What Happens if You Get Killed on a Cruise Ship?

By Robert Palmer

The thought of dying on a cruise ship is enough to make anyone feel uneasy. Sadly, it does happen and when it does there are questions about what happens if you get killed on a cruise ship.

The first thing to understand is that the death of any passenger, crew member or other individual onboard a cruise ship is a tragedy. Cruise lines will do their best to provide support for the family of the deceased and ensure that the investigation into the circumstances and cause of death are handled promptly.

When an individual dies onboard a cruise ship, the captain is legally required to report it to the local authorities. Depending on what country the vessel is in when the death occurs, different laws may apply and investigations may commence immediately or be delayed until after disembarkation.

In some cases, an autopsy may be required to determine cause of death and this may also be subject to local laws governing jurisdiction over deaths occurring in international waters. In most cases, however, if no foul play or negligence is suspected then an autopsy will not be necessary and the body can be released back to the family for repatriation or burial as soon as possible.

Cruise line liability: Generally speaking, cruise lines are not liable for any deaths that occur onboard their ships unless they can be proved to have caused them through negligence or some other form of wrongdoing. In any case involving potential liability, cruise lines will launch their own investigations into what happened and work with authorities to determine responsibility and apportion blame if necessary.

Compensation: In cases where negligence has been proven against a cruise line, victims’ families may be entitled to compensation for loss of life as well as emotional distress caused by witnessing or being informed about a death onboard.

It should also be noted that many cruises have special policies in place that can provide financial assistance for repatriation costs, funeral expenses and other associated costs related to someone’s death onboard.

The bottom line is that if you get killed on a cruise ship then there are legal procedures in place that must be followed in order for justice to be served. Cruise lines have strict safety measures in place but accidents do still happen from time-to-time so it’s important for passengers and crew members alike to remain vigilant at all times.

Conclusion: The unfortunate truth is that fatalities do still occur onboard cruise ships from time-to-time but there are legal processes in place which seek justice for those affected by such tragedies. It’s important for passengers and crew members alike to remember their safety at all times while aboard these vessels.