While the following story didn’t occur here in the United States, it did involve an American-owned cruise ship. The “Seabourn Encore” drifted into a cement carrier in the Port of Timaru in New Zealand recently. The source story is light on details, so it is unclear if the cruise ship was in operation at the time or if it was docked and simply drifted on its own. What is known, though, is that the cruise ship collided with another.
Local officials launched an inquiry into the accident and ultimately cleared the cruise ship to continue operating. It left the port later that night after the accident. Investigators talked to crew members, but it appears that nothing was out of the ordinary.
Still, this story leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Why did the “Seabourn Encore” suddenly drift into another ship? Was it improperly docked? Was there something wrong with the ship? Was the weather really so bad that it forced a multi-ton behemoth on the sea to drift so much? Was something else going on here? Without any other details provided, it is tough to know exactly what went wrong.
Given that hundreds of innocent people ride on cruise ships — as well as many crew members — it is important for cruise ship operators and owners to ensure complete safety on their ships. If they are negligent in their duty in this regard, they could be held liable for any injuries or accidents that occur.
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a cruise ship accident, talk to an experienced lawyer at the Law Offices of John W. Merting. We have more than 40 years of experience handling complex maritime injury claims.
Source: RNZ, “Cruise ship sails on after crash,” Feb. 13, 2017