Crew Member Goes Overboard on Cruise Ship ROTTERDAM

by | Apr 14, 2024 | Maritime Law, Wrongful Death

There was an overboard incident on the Holland America Line cruise ship ROTTERDAM on April 12, 2024.  According to reports, a crew member went overboard while the ship was in the Florida straits.  The missing crew member was not noticed until the boat arrived in Fort Lauderdale on April 13, 2024. The Coast Guard is engaging in search operations in an attempt to locate the crew member.  Additional details have not yet been released.

Going overboard incidents involving crew members on cruise ships, although infrequent, can occur under various circumstances, many of which are distinct from those affecting passengers. One major cause is the demanding nature of the work environment. Crew members often face long hours, fatigue, and high-pressure conditions, especially during busy seasons or in rough weather. Such fatigue can lead to reduced alertness and poor judgment, increasing the risk of accidental falls from the ship. Additionally, tasks that require working near or on the edges of the deck without proper safety measures can be particularly hazardous.

Another significant factor is inadequate training and safety measures. Crew members are required to perform a wide range of duties, some of which involve working in potentially dangerous areas such as the maintenance of exterior parts of the ship. If the crew is not properly trained in safety protocols or if the safety equipment is not up to standard or is lacking entirely, the risk of accidents, including falling overboard, is markedly increased. It’s crucial for cruise lines to continuously update training programs and ensure that all safety equipment is accessible and in good condition to protect their employees.

Lastly, adverse weather conditions pose a considerable risk to crew members working on the exterior of the cruise ship. High winds and rough seas can make working conditions on deck treacherous. During such conditions, even the most experienced crew members can find it challenging to maintain their footing. Effective weather-related safety protocols, such as restricting access to certain outdoor areas during extreme weather and providing crew with appropriate gear, are essential. Monitoring and promptly responding to weather advisories can prevent such overboard incidents by ensuring that crew members are not in high-risk areas under dangerous conditions.

There have been a number of recent incidents involving vessels.  There was a fire on board the United States Naval Logistics Vessel USNS Sergeant William R. Button on March 28, 2024.  An airboat overturned in Everglades National Park in Florida on March 29, 2024.  There was a deadly airboat accident in Jackson County, Alabama on March 31, 2024.  A small boat capsized in the Sabine River in Orange County, Texas on March 31, 2024.  Two boats collided on Lake Iamonia in Leon County, Florida on April 7, 2024.

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The experienced and aggressive vessel accident attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident on a ship. There are strict and short time limits on making claims related to maritime injuries, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or to learn more about your rights.