frightens passengers and crew like the thought of falling overboard while either at port or at sea.

Potentially falling several stories down to the water is sure to be a traumatic experience that could easily injure or kill anyone who is unlucky enough to suffer it.

In Miami, Carnival Cruise ship accidents can include devastating accidents such as falling overboard. We want to make sure you know everything you can to survive the fall as well as what to do in the wake of it and your rights to seek compensation should this tragedy happen.

Madalon law has a team of experts in handling these cases and we’ve pulled our resources to give you all the knowledge we have and want to be your Carnival cruise ship accident attorney in Miami should you need us.

What Causes a Fall Overboard?

According to Maritime Injury Guide, since 2000 around 300 people have fallen overboard on cruise ships. In 2017 alone, there were 17 reported cases of men and women overboard.

There are a myriad of reasons someone could fall overboard, some are the fault of a reckless passenger, others are as a result of negligence of the crew and in the latter case, a Carnival cruise ship accident lawyer in Miami is needed.

Especially considering that since 2000, Carnival has had the highest instance of overboard passengers amongst cruise lines.

Here are some common causes of passengers going overboard as a result of negligence

  • Failure of the cruise line to properly secure railing or fix railings that are in disrepair
  • Slippery deck surfaces
  • Unsecured ropes and cables that can cause people to trip and lose their balance near a railing
  • Failure of the staff to control rowdy passengers that push bystanders over railings
  • Failure to ensure safe conditions when boarding and disembarking

Other causes are a concern as well, however they are at the fault of the passenger and cruise lines cannot be held liable for them. They include things such as:

  • Intoxicated passengers not following proper safety instructions.
  • Apparent suicide attempts
  • Disregarding safety notices and standing/climbing over the railings
  • Not obeying guidelines and “horse playing” or “rough housing” near railings

Don’t Hold Your Breath

Falling overboard usually comes as a sudden shock, obviously. Most people aren’t planning on falling several stories to a watery landing, but it does happen and there are some things you can do to help save your life.

Our first tip is to avoid holding your breath if at all possible. It may seem counterintuitive, but holding your breath creates pressure in your chest. That pressure when impacting the water could lead to collapsed lungs and other various internal injuries.

Even if you are not a great swimmer, the natural buoyancy of the human body will not take you very far below the surface of the water. Certainly not far enough below to cause you to drown before you are able to surface and get a gasp of air.

The risks of internal injuries and pneumothorax are of far greater risk to your survival.

Swim as Far Away as Possible

Once you have surfaced, the very real danger of a massive cruise ship crushing you is a very real possibility. If someone has witnessed you falling overboard as is usually the case, there will already be help being assembled.

The key to being able to be rescued is to survive long enough for that to happen and the first thing you have to survive is the thousands of tons cruise ship heading at you. If you’ve fallen over the back, this obviously is not a threat. But if you’re in its path, swim hard.

Avoid Wasting Energy

You may feel compelled to yell, scream and wave your arms frantically once you are in the water. If no one has witnessed you falling, then this is necessary. If someone has witnessed it however, you should conserve your energy.

You could have to wait a considerable amount of time for someone to reach you and get you out of the water, so your energy is better served treading water and keeping your head above the surface, or if possible, swimming to a nearby island, dock, or other structure you can hold onto.

Following these tips are a few good ways to help you survive a traumatizing experience such as falling overboard.

Staying alive is paramount, but once you’re safely back ashore, it may be time to contact Madalon Law in Miami to file a Carnival cruise ship accident lawsuit.

And if that’s the case, we’re always here to help and get you the justice and damages you deserve.