Independence Of The Seas cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a passenger vessel with IMO number 9349681, owned by Royal Caribbean. Among the unfortunate events at sea are explosion, Norovirus outbreaks, crew and passenger incidents (deaths, injuries, crimes), shore excursion incidents, machinery malfunctions.
Here you can also track MS Independence Of The Seas position at sea.using the AIS live ships tracker of VesselFinder. The 154,400-ton 4370-passenger Royal Caribbean cruise ship Independence was built in 2008 by the Aker Yards shipbuilding company in Finland.
Independence Of The Seas accidents & incidents
At the Independence Of The Seas CruiseMinus page you will find a complete list of this Royal Caribbean ship’s major accidents and cruise incidents. Reports are made by our own staff using official data from major online news media sources, Wikipedia and USCG (Coast Guard) reports.
Here we also post updates on Royal Caribbean Independence Of The Seas cruise law news. They are related to recent crimes being investigated. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits, charges and fines, grievances, settled /withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, etc.
You can add more details or submit your own Independence Of The Seas ship incidents (negative cruise experience reports) via the Cruise Minus “contact us” form.
This is link to the ship’s official site RoyalCaribbean.com.
Ship seizure in Norway
- May 22, 2014, the ship was held by Alesund port authorities in Norway. The arrest of the whole vessel was for non paying port fees. The Captain notified the shipowner RCCL, who in less than 1 hour transferred the sum of NOK 600,000 (~US$64,000) to cover port charges. After that, the vessel was allowed to proceed with the Norwegian Fjords cruise.
- May 31, 2011, when the ship was docked in Gibraltar UK, a fuel tank on the pier exploded. 12 passengers sustained minor injuries (burns and abrasions) and received treatments onboard. The gangway (telescopic bridge) was immediately retracted and the vessel moved away from the area and anchored in the bay. Two passengers were still ashore when the accident happened, but were not injured. Two workers ashore were seriously injured. The probable cause for the explosion was a spark from welding works.
- May 5, 2012, passenger disembarkation in Southampton was delayed due to a computer error. All guests had to be checked manually. Because of this incident, many of them missed their flights home.
Crew & Passenger Death accidents
- June 12, 2011, a female passenger suffered from a “critical illness” and had to be medevaced by UKCG assets. A helicopter was sent from Portland, England, 23 ml (37 km) out to the ship. Since the UKCG helicopter was too heavy to land on the ship’s pad, crew had to lift up the woman in her wheelchair. The ill passenger and her husband were flown to Dorset County Hospital (Dorchester).
- January 1, 2014, a 65-year-old male passenger went overboard and was reported missing by his wife. The ship was en-route to Grand Cayman. The onboard search and CCTV camera records failed to provide more information on the incident.
- April 2, 2014, two dockworkers died in Zante harbor (St Kitts). Both men were assisting the ship’s un-berthing. At ~5:15 pm they were in a small boat and trying to remove the last mooring line, when the ship swamped their boat with its Azipods (propulsion units) and threw them into water. The boat slammed into the Celebrity Silhouette ship and overturned. Water currents made by the Independence ship caused the boat to capsize, sucking the men under water.
- August 17, 2014, a male crew member went overboard. The missing man was a kitchen worker from India. His body was never found. The accident happened in Europe, while the ship was operating 14–day Mediterranean cruise from Southampton (the roundtrip started on Aug 9).
- January 14, 2016, while the ship was docked in call port Falmouth (Jamaica), 1 male passenger died and 3 other were seriously injured in a bus crash accident. The tour bus was on its way back to the ship, returning a total of 21 passengers from a sponsored by Royal Caribbean shore excursion in Jamaica (Dunn’s River Beach, in Saint Ann Parish). The 3 injured were hospitalized in Falmouth Public General Hospital. The traffic collision accident occurred in Trelawny Parish (on the Carey Park main road) and involved 4 vehicles – the tour bus plus a freightliner (truck), Toyota Corolla (car) and Toyota Hiace (panelvan). The ship was on a 5-day Western Caribbean itinerary (Jan 11-16) roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, also visiting Haiti (Labadee /private island resort).
