Holiday Claims
 Call Us: 0808 145 1353
Holiday Accident Claims

Public Health England Release Cruise Safety Factsheet

Release comes amid concerns over Accidents and Illness on Cruise liners

Public Health England has released helpful guidance in order to limit accidents and illness rates involving travellers planning cruises. The advice serves as a reminder to the hazards that pose risks to UK passengers engaging in cruise travel and the infectious diseases that they may be exposed to.

Accident on holiday solicitor

The key advice offered – which should really be adopted for all travel outside of the UK includes:

  1. Consulting one’s GP, nurse or travel clinic for advice on vaccines well in advance of the cruise.
  2. Travel Insurance should be obtained before travel.
  3. Precautions should be taken to avoid accidents including trips, slips and falls;
  4. Protect your skin from the sun
  5. Adopt sensible hygiene techniques to avoid food poisoning.

The advice explains each element of the key advice in detail although of particular interest to Simpson Millar LLP was the hygiene advice given owing to outbreaks of gastrointestinal infections and the need to take care to avoid accidents.

Paul Stevens, Simpson Millar’s Group Travel Litigation Manager, has been involved in a number of actions against cruise liners involving passengers that have suffered accidents or illness, he comments:

"The advice provided by Public Health England is very useful and should be considered before even booking a cruise. At Simpson Millar we are consulted all year round by people that are injured or suffer illness while on board cruise liners. By following the advice it is possible that consumers can reduce the possibility of illness or injury and have happy and enjoyable cruises."

However, sounding a cautionary note to all cruise liners Paul warned:

Accident on holiday solicitor

"There is only so much a cruise passenger can reasonably do to ensure their safety. All the hand washing world is not going to stop a passenger from becoming sick if the kitchen staff working in restaurants have not followed appropriate safety techniques – as some of my clients that have suffered food poisoning have found out."

It is also possible that slip and trip accidents could be prevented by implementing better standards such as the placing of splash screens next to public walkways near swimming pools – and the use of secured handrails and non-slip treads.

Paul concluded, "Fortunately when an accident or illness in not the fault of the passenger, the Athens Convention will allow for a claim to be made against the cruise operator. A number of my clients have brought successful actions against all of the major cruise liners for all kinds of problems such as salmonella food poisoning and hazardous manoeuvring by cruise line captains arising out of a failure to identify smaller boats."

Simpson Millar LLP’s Holiday Accident and Illness Claims lawyer, Claire Rabbets, also specialises in bringing claims against cruise operators and recently helped consumers sue Fred Olsen Cruises for over £15,000 when one of their passengers fell overboard. Claire advised:

"While the guidance offered by Public Health England is useful to passengers, there should be a greater duty on cruise liners to take care of their passengers to reduce dangers to passenger safety."

Other successful actions include a claim against Thomson Cruises for over £10,000 for salmonella food poisoning and a claim against MSC cruises for £9000 for a fractured hip – in both those cases the claimants were able to make use of the insurance that they took out for the extensive hospital treatment required.

See the complete Public Health fact sheet.