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Pensacola Legal Blog

What exposes passengers to getting hurt on cruise ships?

Of the over 24 million people that take cruises annually, a recent Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) report shows that 19 of them die falling from their ships each year. Each time an incident like this occurs, researchers learn a lot more about what can be done to prevent these types of incidents from occurring.

Reviews of past incidents have shed light on how the low height of railings on balconies and decks has made passengers more vulnerable to falling overboard.

Young woman killed after being struck by pontoon boat

A young woman had decided to go swimming in Florida when she was tragically hit and killed by a pontoon boat. The accident happened on the last Saturday in September. The woman passed away the following day. She was just 22 years old at the time.

She had come to Florida to study dental medicine in Bradenton. She had recently attended Seton Hill University and graduated before moving to continue her education.

Boating hazards found in the autumn and winter

Florida is a state that is fortunate enough to have waters for people to take their boats on once October approaches. However, it has caused the state to lead the country in boating accidents and fatalities for multiple years.

Part of the reason there have been so many accidents is because many boaters and maritime workers do not adjust properly to the seasonal changes. While Florida is still open for residents and workers to take their water vehicles out for a spin, it still has the obstacles you would find during the winter in the other states.

The risk of carbon monoxide in confined spaces

Shipyard workers are often forced to work in tight, confined spaces. This brings with it a unique set of risks that they must be aware of.

There is a reason that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration pays special attention to workers in these confined spaces and the jobs they are instructed to do. They know that these conditions can lead to a dangerous and potentially fatal atmosphere. The risk of poisoning is increased by the fact that workers may not even identify the dangerous gas until it is too late.

Safety tips for boating through a storm

If you own a boat, there is plenty you must know in order to operate it safely when on the waters in Gulf Breeze. It's entirely possible that you could leave in the morning for an excursion with the weather completely fine and then it changes dramatically in the middle of your trip. Here are some safety tips for boating through a storm.

The first thing you need to do is put on your life jacket. Make sure every person on the boat with you puts their life jacket on as well. You don't want to wait until it is too late to try to find a life jacket and put it on as the boat is sinking or after it has capsized.

What is considered to be unseaworthiness?

General Maritime Law calls for a vessel's owner to ensure that the workplace they provide for their employees is safe. If they violate this duty, then it allows the injured worker to file an unseaworthiness claim.

It's important for you to understand that these laws cover a wide variety of workers. This is due in large part to the fact that "vessel" doesn't just refer to a boat or ship. Instead, it also is used to describe moored casino boats, offshore production platforms or oil rigs, any land transportation that a company provides, barges that don't have motors yet have sleeping quarters and even helicopters.

Cruising during hurricane season can increase your risk of injury

Hurricane season is now officially half the year -- from the beginning of June through the end of November. Of course, hurricanes can and do occur outside of this period. Therefore, if you want to make your next vacation a cruise, it may be hard to schedule one at a time when running into a hurricane or severe storm isn't a possibility -- particularly if you have kids and need to sail during the summer.

If you're scheduled on one of the many cruises that leave from Florida ports and travel into the Caribbean, it may set sail even if a hurricane or other storm is on the horizon. The ship may be rerouted or the trip may be cut short, however.

What are the dangers you face when taking a cruise?

There are many reasons that thousands of individuals take cruises to popular vacation hot spots each year. One of those reasons is that cruises are all-inclusive. Passengers don't have to worry about booking a hotel, making restaurant reservations or coming up with things to do. It's all done for them. What you often don't hear much about on the news though is just how dangerous cruise ships can be.

A Market Watch report published just last year suggested that a staggering number of cruise ships failed safety and health inspections. Another report showed that as many as three passengers per week die on cruise ships.

Dangers you may not know about in the cruise industry

If you have not yet been on a cruise, the projected numbers indicate that you may soon be. The Cruise Lines International Association has forecasted that just over 27 million people will go on a cruise in 2018. That number is a five percent increase from the year before. This trend continues a growth for of the cruising industry that expanded 20 percent from 2011 to 2016.

If you have never been on a cruise before or are part of the 20 percent of the U.S. population that has, there are some things about being on a cruise you may want to know.

Florida mother organizes artificial reef in memory of her son

A South Florida mother is remembering the life of her son by creating an artificial reef that will provide shelter for sea wildlife. The woman's son died in a boating accident approximately three years ago, and the reef is a way for the mother to keep the memory of her son alive.

The 17-year-old boy was fishing with friends in 2015 when the boat they were using struck a low-lying bridge in Fort Lauderdale. The accident resulted in the boy suffering catastrophic neck and head injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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