Princess Cruise Ship Passengers Killed During Alaska Shore Excursion

Cruise Ship Passengers Killed During Excursion

On May 13, 2019 two sightseeing planes carrying Princess Cruise passengers collided in midair in Alaska. The floatplanes were carrying passengers near Ketchikan, in southeast Alaska. According to Princess Cruises, one of the planes was carrying 10 guests for a shore excursion sold by the cruise line.The other plane was an independent flight tour and was carrying four people from the Royal Princess vessel as well.

The fact that the excursion was sold by Princess to cruise ship passengers in this case is an important legal detail. Princess may be held liable under various legal theories including joint venture, negligent selection or negligent retention of the excursion operator that selected the airplanes for the company being used to transport the passengers. Alternatively, Princess  may be vicariously liable if the plane was negligently maintained resulting in the crash.  The plane manufacturer, maintenance company will likely have legal liability for this case. However, given the catastrophic damages, all sources of legal and financial responsibility will need to be explored. This This is an egregious example of what can go wrong during cruise ship excursions. If you suffered injuries or a loved one passed away from a serious accident or injury resulting in a wrongful death  during a cruise ship activity or excursion, we recommend you call our cruise ship accident lawyers in Florida at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (877) 475-2905. You also can reach out to us through our online form or email info@gslawusa.com to schedule your free consultation.

Our firm has more than 49 years of experience representing cruise ship passengers. We will listen to your story and advise you about the best next steps. If we believe the cruise line, or another third party may be liable for your injuries or loss, we can guide you in pursuing compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Cause of Cruise Ship Excursion Plane Crash Unknown

In this case, one of the planes was a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, which carried five people, including the pilot. All of been confirmed dead. The other plane was a de Havilland Otter DHC-3, which carried 11. One passenger passed away. Both plans were in bound to Ketchikan. They collided at 12:21 p.m. at 3,300 feet altitude. After colliding in midair, both floatplanes fell to waters below. Floatplanes are aircrafts with pontoons mounted under the fuselage. This enables them to land on water. In this situation, the collision appears to have caused the pilots to lose control of the aircraft. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the circumstances surrounding the collision are unknown.The Beaver crashed into the Mahoney Creek area while the Otter crashed into Coon Cove area. The wreckages of the planes were found about 1.5 miles apart.

Local emergency responders along with the Coast Guard worked to rescue and recover victims of the crash. Initially, four passengers were killed, and as of May 14, two remained missing, according to the U.S. Coast Guard Spokesman Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios.

However, it was later confirmed that six passengers died due to the collision. Those who passed away in the accident include:

  • Randy Sullivan, 46, of Ketchikan;
  • Simon Bodie, 56, of Tempe, New South Wales, Australia;
  • Cassandra Webb, 62, of St. Louis;
  • Ryan Wilk, 39, from Utah;
  • Louis Botha, 46, from San Diego; and
  • Elsa Wilk, 37, from Richmond, British Columbia.

The other 10 plane passengers were rescued and are recovering. No one is in life-threatening condition, though three elderly passengers were originally recovering in the intensive care unit. Some of the passengers were admitted to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center while others were flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The National Transportation Safety Board has sent a 14-member team to investigate the cause of the crash.

Were You or a Loved One a Victim of a Cruise Ship Excursion Gone Wrong?

When you and your family or friends book a cruise, you expect to have fun, enjoy the ships amenities, and take full adventure of the various shore excursions the cruise line offers. You never expect that the amenities aboard the ship or the outings off the vessel could be dangerous. Yet our Miami cruise ship accident lawyers receive calls from passengers injured during excursions all too often. If you were injured or a loved one was a victim of a fatal cruise ship accident, we will conduct a thorough investigation. We will gather evidence regarding what went wrong and who is responsible. In some circumstances, the cruise line may be liable for your injuries. In others, the company that runs the excursion may be liable. These claims can become complicated and contentious quickly. This is why we recommend you work with a cruise ship attorney in Miami right away. By having an experienced lawyer on your side, you can avoid thoroughly prepare for the cruise line and its insurer’s defenses. Our attorneys will gather as much evidence as possible and promptly file a lawsuit in order to aggressively pursue compensation for your injuries.

Call Gerson & Schwartz P.A. For Help Today

To talk with us at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. about how we can help after a cruise ship accident, call (305) 371-6000 or (877) 475-2905 to schedule your free consultation.