Dangerous Places


Risks are part of everything that we do, even when vacationing, so, one says. But just how much risk is one willing to take, considering the fact that some risks not only cause injury but death too? Danger may just be greater if you come face-to-face with it in the middle of the sea, while on a holiday cruise vacation, with nowhere else to go to, except, probably, in the confines of your cabin.

According to the Cruise Lines International Association, which embodies 26 cruise lines, more than 11 million cruise bookings were made from the US in 2011. This is due to the remarkable advertisements presented by the cruise industry, saying that no other week-long vacation can be safer, cheaper, more fun, relaxing and exciting, than one spent on any cruise liner.

Though it agrees that going on a cruise is a popular vacation option for families and individuals, the Louis A. Vucci, PA, also knows that passengers can be exposed to unique dangers and injuries while out at sea.

The “Safe Return to Port” regulation on all ships, which will render a ship capable of carrying passengers safely back to port after an accident, has increased the safety of passengers since 2010. This regulation is just one of those enforced by Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS); another directive was equipping new cruise ships with international standard facilities, like a self-sufficient clinic with well trained medical personnel.

Other than collisions and fire, sea storms or hurricanes and rogue waves also present deadly situations, oftentimes, much deadlier than the first two. Cruise lines, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Hurricane Center, monitor and give advisory regarding weather changes and approaching storms or hurricanes. And when a hurricane approaches, the safest place a cruise ship can be at is far out to sea, far from the storm and its path.

When caught in a storm while at sea, however, the mass and the size of the ship are the ship captain’s advantages. Bigger ships mean heavier steel materials and greater capability in riding out nearly all storms.  But it is important that a ship is veered away from the storm as fast as possible since continuous beating by huge waves for long periods is enough to sink even the largest existing ship.

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