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Travelers wary after tragic cruise ship accident

The devastating cruise ship accident in Italy last week is still being investigated and likely will be for some time. While rescue efforts continue, the cruise ship industry as a whole has immediately suffered. The fact that many passengers were injured and may still be missing as a result of the crash has made a number of future cruise ship passengers rethink their travel plans.

Reports are still coming in after the most recent accident. The cruise ship crashed into rocks off the coast of an Italian island and began to sink. The horrific crash has touched hundreds of families of the victims. The parent company of the cruise ship is Miami-based Carnival Corp. As passengers prepared to board another Carnival Corp. cruise ship in Florida for a four-day trip, many addressed concerns.

While few vocalized fear, more often than not, passengers were nervous but comfortable with traveling. "As long as it's not the same driver, we'll be alright," said one man. The exact cause of the Italian crash has not been identified. Although it known that the ship hit rocks, it is unclear why. Many agree it was human error and therefore do not feel it is a widespread problem.

However, shares in the cruise ship parent company have dropped 18 percent, showing that people may not have confidence in the industry as a whole.

Moving forward, victims of this crash will likely have to deal with injuries, lawsuits and other issues. Because offshore injuries fall under different laws than those sustained on land, there are a number of concerns that may arise. It is likely that victims of the recent crash will seek financial compensation for their considerable pain and suffering.

Source: Reuters, "Miami cruise ship passenger 'gambles' on voyage," Thomas Brown, Jan. 17, 2012

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