Perhaps the most dire cruise ship accident is when someone falls overboard. It is a nightmare scenario for the passenger, as people who fall overboard are not always found.

If you’re planning a cruise, you may find yourself wondering just how often this really happens. Is it something you should worry about?

Despite the safety systems on modern cruise ships, reports show that roughly 20 people go overboard annually. While that may sound like far more than you’d expect, this is not some fluke incident that only happens to one or two people per year.

That risk does seem less significant when considering the fact that around 22 million people travel on these ships every year. That means that one person falls into the sea for roughly every one million people who take trips on cruise ships.

The numbers do move around a bit, as you’d expect. In 2009, for instance, there were 25 incidents. There were then 26 incidents in 2015.

That said, the amount of passengers also varies from one year to the next. The 2009 numbers appear to be an outlier, as there were just over 17 million total passengers. There were around 22 million in 2015, meaning that the percentage of those who fell overboard was lower, even if the total was higher.

It is also worth noting that some of these cases are intentional. At the end of the day, even though these accidents are not common, they can lead to serious injuries, and they are often fatal. It is important for those involved and their families to know what legal options they have.

Contact attorney John W. Merting for the experienced legal guidance you can count on for answers and assistance.