Man Overboard Law Being Ignored By Cruise Industry

Cruises are supposed to offer tourists the opportunity to explore the world in comfort, but the cruise industry has risked the safety of passengers and their crew by ignoring the man overboard law. Suffering an injury at sea can ruin a vacation and cause life-long health issues. A death at sea can leave loved ones behind to struggle financially while going through the difficult grieving process. Maritime attorneys are available to help victims of negligence understand and protect their rights. The Man Overboard Law The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) offers provisions for man overboard cases occurring on cruise ships. This law seeks to make it easier to determine how a person fell overboard by using technology to record the event. Cases in which foul play is suspected to be the reason for a man overboard situation could be easily solved through the use of such technology. It is even possible for this technology to detect exactly where a passenger fell overboard to help in rescue efforts. Seafaring Security Systems Could Save Lives The Seafaring Security Systems Varuna Man Overboard System (V-MOB) available for installation by cruise lines uses cameras and sensors to provide constant surveillance around the perimeter of a ship. The system immediately sends notifications when a person has fallen overboard, and GPS coordinates are recorded at the time of the fall to help rescue workers locate the passenger. The V-MOB even offers fire safety applications by detecting fires minutes before they would be detected by standard detectors. Another safety feature is a detector that determines whether someone is trying to jump over the rail to board the ship. Cruise Industry Negligence The problem with the CVSSA is that the cruise industry is blatantly ignoring the law. While the CVSSA was passed in 2010, cruise lines have opted to avoid installing the technology. The only cruise line complying with the law is Disney. Disney cruise ships are currently utilizing an infrared technology that can detect whether a passenger or crew member has fallen overboard. Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is in the process of installing this technology on ships. How do other cruise lines figure out what happened when a person goes overboard? These companies that have decided that complying with the law is too difficult simply go through hours of CCTV images to determine where a person went overboard. This method of investigating the situation severely cuts down on the possibility that rescue efforts will be successful. The Coast Guard can be promptly contacted for help with search and rescue efforts if technology is used to determine where a passenger went overboard. Delaying these efforts could mean the difference between life and death, and costs incurred by taxpayers may even top $1 million when the Coast Guard is not given detailed information about the incident to help with locating a passenger. Congress has concerns about the lack of implementation from the cruise industry, but cruise lines that have not stepped up to the plate do not show any signs of moving toward compliance. More passengers and crew members are lost at sea after falling overboard each year, but the cruise lines appear to be more concerned about their bottom lines than the safety of everyone on board. Getting Help With an Injury at Sea Case Anyone who has been injured or whose loved one was killed at sea due to the negligence of a cruise line should contact a maritime lawyer for help. Cruise lines that put the safety of their passengers on the line in order to reduce costs should be held responsible for the consequences. A maritime law firm can help victims understand their rights and fight for much-needed compensation.