Last February, 59-year-old Diana Mechling of Ohio died during a snorkeling excursion off the coast of Belize. A passenger on Holland America’s Ryndam cruise ship, she sustained fatal injuries shortly after entering the water, when the captain of the snorkeling boat, the Reef Rocket, tried to steady the vessel by putting it in reverse. This action caused Mechling to become stuck in the propeller.
Channel 5 Belize reported in March that Cruise Solutions, operator of the Reef Rocket, had its license revoked and that Belize authorities filed negligence charges against the boat’s captain, Martin Pariente. Even when authorities file criminal charges after a fatal cruise incident, the victim’s family still needs the help of a qualified maritime attorney. Prosecutors can pursue a criminal case against the party responsible for your loved one’s maritime death, but they cannot seek compensation on your behalf. You must file a separate civil lawsuit to obtain compensation for your loss, and an experienced maritime trial lawyer at our firm, who understands complex admiralty laws and specializes in federal litigation, can help.
Even though Holland America did not operate the Reef Rocket, cruise lines are supposed to look into partner excursion companies to make sure their practices are safe. If a cruise ship passenger is injured or killed during an excursion, both the excursion company and the cruise line may be liable, depending on the particular circumstances of the case. A knowledgeable maritime attorney can determine potential liability.
If a cruise ship accident claimed the life of someone you love, please tell us about your loss, so we can help you seek justice on your loved one’s behalf.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime attorneys