How Common Are Cruise Ship Fires?

    There are many reasons why fires can occur on cruise ships, such as engine fires or wiring problems, or even melted electrical cabling. Unfortunately, these fire fires can lead to loss of life. For example, in August 2019 a fire broke out on a Russian river cruise ship. The ship was docked in St. Petersburg when the fire started in the cabin of one of the ship’s mechanics. While 320 people were evacuated from the ship, one person was killed. 

    In 2006, there was a fire onboard the Star Princess cruise ship which was en route from Grand Cayman Island to Jamaica. Before this fire, it was reported that there had not been a fatality onboard a cruise ship due to a fire or accident for at least 21 years. But on that fateful Thursday morning in March 2006, at least 100 cabins were damaged as a result of the fire. Even worse, 11 passengers suffered from smoke inhalation, and one died from a heart attack, which may have been prevented if the situation was safer.

    In fact, it has been estimated that between 1990 and 2011 there have been 72 fires that have taken place onboard cruise ships. Even though there was a long and good run where there had not been any onboard fires or accidents that have resulted in the death of a passenger for 21 years, the threat is always there, and the cruise industry cannot become complacent.

    What are some of the medical risks associated with fires?

    Some of the most common risks associated with fires on cruise ships are burn injuries and smoke inhalation. Additionally, even after fires are put out, there is still a risk to passengers. They may be without electricity or plumbing for the remainder of their cruise. Without being able to get the passengers to a port and have access to clean water and air, they will not have the proper and safe sleeping, bathing, and lodging that they expected when they initially set out on their cruise, turning their vacation into a nightmare. 

    What happens after a fire?

    After a fire, there is usually investigation, but the passengers may not get the answers that they want. The investigations may take place in the country where the cruise ship is registered, further complicating getting answers back to affected passengers.

    Taking Legal Action Against The Cruise Line

    When thinking about going on a cruise, the last thing you may be thinking about is hiring an attorney to represent you or a family member who has been injured or killed on a cruise ship. Cruise lines are supposed to follow all safety precautions to keep passengers safe from harm. But if you or someone you love has been hurt by fire or was made sick from smoke inhalation, then you have a right to pursue damages from the cruise line who is responsible for your injuries.

    There are many legal issues that can arise when suing a cruise line. For this reason, and because of the other complexities associated with taking any legal action, it’s important to hire an attorney with extensive experience in maritime law and winning personal injury cases for clients who have been injured while on vacation on cruise ships, such as Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkelman, PA.


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