Cruise accident lawyers warn that Viking Sky evacuation highlights risks of cruise travel
The dramatic evacuation of passengers from the cruise ship Viking Sky is unusual but comes as a stark reminder that cruise travel is not without risk according to expert cruise accident lawyers at Australian law firm Stacks Goudkamp.
Viking Sky, which forms part of the Viking Ocean Cruises fleet, lost engine power off the west coast of Norway during a heavy storm. Harrowing scenes have emerged on social media of furniture sliding across rooms as the ship listed in the severe sea conditions. It is also reported that windows broke from the impact with waves, and water entered the vessel. With the risk of the ship drifting onto nearby rocks leading to a major cruise accident, the decision was made to evacuate the 1373 people on board. It is reported that injured cruise passengers and those with disabilities were airlifted to safety first. The ship regained power before the end of the evacuation and transported the remaining passengers to shore.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have confirmed that it is providing consular assistance to Australian cruise passengers who were onboard. Other nationalities onboard include Britons, Canadians, US Citizens and New Zealanders.
Whilst the Viking Sky events are rare, the incident highlights the risks of cruise travel according to expert cruise accident lawyer Victoria Roy:
“Cruise travel is well regulated and generally very safe,” commented Ms Roy, Practice Group Leader of the Travel Law department at personal injury firm Stacks Goudkamp, “however, accidents can happen and the Viking Sky incident is a reminder that cruise travel is not without risk. When a cruise ship accident does occur, there are potential dangers of adverse weather, rough sea conditions and isolation from rescue services and medical facilities that are not concerns when dealing with accidents on land.
Given the weather conditions and stretch of coast in question, everyone involved in the rescue should be praised for averting what could have been a major maritime disaster. However, it is regretful that some passengers were injured in the cruise accident, with some passengers reportedly suffering serious injuries. I therefore look forward to the outcome of Norway’s Accident Investigations Board investigation into the incident, so that lessons can be learnt to avoid such accidents reoccurring”.
Stacks Goudkamp’s travel law department are highly experienced in bringing successful compensation claims for passengers injured in cruise accidents on both ocean and river cruises. Their expert cruise lawyers urge any passengers injured in cruise ship accidents or during shore excursions to seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible. The laws in this area are complex and in many cases there is a short deadline to bring a claim. It is therefore important for passengers injured in cruise accidents to act quickly to protect their rights.
Written by Victoria Roy.
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.
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