Philippine Sea

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Wave Struck Cruise Ship: Let the lawsuits begin

As reported by the New York Post and predicted earlier, legal action against Norwegian Cruise Line is gearing up:
Dozens of passengers from the cruise ship battered by a 70-foot freak wave are looking to launch legal action against Norwegian Cruise Line and the ship's captain, The Post has learned.
The Norwegian Dawn, which docked Monday morning, sailed through harrowing gale-force winds Friday night and was struck by a monster swell that injured four passengers as it steamed back to New York for a TV shoot for "The Apprentice."

Norwegian Cruise Line confirmed for the first time last night that the ship was scheduled to be filmed for "The Apprentice" Sunday morning but refused to disclose any terms involved. As The Post reported yesterday, sources close to the show say the cruise line paid a fee of more than $1 million for its cameo.

The news sparked a flurry of calls from furious passengers to their lawyers.

Patrick McKay of Mt. Arlington, N.J., was on the cruise with 19 friends and family members and says the group is consulting attorneys about filing suit against the cruise line. At least a dozen other passengers are doing the same.

"For them to put the safety of all the passengers and crew in jeopardy for the sake of money is completely disturbing," said McKay, 38.
But,
Norwegian Cruise Line has strenuously denied that Capt. Niklas Peterstam was under any pressure to hurry back to New York, and said he acted appropriately and in the interests of the safety of the passengers and crew.


The incident has inspired at least one attempt at humor here.

In addition, a Google page reveals a 'sponsored link" to a law firm reading, in part "Norwegian Dawn Accident
We help cruise ship injury victims..." No, I won't link to them.

The ship, meanwhile, is back in action as reported here. You can visit its bridge webcam here.

Update: Here are some actual quotes from people who were on the ship as it weathered the storm:
The storm bore down on the ship soon after it left Miami at 1 a.m. Friday. For hours, the giant waves picked up the 965-foot vessel and slapped it back down. Wave after wave knocked against the windows. Cold saltwater ran down the halls and into the cabin Russo shared with her husband and three children...

...The 39-year-old mother from Wayne was petrified. She sloshed through ankle-deep water while her 6-month-old son, Gianluca, cried in his crib. Nine-year-old Francesca was screaming and Jessica, 13, was vomiting.

That's when they heard the boom.

In the Impressions restaurant on the sixth deck, a speaker came loose from the ceiling and plummeted to the floor. A waiter fell over. In the gift shop on the seventh deck, thousands of dollars' worth of Swarovski crystal slid from the displays and smashed.

Just before daybreak, a mammoth wave smashed into the bow of the ship, pounding the forward cabins on the ninth and 10th decks. Sixty-two cabins were swamped. Windows broke. The flying glass cut people. Two of them banged on Caterina Russo's door..."

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