While many may think that icebergs are the greatest threat to passengers and crew members on a cruise ship, this just isn't so. Some of the greatest threats to health and safety exist right on the vessel itself. Louisiana passengers may be exposed to some of these dangers, but the crew of a cruise ship may be at even greater risk. Admiralty and maritime law protects cruise ship employees who suffer injuries on navigable waters.
One recent study shows that cruise ship crew members as well as passengers may be breathing deadly toxins. The study monitored the air quality on four Carnival Cruise ships and found that, on certain sections of the vessel, the level of particulate matter was as concentrated as it is in a polluted city such as Beijing. The highest concentrations of these toxins occurred at the stern, or the back of the ship behind the smoke stacks.
The stern is typically where lounges, swimming pools and other recreational areas are located on cruise ships. This is where employees and passengers would spend a great deal of time. The study showed that the exhaust from the ships' smoke stacks contains particles of toxic metals and cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These could be especially dangerous for those who already have respiratory illnesses.
Thousands of men and women work on cruise ships in various capacities, including those sailing from Louisiana ports. All employees are covered by admiralty and maritime law, including the Jones Act, which compensates them for job-related injuries and illnesses. Employees of cruise ships or other vessels can seek the advice of an attorney for any questions related to injuries they may suffer on the job.