Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries Tender Boat Injuries

You have probably read or heard about cruise ship accidents that injure guests. From food poisonings to vessel crashes, the liner industry can appear on the six o’clock news. However, one type of incident involving cruise ships concerns tender boats. Ferries carry tourists and crew members to and from a large aquatic craft. The practice is especially popular among vessels that choose not to dock and prefer to remain idle in open navigable water.

Personal injury cases that derive from tender boat accidents can be difficult to assess liability. Some companies store small ferries on the craft, while other companies outsource the service to local businesses.


Guest inexperience for getting on and off a ferry traveling to a larger ship can lead to falls that prompt physical damage. Combine inexperience with poorly maintained structures and unsafe traveling conditions, and you have a recipe for tender boat injuries. Operator negligence, untrained crew members, harsh weather conditions, and lack of personnel also contribute to events that place passenger in danger.

The Result of Negligence

Secondary vessel accidents can cause a wide variety of physical ailments that cost you loss of income and mounting medical bills. Fractures, concussions, and brain damage lead the list of possible results of neglect. Victims also suffer internal bleeding, brain damage, severe back pain. In the worst cases, passengers die because of violent impacts or falling into the sea and drowning. Spinal cord damage can lead to long lasting paralysis.

Going through the consequences of a tender boat incident irrevocably changes your life. Companies that operate cruise lines have a legal obligation to follow state and federal safety regulations. Failure to follow safety standards is legal grounds for a lawsuit filed because of obvious neglect.

What You Need To Know

You have several responsibilities for filing a negligence lawsuit. Take videos and photographs of the scene and your injuries. To win your case, you have to present evidence of wrongdoing, and that starts with proving something bad happened to you. Images of the tender boat bolster your legal argument, especially if the photos display unsafe conditions. Also, the sworn testimony of witnesses, preferably fellow passengers at the time of the event can help your case. Try to gather contact information from every passenger you want to use as witnesses for subsequent legal proceedings. Contact information should include names and phone numbers, as well as home and email addresses. File an accident report with the proper law enforcement agency. You must have sought immediate medical attention and received paperwork from the physician that confirms the extent of your wounds. Finally, schedule an initial consultation with an attorney who has considerable experience winning maritime personal injury cases for both workers and tourists.

The Law

Tender boat law requires your attorney to determine who owned the small passenger craft. Some of the questions to ask include what is the business relationship between the owner of the large ship and the operator of the smaller vessel. In the case of cruise ships, some companies prefer to own the passenger vessels, while other companies contract the service out to local businesses. Even if the cruise line owns the passenger ferry, the company might have hired an outside business to operate the commuter ship.

Once your attorney determines who is legally liable for the accident, he or she can proceed with gathering evidence and taking sworn depositions.

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