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Ovation of the Seas Pax Possibly Injured in Volcanic Eruption

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On 12/13/2019 at 9:29 PM, twangster said:

 

Very interesting statements in this article:

 

  • Bill Hodge, a retired law professor at the University of Auckland, says the system of absolving operators from the threat of lawsuits had given rise to a “cutting-edge” adventure tourism industry in New Zealand.
  • Simon Milne, a tourism professor at Auckland University of Technology agreed: “There’s no question about that.”
  • “Our accident compensation system has basically underwritten and enabled the development of adventure experiences and products that would have difficulty in being established elsewhere around the world.”

If this is indeed the culture in New Zealand it runs contrary to many other developed nations as they so noted.  While other nations seem to have a culture erring on the side safety, it seems New Zealand favors adventure experiences.

My granddaughter went out on the swing in Queenstown and hung by her knees. In the photos you can see the mountains and huge drop below her. She wore a harness buckled to the swing. 

I asked why she wasn’t scared, and her answer was that she was, but she really wanted to do it.

I imagine all of the risk takers are of the same mindset.  

At 18, she did the canyon jump in Switzerland. 

I believe she would have gone to White Island. 

Luckily for us, we don’t know about her adventures till she’s home again 

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14 hours ago, mayleeman said:

Please read my post #338 where I made it very clear I was not talking about these people, but instead about people who disregard rules and endanger rescuers as well as themselves. You can be offended if you want, or you can read through a thread before getting bent out of shape.

I don't find your post offensive and I understand your point.  Rescue workers are incredibly brave people who, by definition, often need to put themselves at risk to help others.  However, they are not forced to choose that profession.  They choose to take risks in the interest of helping others.  They know what they are signing up to do.  In a perverse way, if people did not take risks (including breaking rules to do something stupid), there wouldn't be a need for as many rescue workers.  Personal choice is an important part of this tragic situation.

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Read this article to get an idea of what is meant by venue when filing a lawsuit.  I know that many of you think that accidents "just happen" and no one is liable for nature's actions.  That's not how many nations' laws read.  I think that the issue of being an "business invitee" and the ideas of duty and breach of duty may rule here.  So many think that RC is not liable.  You may rationalize that --but that is not likely what the courts will say.  I'm not suggesting that I know the outcome of any legal proceeding, but just trying to point out the direction the claims may go.  

 

I have been haunted by this tragedy.  Right here at Christmastime, this is so horrific for so many.  

 

I respect the views of everyone, but, I have spent the last 40 years looking at many issues from a legal standpoint.  While I am not a lawyer, I'm married to one--and we have always analyzed legal issues together.  

 

I thought this article might explain the legal avenues to some.  https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/118198421/whakaariwhite-island-eruption-royal-caribbean-exceedingly-reckless-sending-passengers?fbclid=IwAR17tdalt-46vE6hGnl6fws-7H4tgr3ZIEdkn6bOWKLlcbQJlXqrovo3pGo

 

Edited by SLSD

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15 minutes ago, SLSD said:

Read this article to get an idea of what is meant by venue when filing a lawsuit.  I know that many of you think that accidents "just happen" and no one is liable for nature's actions.  That's not how many nations' laws read.  I think that the issue of being an "business invitee" and the ideas of duty and breach of duty may rule here.  So many think that RC is not liable.  You may rationalize that --but that is not likely what the courts will say.  I'm not suggesting that I know the outcome of any legal proceeding, but just trying to point out the direction the claims may go.  

 

I have been haunted by this tragedy.  Right here at Christmastime, this is so horrific for so many.  

 

I respect the views of everyone, but, I have spent the last 40 years looking at many issues from a legal standpoint.  While I am not a lawyer, I'm married to one--and we have always analyzed legal issues together.  

 

I thought this article might explain the legal avenues to some.  https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/118198421/whakaariwhite-island-eruption-royal-caribbean-exceedingly-reckless-sending-passengers?fbclid=IwAR17tdalt-46vE6hGnl6fws-7H4tgr3ZIEdkn6bOWKLlcbQJlXqrovo3pGo

 

Just curious .are you familiar with Jim Walker?

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7 minutes ago, FLACRUISER99 said:

Just curious .are you familiar with Jim Walker?

I am not familiar with him.   I recognize that you may consider him to be an ambulance chaser.  That idea does not mean that his analysis is incorrect.  There is  precedent in liability law in the United States and his comments do not stray from that.  You may not agree with it--and that is ok--but it is highly likely that what this article says is what will happen. 