- December 21, 2016, a 22-year-old male passenger was reported jumped overboard from deck 12. The accident occurred at ~1:50 am, approx 35 ml (55 km) off the coast of Key Largo Island (Florida). AIS data showed the ship heading back and making a series of circles. The ship was returning from a 6-day Mexico cruise (itinerary Dec 17-22) roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, to Costa Maya and Cozumel.
Crew & Passenger incidents (injuries, crimes)
- October 20, 2008, the ship was docked in Gran Canaria (Canary Islands) when a 7-year-old girl was miraculously saved from near drowning from another passenger. The kid (Christina Zecchino, from Glasgow, Scotland) was spotted by another girl lying face down on the bottom of the swimming pool on Lido deck. A 45-year-old male passenger (Ray Galligan, from Leicester, England) first arrived at the scene. The kid was not breathing, her lips had turned blue. Then he started CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for several minutes. The girl was saved, and after having first aid from the ship’s med team, she was transferred to a local hospital.
- March 9, 2009, while the ship was docked in Cozumel, Mexico, a female passenger in motorized wheelchair fell from the pier into the water. When alerted by passengers, a female crew jumped and saved the woman.
- May 28, 2014, a 6-year-old boy suffered a near drowning incident (causing cardio-respiratory arrest) after he slipped and struck his head in the pool. When found lying on the pool’s bottom, his heart was stopped. Other kids pulled the body from the pool. The ship’s doctor restarted his heart, then requested an emergency transportation for advanced medical treatments in France.
- May 10, 2015, the ship returned early to homeport Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale FL) due to a medical emergency. A male passenger sustained injury (head trauma) after falling on the FlowRider (onboard surfing simulator).
- August 16, 2015, a 33-year-old male passenger was arrested and charged with “child abuse”. The man (Jason Lawson, an Ohio USA resident) was told by his brother-in-law (Martinez, 31-yo) that he overheard a teenage boy making a lewd comment to Jason’s daughter. Martinez forced the boy to pull his pants down and simulated a sexual act on him. Lawson was accused in participating in the attack on the boy as he did nothing to stop Martinez. On January 27, 2017 (law news) Lawson (basketball and football coach, husband, father of 4 kids) was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison, followed by 5 years of probation (during which he was forbidden to coach children under 18). Martinez pleaded not guilty (next court date was scheduled for April 6, 2017).
- September 15, 2015, a baby boy was born on the ship at ~3 am. The woman (Emily Morgan, age 28, from Ogden Utah USA) went into labor 15 weeks early. Via the PA system, the Captain informed all passengers that the infant (1 1/2-pound / 0,7 kg) and his mother are doing great. Because of this so unusual event, the ship arrived in the next call port San Juan Puerto Rico ~2 hours early then scheduled. Curious fact is, that the in the boy’s birth certificate in the field “place of birth” is written “at sea”. This “happy incident” occurred while the ship was operating on a 7-days Eastern Caribbean cruise itinerary (Sept 13 to 20) roundtrip from homeport Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) Florida, with call ports San Juan, Philipsburg (St Maarten) and Basseterre (St Kitts). Similar “baby born at sea” incident also occurred on the Cunard ship Queen Mary 2 in 2016 (January).
Norovirus cruise illness outbreaks
- March 7, 2012, on the UK-based Independence ship, 193 passengers plus 3 crew suffered the Norovirus symptoms (Gastrointestinal disease) of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. The incident happened on a Mediterranean roundtrip cruise from Southampton, England. Next cruise embarkation was delayed so that all cabins and the cruise ship terminal could be fully sanitized.
- October 30, 2012, a group of 25 UK passengers filed a lawsuit in England against Royal Caribbean International. The claim is that the onboard conditions (unsanitary kitchen and food, and insufficient med staff and facilities) caused them to suffer from the Noro virus in March 2012.
- Note: When the itinerary doesn’t include US cruise ports, the ship is not required to report to CDC, thus no official illness report would be issued.
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