Going on a Cruise Ship? You Ought to Know About Tender Boat Accidents

What is a Tender Boat?

Cruise ship journey is not only a journey from one port to another. It is a trip with a lot of island ports coming on the way. Most of the ports around the world are developed to accommodate large cruise ships. However, there are still many that cannot welcome a large ship due to their restricted sizes or shallow water. To take passengers back and forth from docks to the port, small boats, called the tender boats, are used.

Tender boats are usually the size of a ferry and can accommodate about 100 passengers at a time. Nevertheless, some smaller boats can also act as tender boats that can take about 50-60 passengers for a trip.

Sometimes, cruise liners have their own tender boats on the ports ready to take the passengers as well as goods. However, most cruise liner companies outsource this service to small tender boat businesses. Hence, technically, you are the responsibility of the third-party tender boat company from the time you vacate the cruise ship and board the tender boat.

What is a Tender Boat Accident?

Believe it or not, tender boat accidents happen very frequently. De-boarding a ship and then boarding a small boat to reach a port is a dangerous task, especially because the surface is wobbling water rather than firm ground. There are high chances of slipping, tripping and falling.

Many such cases have been reported where passengers fell into deep waters and drowned. In some other cases, passengers got hurt due to the shaking gangways. Some tender boat accidents happen while docking to a busy harbor or running into other tender boats that are already docked. Seldom, harsh weather conditions also lead to turning of tender boats upside down, causing a life-threatening accident for the passengers onboard.

Complications Involved in Tender Boat Accidents

Tender boat accident is a very complex issue. The accident might happen in a state or country from which neither the sufferer belongs to nor the cruise ship company. Hence, the law that governs the case might be anything from the local law to the country law where the suffered passenger or cruise liner belongs to.

cruise ship company

Next comes the evaluation of the liability of the authorities, as if the law confusion wasn’t enough. Whether it is the negligence of the cruise ship company or the tender boat company that caused the accident? Moreover, if the accident happened while the passenger was on the gangway in the mid of the ship and boat, the complications double up. Another question to add up to the list is – could the passenger himself have avoided the accident by being more cautious?

Usually, tender boat accidents happen due to the negligence of either the cruise ship liner or the tender boat company. It is rarely due to the mistake of the passenger himself. Improper equipment, poor judgment, inadequate safety arrangement, or negligent behavior of the staff usually cause such mishappenings.

What Should You Do When You Get Injured?

The first and the most obvious thing that you should do once you suffer an accident is to seek medical help. Once you are stable and good enough to proceed with the legal matters, hire a tender boat accident attorney to take up your case. Do not forget to keep your proofs such as pictures of the accident and injury and your ticket well documented.

An important aspect of such proceedings that you should keep in mind is the deadline. Your cruise ship company might not tell you this but they have limited the time for you to sue them in case you got injured. It is generally printed on the back of your ticket.

Usually, the cruise ship liners are big businesses and limit their liability for personal injuries through a contract printed on the back of their tickets. Moreover, the involvement of the third-party in the form of tender boat companies increases their chances of defending themselves free of liability.