Modified: December 8, 2022

62-year-old American Killed When Massive Wave Hits Cruise Ship

On November 29, 2022, a massive wave struck a cruise ship and broke cabin windows late Tuesday, causing one death and injuries to multiple passengers. Let’s explore the details of the incident with Ehline Law and our cruise ship law personal injury attorneys.

Massive “Rogue Wave” Hits Viking Polaris Ship, Causing Injuries and Death

A Viking Polaris cruise ship was traveling to the port of Ushuaia in southern Argentina when a massive wave hit the vessel. The Viking Polaris ship suffered limited damage from the impact of the wave. However, it broke cabin windows, and a 62-year-old woman was hit by broken glass, causing fatal injuries leading to her death.

The cruise ship nor the Argentine Naval Prefecture identified the 62-year-old woman killed in the incident.

Extreme Storm Waves Broke Windows and Killed Passenger During Storm, Argentine Authorities Said

The next day when the Antarctic cruise ship reached Ushuaia, southern Argentina, it reported the passenger’s death, stating the cause of death as a rogue wave incident. 

According to the spokesperson for the Viking Polaris cruise ship, there were four other passengers injured from the rogue wave incident.

Federal Case Opened up to Determine the Cause of the Incident in Atlantic Ocean

The Antarctic cruise ship remains anchored in the Atlantic Ocean near Ushuaia after a federal court decided to investigate what happened to the Viking Polaris ship that resulted in death and injuries.

Is a Cruise Ship Liable for Injuries When a Rogue Wave Hit the Cabin Windows, Causing Injuries or Death?

The “62-year-old American killed when massive wave hits cruise ship” incident opens up the question of whether the wave caused injuries and death on the Viking Polaris ship or the negligence of the ship captain and maintenance crew.

Cruise Ship Must Notify Passengers of Rough Weather

Whenever a cruise ship encounters rough weather at sea, the captain or crew members must inform their passengers about it, just like how airline pilots remind passengers about turbulence, so they secure themselves to their seats using their seat belts to prevent injuries.

When the wave broke cabin windows, did the cruise ship inform passengers of rough weather so they could stay away from windows and secure themselves, or were the crew members negligent and did not notify passengers?

According to Suzie Gooding, a passenger on the cruise ship sailing to Ushuaia, the incident was sudden, and many passengers considered abandoning ship.

Cruise Ship Captain Must Pay Heed to Weather Warnings

No one expects the sea to be calm throughout the cruise journey, but there are some instances where the captain can make flawed decisions jeopardizing the lives of passengers onboard. 

Suppose the port at Ushuaia in southern Argentina or relevant authorities signaled rough weather and for the cruise ship to stay clear. In that case, it is the responsibility of the captain to turn the cruise ship around, change course, or wait until the weather clears out before proceeding.

However, even after warnings, if the captain decides to proceed, that is serious negligence for which the cruise line can be liable for any injuries or wrongful death that may arise.

Negligence on Behalf of the Maintenance Crew

Although cruise lines keep mentioning how their cruise ships can weather the storm, the incident involving the rogue wave hitting cabin windows late Tuesday does not explain how the cabin windows broke.

There needs to be a proper investigation into how the wave broke cabin windows on the Antarctic cruise. It could be possible that the cruise line did not conduct appropriate inspections and maintenance to ensure that the windows in cabin rooms are strong enough to withstand rough weather.

The old woman was hit by broken glass after the rogue wave hit the cabin windows, and in such situations, the cruise ship may be responsible if it didn’t carry out proper maintenance.

Cruise ships are responsible for ensuring the safety of their passengers throughout the journey. A proper investigation into the incident could help reveal such details and determine the liable party.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law

If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one on a cruise, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.

Top Notch American Injury Lawyer, Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline

Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.

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