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The many dangers cruise ship passengers and crew members face

Annually, an estimated 22 million people set sail on cruise ship vacations. Lured by promises of exotic adventures, excitement and fun; passengers are often unaware of the many dangers and hazards to which they may be exposed while aboard a cruise ship. From cases of serious illnesses to reports of passengers or crew members who are lost-at-sea, concerns about cruise ship safety are often well-warranted.

Today's cruise vessels look much more like massive floating cities than ships and are able to carry thousands of passengers and crew members. Despite the ships’ many amenities and luxuries, close and often crowded quarters provide the perfect breeding ground for the spread of illnesses and disease. In fact, during 2014 alone, more than 1,700 passengers reported suffering gastrointestinal illnesses while aboard ships.

Many of today's luxury liners are equipped with swimming pools which again pose dangers to passengers. From injuries suffered in a slip-and-fall accident on a wet and slippery pool deck to the drowning death of an unattended child, ship passengers who suffer pool-related injuries may choose to discuss their legal options with an attorney.

Both passengers and crew members alike may suffer fall-related injuries due to slippery ship decks and steep and narrow stairwells. Slips and trips are especially common in areas where there is a change in floor surface or elevation. Broken bones, sprains and injuries to the head, neck and spine are commonly suffered in fall accidents.

Crew members who work aboard cruise ships are prone to suffer the same illnesses and injuries as paying passengers. In some cases, crew members may be even more susceptible to suffering injuries as many work long hours with limited breaks or time for rest.

Source: Pro Publica, "Cruise Control: Your one-stop shop for health and safety data on cruise ships," Lena Groeger, May 2015 

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