The face of Arctic waters are changing. As ice increasingly melts, new channels are forming in the Arctic, opening up passageways for cruise ships and other vessels.
However, we have to confront a troubling question: Are we really prepared to navigate these changes? Do we have the appropriate safety or emergency infrastructure in place? For example, if a cruise ship were to meet with a disaster in the Arctic, would we have enough resources to save the people on-board in a timely way?
The potential for Arctic maritime disasters
Recently, the New York Times published an article that delves into these concerns. The article opens with a look at a new luxury cruise liner that will need to be escorted by a supply ship on its route. Should the cruise liner suffer an accident, the supply ship will be able to more easily make its way through the ice and render some assistance to the hundreds of people on-board - including providing them with extra water and food.
Even though having the supply ship escort the cruise liner is a good safety precaution, there are still safety issues to consider. After an accident, how long would it take to rescue everyone? How would the rescue efforts get coordinated and implemented in dangerous waters? For example - as the article points out - if a fire swept through the cruise ship or there was a medical emergency, what would happen?
The fact that the Arctic is changing also increases the chances of accidents. As various shapes navigate new routes, they're more likely to get stuck in the ice or suffer collisions. They're venturing into waterways that haven't been mapped out or aren't as well-known.
Seeking legal assistance
Should you suffer injuries in a maritime accident, it's important to meet with an experienced and reputable attorney who will carefully review what happened. Don't hesitate to contact us for advice and assistance. As ships venture into new waters, the people on-board need to know that they can rely on strong legal representation should they suffer from an accident.