Carnival Ecstasy passengers hospitalized after tour bus crash in the Bahamas

Jun 25, 2019

A tour bus with 32 guests from the cruise ship Carnival Ecstasy crashed Monday morning near Rock Sound, Eleuthera in the Bahamas. News reports state that 26 people suffered injuries from the crash operated by Eleuthera Adventure Tours Limited and organized by Carnival Cruise Line shore excursion Cathedral Cove, Ocean Hole and Rock Sound Island Tour.

According to Carnival, all guests on the bus were seen at the local medical clinic and 28 were cleared to return to the ship.  Four guests with injuries and two family members were airlifted for hospital treatment, one to a Nassau hospital and three to a Fort Lauderdale hospital. Four trauma patients with severe injuries were transported in a military C-130 aircraft to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and hospitalized at Broward Health Fort Lauderdale. First Coast News reports that three patients sustained “serious” injuries ranging from fractured bones to internal injuries and possible paralysis.

Eyewitness News Bahamas reports that mechanical difficulties reportedly caused the near-fatal bus accident. Local sources claim that at some point the power steering in the bus failed and caused the entire bus to lock up and the driver was unable to control the vehicle.

Carnival said in a statement that the Cathedral Cove, Ocean Hole, and Rock Sound Island tours had been suspended until further notice and all excursions organized by the operator in question.

Carnival Cruise Line released the following statement “This morning, a shore excursion bus with 32 guests from Carnival Ecstasy was involved in an accident near Rock Sound, Eleuthera (The Bahamas), which is 20 minutes north of Princess Cays.

All guests were seen at the local medical clinic and 28 have been cleared to return to the ship. Four guests with injuries were airlifted for hospital treatment. Carnival’s CareTeam is providing support to the guests.

The cause of the accident is being investigated. In the meantime, the Cathedral Cove, Ocean Hole, and Rock Sound Island Tour has been suspended.”

According to Cruise Law News, Cruise lines face legal liability when passengers are injured or killed during sponsored excursions. Cruise lines have a duty to vet the excursions companies and warn of dangers in the road conditions and driving in foreign ports of call. Cruise lines can also be held responsible for negligent hiring and retention of the transportation companies and for vicarious liability based on theories of agency. A key issue is whether there have been prior complaints of fast or dangerous operation of the excursion buses for the tour.