Travel law experts Stacks Goudkamp have called for a thorough investigation into the cause of the Alaskan seaplane crash, which reportedly killed six of its ten passengers, including an Australian man, on 14 May 2019.

It is believed that the passenger was on an excursion from a Princess Cruises Alaskan cruise on the vessel ‘Royal Princess’ which departed Vancouver on 11 May 2019. It was due to arrive in Anchorage on 20 May 2019.

As is customary with cruise holidays, Royal Princess passengers had the opportunity to go on various shore excursions. Typically such cruise ships make various port stops throughout the course of a cruise to allow passengers to participate in local activities and explore the destinations, whether it be by seaplane, bus, smaller ship, or on foot.

The seaplane was reportedly returning from Misty Fjord when the crash occurred. It reportedly collided with a smaller seaplane which is believed to have been carrying five people including the pilot.

Travel law experts at Stacks Goudkamp represent Australians who have been injured in air crashes and cruises, including while on cruise excursions.

Head of the Travel Law Practice Group, Victoria Roy, called on the local authorities in Alaska to conduct a thorough investigation of the crash.

Ms Roy commented: “When a tragic accident like this happens, authorities must ensure that the families of the deceased are supported. The priority is also to ensure that any persons who suffered injuries have access to proper medical treatment and services. Alaskan authorities should be praised for the prompt steps that they have taken to retrieve the bodies and to assist the injured. Princess Cruises are also providing support to families, which is welcomed.

In the aftermath of such a tragedy, the cause of the crash must be thoroughly investigated and lessons learned to prevent future accidents. While the cause of this crash is currently unknown, it is alarming that two plans can collide in such a manner. I therefore call upon the local authorities to conduct a thorough investigation.”

Stacks Goudkamp urges any passengers injured either during air travel or cruises to seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible.  The laws relating to accidents that occur during flights and at sea are complex. In many cases there are short deadlines for initiating a claim for compensation. As well as a claim against the excursion provider, cruise ship passengers potentially have compensation rights against cruise operators for accidents that occur on excursions, depending on how the excursions are booked. Any injured passengers and the families of those who were tragically killed are therefore urged to act quickly to protect their rights.

Written by Victoria Roy and Rita Yousef.

Victoria Roy is Practice Group Leader of the Travel Law Group at Stacks Goudkamp. She is a dual qualified (England and Wales/NSW) personal injury solicitor.

Rita Yousef is a solicitor in Victoria’s Roy’s Practice Group. Rita represents people in a wide variety of matters including travel claims, motor vehicle accidents, public liability claims.

For further information on cruise ship claims, enquiries can be made to Stacks Goudkamp’s Sydney office on 02 9237 2222 or by submitting an online enquiry at www.stacksgoudkamp.com.au/contact