Between May 26 and 27, 2023, the Carnival Sunrise transported more than 3,000 passengers from the Bahamas through a major storm system en route to Charleston, South Carolina.
Carnival’s decision to transport passengers through the storm was made after receiving reports from the National Hurricane Center advising of gusty winds and other dangerous conditions off the Southeastern coast of the United States.
The storm system included hurricane force winds between 70-90 miles per hour and 40-foot waves. Videos taken during the storm showed the ship listing heavily and taking on large amounts of water. The rough seas caused passengers severe distress.
Several passengers reported being injured as a result of being jostled around the ship. Other passengers reported that their cabin windows were broken due to the harsh conditions. Photos and videos demonstrate many people’s possessions being tossed about, displaced or destroyed. Many people reported fearing that the ship would go down.
Most cruise ships avoid sailing into high winds due to the potential for injury and property destruction. Rescue efforts are generally impossible when winds exceed 40 knots. The Carnival Sunshine could have potentially avoided the storm by staying in the Bahamas for an additional day or navigating around the storm system.
Rather than avoid the storm, Carnival elected to plow directly through the storm at great personal risk to the 3,000 plus passengers on board. After the ship reached Charleston, South Carolina, it was able to quickly prepare the vessel so that it could make its next voyage.
All passengers onboard the Carnival Sunshine have viable claims for damages because Carnival violated its contractual duties owed to its passengers by deciding to sail through dangerous conditions when it was not necessary.
As a cruise line, Carnival owes a high duty of care to its passengers to ensure that they are safely transported. Carnival’s decision to ignore weather reports for personal gain violated the duties owed to its passengers.
Likewise, passengers injured onboard Carnival Sunshine should consult with an attorney because they are likely entitled to damages including medical expenses, lost wages, and general damages. Your ticket for passage on the Carnival Sunshine likely requires you to provide Carnival prompt notice of your claims.
Failure to promptly report your claims could result in you forfeiting your claims. Contacting an experienced maritime attorney is key to ensuring that your legal rights are not lost. Contact the maritime attorneys at Johns Law Group today to discuss your legal rights. We offer free consultations and can be reached at (866) 970-0977.