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Anthem of the Seas passengers have filed two lawsuits against the Miami-based cruise company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd stating the company’s alleged negligence as the reason.
US District in Miami received two lawsuits from passengers who claim that the company was “knowingly sailing directly into a hurricane” maritime lawyers and cruise ship attorneys Lipcon said.
According to the lawsuits, Royal Caribbean chose to sail the vessel even though a severe hurricane-force storm had been forecast before the ship set sail from Cape Liberty, New Jersey on a scheduled seven-night cruise to the Bahamas, thereby placing the lives of everyone aboard the vessel at risk.
Reuters quoted Cynthia Martinez, a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman, as saying that the company did not discuss the filing, however it has taken steps to minimize the risk of another similar incident.
One of the lawsuits seeks class action status for passengers, and both lawsuits seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, Reuters added.
Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, carrying some 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew, encountered a severe hurricane-force storm. The company apparently misjudged the storm, as the vessel was hit by nine-metre waves and winds of 65 knots off Cape Hatteras on February 7.
Anthem of the Seas was scheduled to call at Port Canaveral, however, due to the inclement weather conditions the company decided to turn the ship around and sail it back to Cape Liberty.
At least four people sustained injuries, fortunately none severe, due to the incident, and the ship sustained damages to its public areas and cabins.
The company said it offered passengers full refunds, and discounts on a future cruise.
Source: World Maritime News; Image: Marine Links