Edited by SLSD

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2 hours ago, SLSD said:

I am not familiar with him.   I recognize that you may consider him to be an ambulance chaser.  That idea does not mean that his analysis is incorrect.  There is  precedent in liability law in the United States and his comments do not stray from that.  You may not agree with it--and that is ok--but it is highly likely that what this article says is what will happen. 

Your answer indicates you are familiar with him.  Doesn't mean you know him, but you obviously know about him and his reputation.

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53 minutes ago, PhoenixCruiser said:

Did you notice one person said they weren't told anything and another said the Captain kept them informed the whole time?    I always take these interviews with a grain of salt because you get so many different opinions of what actually happened onboard.  As for the people who said "it could have been us".  Well, more than likely it wouldn't have because obviously they didn't go on that excursion, possibly because of the description and cost.

Edited by BND

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1 minute ago, BND said:

Did you notice one person said they weren't told anything and another said the Captain kept them informed the whole time?  

 

Yes, and him saying "it could have been me".  My head hurts from rolling my eyes!

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1 minute ago, PhoenixCruiser said:

 

Yes, and him saying "it could have been me".  My head hurts from rolling my eyes!

I edited my response and mentioned that.  There's always one who wants it to be about them.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but people take risks because they feel the risk is worth it. And, then, there are the adrenaline junkies.  Their families may not understand because they aren't so they think lawsuit.  A lot of adrenaline junkies will tell you they do what they do for the rush and the thrill and would probably not be thrilled with their families suing after something like this as they know the risks they are taking. This is the not the type of excursion most people will ever take.

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12 minutes ago, BND said:

Your answer indicates you are familiar with him.  Doesn't mean you know him, but you obviously know about him and his reputation.

I do not know about him or about his reputation.  I would say so if I did.  My point is that his comments are in line with what will probably happen in this case.  That's all.  

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1 minute ago, SLSD said:

I do not know about him or about his reputation.  I would say so if I did.  My point is that his comments are in line with what will probably happen in this case.  That's all.  

This is what you said:  "I recognize that you may consider him to be an ambulance chaser.  That idea does not mean that his analysis is incorrect.  There is  precedent in liability law in the United States and his comments do not stray from that.  You may not agree with it--and that is ok--but it is highly likely that what this article says is what will happen."  So, you know something about him.  That was my point.  The fact you know that people consider him an ambulance chaser means you are "familiar" with him. 

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5 minutes ago, BND said:

This is what you said:  "I recognize that you may consider him to be an ambulance chaser.  That idea does not mean that his analysis is incorrect.  There is  precedent in liability law in the United States and his comments do not stray from that.  You may not agree with it--and that is ok--but it is highly likely that what this article says is what will happen."  So, you know something about him.  That was my point.  The fact you know that people consider him an ambulance chaser means you are "familiar" with him. 

I'm not familiar with him--but inferred from your question that you had a negative view of him.  As the spouse of a lawyer (who is not a personal injury lawyer) I am very accustomed to hearing negative comments about lawyers.  Most people do not realize that most lawyers adhere to a strong code of ethics and work very hard for their clients. I am familiar with  the term "ambulance chasers" and had seen it in posts in this long thread.  I was merely surmising that you had a negative view of the lawyer quoted in the article.  In fact, I had not even paid attention to his name in the article and had to go back and look to see that the name you mentioned was in the article.  I was making comments on the issues.  

Edited by SLSD

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We might have done it if we had been on the cruise. Although probably not, because of the respirator and hiking involved. We've done several volcano excursions by helicopter. 

What was the story with the helicopter? I read that the pilot/passengers had been evacuated by boat, but was that with people they were trying to rescue or tourists on a tour? It does look like it was an emergency landing, but not a crash. 

 

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10 minutes ago, Coralc said:

We might have done it if we had been on the cruise. Although probably not, because of the respirator and hiking involved. We've done several volcano excursions by helicopter. 

What was the story with the helicopter? I read that the pilot/passengers had been evacuated by boat, but was that with people they were trying to rescue or tourists on a tour? It does look like it was an emergency landing, but not a crash. 

 

 

I understand they were tourists who arrived independently, and no issue when they landed.

 

After the eruption occurred, the boat returned to rescue everyone remaining on the island, as their duty as first responders and so gathered the helicopter tour as well (since the helicopter was inoperable at that point).

