Woman to sue P&O after cruise ship storm drama
Fri, 27 Aug 2010 6:12p.m.
By Adam Ray
A passenger injured when a cruise ship struck bad weather off the Northland coast in 2008 is taking P&O to court.
Lisa Dolan won her holiday in a competition, but argues her enjoyment was ruined by what happened.
She was hit by a trolley and wants damages for the injuries she suffered.
In video taken on board the cruise by a security camera, Ms Dolan can be on board the Pacific Sun as it was struck by seven-metre waves.
She hadn't seen the pictures before.
Ms Dolan was one of 77 passengers and crew injured when the boat rolled. She was struck by a trolley and suffered a cut foot, broken ribs and a ruptured kidney.
She had a week in hospital and six weeks off work, and she's angry.
She says P&O ought to have had heavy items secured. She is taking legal action against the company in Australia, wanting it to admit it made a mistake and pay her damages.
A British maritime safety report confirmed there was a problem.
"It was pure good fortune that some passengers and crew were not more seriously injured or killed by the unexpected movement of supposedly fixed heavy items," it found.
P&O says it has now secured heavy objects on the Pacific Sun and checked the rest of its fleet.
Ms Dolan says the accident was made worse by what happened afterwards. When the ship docked in Auckland she and other injured passengers were kept on board until journalists and their cameras left.
"It should be injured passengers before the media," says Ms Dolan. "You need to get injured people to hospital."
And even now - two years on - she's still receiving P&O brochures in the mail.
P&O told 3 News that safety is always the main priority, but the drama happened during very unusual weather. The company will itself against Ms Dolan's claims in court in November.
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10/09/2010 12:19:17 a.m.
I was one of the injured on this cruise. I broke my elbow and fractured some of my ribs and also sustained other sprains and a lot of bruising after I landed on top of a chair and then was hit by a sofa in the Library. The medical staff on board told me there was nothing wrong with me and would not see me again. Another passenger made me a sling to help sopport my elbow. Over the next couple of days at sea it was very clear that I was in a lot of pain but no help would be given to me even though my cousin tried her hardest to get someone to see me. When we arrived at port the staff would not let me off the boat and I was told people with flights had top priority. I was stuck in my cabin for many hours and I believe we were the last group of passengers let off the boat.No staff would help me get off the boat and so my broken elbow was bumped by many other people trying to get off. It was the people from MAF who finally came to my rescue after it was obvious I was very distressed and in pain. After being treated like this I found the 25% off insulting!
9/09/2010 1:41:43 p.m.
Joanne Bell wrote:
I was on the same cruise; P&O offered us 20% off our next cruise, just booked a P&O cruise for the 6th November leaving from Brisbane gave them my ref number, only do find out after again waiting 10 min for the second time to get through to their customer services that it had expired.
9/09/2010 12:01:02 p.m.
P&O Gold tier member wrote:
Every time I have been onboard a P&O ship in a heavy storm, the captain has requested that we stay in our cabins. If they did not give out this request then P&O should give her some compensation. In any case they should at least give her the money back for the cruise, along with yet another free one.
2/09/2010 2:52:16 a.m.
Cruises Fan wrote:
It is unfortunate the victim has suffered in the way. P&O cruises need to take responsibility for their actions and no doubt they are likely to have to pay out. It seems more people are being brave in standing up these companies especially with all the recent cruise compensation cases at http://www.cruise.co.uk
31/08/2010 10:50:29 p.m.
I was also on the same fateful voyage as Lisa Dolan. I too was injured, quite badly. I had 4 broken ribs, and got my legs bashed about . I had 3 months off work, ended up with a chest infection which came close to developing pneumonia. My legs were swollen and painful for ages.
I sustained my injuries when the ship rolled and lurched violently throwing passengers from one side of the ship to the other. I slid across the floor, colliding head on into a large floor to ceiling column which fractured my ribs.
The night I received my injuries I was in immense pain stating I thought I had broken some ribs, and asked that I please be seen by the Dr. I was asked by the ships nurses if I could breathe to which I replied 'yes but only just'. That's alright then, you dont have broken ribs was the reply. I was eventually seen at about 3 in the morning, but was still told my ribs were not broken. I was given panadol and told to go and stay in my cabin.
An X Ray once I arrived home confirmed the fractured ribs.
I am disgusted with P&O that the only compensation I was offered was a discount on my next cruise...I have no intention of cruising with them ever again, discounted or otherwise. What an insult!
I feel very angry and aggrieved by the actions of P&O, and the handling of the whole business.
I will be very interested to watch the progress of this story, and hope Lisa Dolan gets a satisfactory outcome of the hearing.
30/08/2010 11:59:32 p.m.
When passengers are seriously injured because of a breach of proper safety standards then the Courts must send a strong message by way of punitive damages. The fact that this case has not been settled by P&O out of court shows P&O believes that paying Lawyers is better business than compensating injured passengers. I hope the media will follow this one closely and hope we see a court ruling that is sufficiently punitive to send a strong message to P&O that it needs to put passenger safety first. Well done TV3 for blowing the whistle. And well done Lisa Dolan for standing up.
30/08/2010 4:25:46 p.m.
I was on the Pacific Star in July 2007 when we sailed into a storm. Over 9m swells, GPS satellite was washed away and we made it to Vanuatu using the backup. Cruise was cancelled, we were chartered flights from Port Vila to Noumea, onwards to Auckland. Was on the front page of the New Zealand Herald as the "cruise ship from hell". All passengers received 100% refunds and 25% off the next cruise booking. After hearing about the similar cruise in 2008 I was surprised these passengers didn't receive anything. I have nothing but praise for how they handled our situation.
30/08/2010 8:50:19 a.m.
You go girl!
29/08/2010 1:08:23 p.m.
Shit happens but it is unexcusable to not have heavy items secuered when at sea and especially when expecting heavy weather.
29/08/2010 5:24:21 a.m.
Bloody shocking, good luck Lisa! I hope you win and teach them a lesson.
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