College student dies in Florida cruise ship fall

A Clemson University student from North Carolina. died when he fell approximately 20 feet off the mast of a cruise ship that was near the coast of Florida, according to Miami-Dade county law enforcement authorities. The 20-year-old man had climbed the ship’s foremast with other students who were also aboard the ship in order to watch the sunrise during the cruise-liner’s return to Florida.

After the group had climbed the foremast, the ship’s radar antenna activated and knocked the student off of the foremast, causing him to fall to the lower deck. Although he was taken for treatment to the ship’s medical facilities, the staff was unable to save him, and he died.

The young man was aboard the ship after winning a Young Painters company award. The company’s owner told authorities the students had climbed the foremast after witnessing numerous other passengers doing the same thing. The owner was also aboard the ship when the accident occurred.

When a person dies in a fatal boat accident, his or her family may be able to recover damages through a civil lawsuit, such as lost financial support and expenses related to emergency medical treatment. Cruise ships owe passengers a reasonable duty of care under maritime law. If a personal injury attorney who practices in the area of cruise ship liability determines from a review of the individual facts of a case that the duty may have been breached, families may be able to recover losses. After reviewing the relevant documentation and building a case, that attorney may then be able to enter into settlement negotiations with the potentially liable parties or might take the case to court.

Source: WLOS, “Arden Man Dies in Cruise Ship Accident“, September 30, 2014