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1 hour ago, BND said:

I edited my response and mentioned that.  There's always one who wants it to be about them.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but people take risks because they feel the risk is worth it. And, then, there are the adrenaline junkies.  Their families may not understand because they aren't so they think lawsuit.  A lot of adrenaline junkies will tell you they do what they do for the rush and the thrill and would probably not be thrilled with their families suing after something like this as they know the risks they are taking. This is the not the type of excursion most people will ever take.

 

However, does Royal typically offer tours for adrenaline junkies?

 

There's no issue with people wanting to do that, but that doesn't mean that people expect to get that when they go on a cruise ship tour.

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7 hours ago, Judyrem said:

Very good article, thanks for posting.

 

I was on the ship and had to dodge the media whilst disembarking at the same time and he is 100% spot on. 

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11 hours ago, PhoenixCruiser said:

How ignorant for the one passenger to say it was like a prison ship.  He obviously knows nothing about the WWIi Japanese POW ships in which many Yanks, Brits, Aussies and Kiwis died terrible deaths.

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I believe a volcanic eruption would be considered a "Force Majeure" (Act of God).  Force Majeure clauses are included in most contracts here in the U.S. (not sure about the rest of the world) and serve as exceptions of liability.

 

What will likely be an issue is whether, under NZ laws, the tour operators (and RCI) had any kind of duty to the passengers based on knowledge of recent eruptions on White Island.  If RCI regularly sells excursions to White Island and other islands with volcanos, then it would be reasonable for passengers booking these excursions to believe them to be "safe".  There is a "Disney" illusion when booking cruise excursions, that they have been vetted for safety.

 

 

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5 hours ago, 2Tack said:

 

I was on the ship and had to dodge the media whilst disembarking at the same time and he is 100% spot on. 

How very tragic it all seems to me.  I hope you are not too traumatized.

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15 hours ago, SLSD said:

 I recognize that you may consider him to be an ambulance chaser.  That idea does not mean that his analysis is incorrect.  

 

We should be thankful for his advocacy and "ambulance chasing".  And you are right; people that find him distasteful also dismiss his analysis.  Attacking the source doesn't mean the information is not accurate though and for years I've always asked anyone attacking Jim Walker "Tell me what is wrong or not accurate?" and they don't reply.  

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RC is foreign registered. While U.S. citizens can/may sue, this makes it more difficult and much more complicated. It has been discussed previously in cases of injuries and deaths on the ships and not just RC.

 

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"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door."

 

Thank you to everyone that has posted links with the ongoing information regarding this very sad event. I walk away from it and then get caught up on it. I want to know...but being blunt, I don't want to dwell on the tragedy.

 

I've read of several tourist death occurrences in recent years...especially researching for our Alaska cruise in 2018. Thinking of how people suddenly die while in the midst of what I would hope is a very pleasurable experience is one thing...reading about the aftermath of those who didn't die is what is truly tragic in my mind. Forgive me...sudden loss of life is very sad but I prefer to think of those who lose their lives in such a way as going out with a bang. I took a course called "Death and Dying" in college and we had to do an exercise in what would be classified as a "good" death versus a "bad" one. I hope those that did die died quickly without much suffering. My heart breaks for the suddenness of it all, but not knowing anyone personally, I hurt more for those that are left behind than for those that were lost...especially the injured and those that dealt first hand with the injured and the situation in general.

 

I even feel for those on the cruise...what a mixed bag of emotions that must be. I know my own excitement surrounding vacations and travel...I can only imagine the conflict there. And the crew...to be at work with NO CHANCE of time off really...working through such a loss. I can't even.

 

With those thoughts in mind...knowing that tourism is a very real industry and how there are many places that rely on tourism dollars to make a living...I hope that such tours are not canceled altogether. I hope the knee jerk reaction of don't let anyone ever do this again and no one will die or suffer injury like this again could instead be translated into thoughts about how to make such things safer for those that want to risk it. It seems to me that if the burn victims had had on a suit of protection of some sort...more than just a gas mask...then perhaps the injuries would be less severe. IDK if such a suit exists at this point and time in a cost effective way...but it's a thought. I just hope that future risk avoidance efforts would focus on additional safety measures and not complete absence of risk.

 

I'm not supportive of restrictions...even for everyone's own good. Many tragedies can be avoided...but if we attempted to avoid all tragedies, many wonderful experiences would never be realized as well. I don't want to come off in a negative light...though some will read that...but I do believe that life generally has a balance...the extreme positive side and the extreme negative side. Usually, one doesn't exist without the other. And while it can be easy to focus in on extreme examples, to begin to censor choice seems a slippery slope to me.

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