Cruise Ship Line Sued Over Passenger Death Onshore.

Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Yulia Mozes).
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The wife of a father-of-four who died after diving headfirst off a structure at Roatan island, Honduras during an onshore break from a cruise last year is suing the Royal Caribbean cruise line, according to a report in Newsweek.

Edmund Rucker, 52, died on March 15, 2023, when the Allure of the Seas was docked at Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras, during a week-long cruise. A fellow cruise passenger who was among three people who pulled Rucker ashore after he jumped off the pier told Newsweek last year that it had taken almost an hour for medical personnel to arrive on the scene.

The 52-year old man had jumped into the water from a high dock and struck his head, leaving him unconscious ultimately leading to his death on a spring break trip with his family.

Photo: https://www.cruiselawnews.com/. It is not known what is the precise purpose of this structure, but evidently it is not safe to dive from.

The accident occurred on March 15th when Mr. Rucker dove from an elevated structure into the water below.

The purpose of the platform is less than clear. The structure may have been previously used to support a zip line which was abandoned years ago. It is currently unknown why the dangerous structure was still available for use by tourists. Many other cruise passengers discussed on message boards that there were no warning signs in place.

Several people indicated that other accidents, including “multiple deaths in the same area,” had happened and that there should be warnings to prevent similar accidents in the future.

Rucker’s wife, Laura Rucker, is now suing Royal Caribbean, alleging the cruise line acted recklessly by encouraging passengers to take part in excursions in Roatan at a time when there were work stoppages and strikes in the health and public safety sectors in Honduras.

Details of the lawsuit filed in Miami, Florida may be seen here.

“What happened to Eddie Rucker and his family is unconscionable,” Mitch Chusid, the family’s lawyer, told Newsweek.

“Passengers on cruise ships need to be made aware that cruise lines often worry about their bottom line at the risk of jeopardizing the health and well-being of the people that choose to travel with them.”

Royal Caribbean “knew that there were strikes in Honduras in the healthcare sector and chose to dock at Roatan anyway because of the revenue generated at this port of call,” Chusid said.

“This resulted in inexcusable delay in emergency medical care available to Mr. Rucker, his tragic death and forever changed the lives of Laura Rucker and her four children.”

Newsweek reached out to Royal Caribbean for comment via email.

Sources: Newsweek, cruiselawnews.com
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