Tender boat accident

Tender boat accident caused by rough seas at Mystery Island injures cruise passenger.

South Pacific Cruise

A tender boat accident can unfortunately happen to anyone, as 31 year old Matthew found out.

Matthew was on a South Pacific cruise departing from Brisbane. He was cruising with his children and parents to celebrate his father’s 60th birthday.

Mystery Island

One of the destinations on the cruise was Mystery Island in Vanuatu. Mystery Island does not have a dock. The cruise ship therefore had to anchor in the bay, and passengers reached shore by tender transfer.

Matthew and the whole of the the family took a tender transfer to spend the day on the beach.

On the way over to shore, the weather was overcast with a slight breeze.  However the wind picked up during the course of the day.

Tender boat accident on return transfer

Matthew and his family boarded a return tender at around 4pm, to make it back to the ship in good time for its departure.

The swell was higher than on the outbound journey, and it began to rain lightly.

When the tender reached the ship, the passengers stood up to disembark. When standing, Matthew realised how much the tender boat was moving. Concerned for the safety of his children, he told his wife to disembark first so that he could pass the children to her.

As Matthew and his family reached the front of the queue, Matthew saw that there was no gangway for passengers to walk across to reach the cruise ship. Passengers had to simply step across the gap from the tender boat to the vessel. However, the tender boat was rising and falling with the swell, making it difficult to judge when to go.

There was one crew member supervising the passengers disembarking. However he just told the passengers when to go. He did not hold out his hands or provide any physical assistance.

Matthew managed to help his children across the gap. However, when it was his turn the tender boat lifted up with the swell and his left foot slipped on rainwater. Matthew’s right leg momentarily became trapped between the tender boat and the ship’s pontoon, squashing and cutting his foot.

Injuries and treatment

Matthew and his family were horrified by his injury and the loss of blood. He attended the ship’s medical centre where he was treated. He was unable to get his foot wet for the remainder of the cruise.

Fortunately Matthew was well prepared and had purchased travel insurance for his cruise.

Matthew was in pain and could not enjoy the remainder of the family holiday celebrations. The remainder of the cruise holiday was ruined.

Complaint about tender boat accident

Matthew filed a complaint to Guest Services about his tender boat accident. A security officer contacted Matthew and investigated the accident.

The security officer concluded that the accident happened because Matthew had been wearing thongs.  The cruise line then determined that the accident was Matthew’s fault and that he would have to pay for his medical treatment.

Cruise passenger contacts Victoria Roy

Matthew went online whilst still on the cruise, and contacted Victoria Roy for advice.  Victoria has vast expertise in bringing cruise ship accident compensation claims including following tender boat accidents

Victoria advised Matthew of the steps to take whilst on the cruise, and made an appointment to meet with him on his return home.

Victoria submitted a claim to the cruise line for negligence, breach of contract, and non-compliance with the Australian Consumer Law. The cruise line strongly denied liability on the basis that the accident was caused by Matthew wearing thongs.

Court proceedings are started

With Matthew’s instructions, Victoria commenced court proceedings against the cruise line. This enabled her to subpoena various records from them.

Victoria instructed a maritime expert who inspected the ship’s documents. He prepared a report condemning the cruise line’s health and safety procedures for the tender transfer.

Victoria also gathered various medical and other records to value the claim.

Case settles

Shortly after submitting the maritime expert’s report, the cruise line were prepared to enter settlement negotiations.

The claim then settled for a sum that Matthew was very happy with. Not put off by his experience, he used some of the money to take his family on another cruise.

Real client names and identifying features cannot be published for confidentiality reasons, both to maintain client confidentiality and in accordance with settlement agreements. The above case study is an amalgamation of our founder and principal solicitor Victoria Roy’s previous successful cases and are typical of the expertise of Victory Travel & Cruise Lawyers. 

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