Yet another cruise line incident in this young year. Recently, an Azamara Club Cruises ship named the Azamara Quest was reportedly drifting listlessly in the waters south of the Phillipines, after fire broke out disabling its engines. The Philippine coast guard indicated that five crew members received injuries from smoke inhalation, with one more seriously injured and taken to the hospital for care and observation. A spokesperson for the cruise line issued a statement that there were no other injuries to the 1,000 people onboard including 590 passengers and 411 crew members. Coast guard spokesman, Lt. Commander Algier Ricafrente, said the ship caught fire a day after leaving Manila for Snadakan, Malaysia and the blaze was soon extinguished. The engines were disabled and engineers rushed to restore power to one engine to re-establish air conditioning, running water, plumbing, refrigeration, food preparation and other necessities. Originally, the cruise was supposed to be a 17 day cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore arriving on April 12, 2012, with stops in Manila, Sandakan and Indonesia. The remainder of the trip was canceled.

Azamara Club Cruises is a part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited, which has watched bookings plunge, along with the world’s largest cruise line and competitor Carnival Corporation, following a series of highly publicized accidents in 2012. The first being the sinking of Carnival’s Costa Concordia after it ran aground off the coast of Italy in January, killing 32 people. This tragic event was followed only a month later by another ship owned and operated by a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation, Costa Crociere, SpA. The Costa Allegra caught fire disabling its engines and without any power for the necessities for three days as it helplessly drifted in the Indian Ocean, an area inhabited and prowled by pirates. Costa began as an Italian family firm that carried passengers as far back as 1947 to become Europe’s top cruise operator, which was bought by Carnival Corporation in 2000. However, it has been plagued with a history of accidents, ineffective equipment, operator error and scandal.

Cruises can provide a luxurious atmosphere for a vacation as you travel from port to port around the world. Unfortunately, if you end up being assaulted, injured or killed while on a cruise, the legal issues that result can be overwhelming. There are choice of law issues, notice requirements and negligence issues that many practitioners are not familiar with, or have limited experience handling. That is why it is important to seek the advice of a qualified maritime attorney who is experienced in handling cruise ship injuries.

The law firm of Anderson Carey Alexander (formerly Anderson, Connell & Carey) has represented numerous cruise ship passengers. In the case of Morton v. Carnival Cruise Lines, we established federal precedent holding cruise ship owners liable for intentional torts by crew members.

The Washington maritime attorneys of Anderson Carey Alexander focus their entire practice on maritime personal injury cases. Our firm has been helping people who have suffered various maritime injuries receive just compensation for more than 25 years. Contact us at 1-800-BOATLAW (1-800-262-8529) to talk to a skilled maritime attorney and schedule your confidential, no obligation consultation. We have offices conveniently located in Bellingham, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon.