A Volcano eruption on Monday on the White Island of New Zealand was responsible for killing almost 6 people, left almost 8 others presumed dead and injured a lot more. This is something that has left the police to question as to why 47 people, including the cruise passengers of the Royal Caribbean, were on this Island even after the increase in the seismic activity in the last few weeks. The Royal Caribbean stated that they were devastated by this news. Many passengers from the ship, Ovation of the Seas, were on the island when the Volcano eruption took place at around 2:00 p.m.
The incident is raising questions as to whether this cruise company is responsible for all the injuries that were caused to the passengers who were present on the White Island at that particular time. No shore excursions are listed to the White Island on the website of the Royal Caribbean, while there are excursions listed on the Tauranga area. One of the spokespeople of the royal Caribbean stated that the cruise line was unable to offer any information regarding the excursions to the White Island.
Why the tourists were present on the island
This is one question that the police are working on, currently. This question is arising in the mind of everyone because the volcano was responsible for showing seismic activity for the last few weeks. GeoNet is responsible for tracking volcanic and seismic activity and it raised the alert on the island in November after an increase of Sulphur dioxide gas. The volcanic tremor also started increasing and the island could be entering a particular period, where the eruptions could not be anything normal.
Who is responsible for the injured and dead cruisers?
The question that has been constantly doing the round is whether the cruise lines are responsible for all the injured passengers. The answer might be no but it is coming with several caveats. According to Jeff Ment, the attorney of the travel industry stated that cruise lines might partner with reasonable vendors because they do not have proper knowledge regarding the volcanic conditions and volcanic eruption of New Zealand. They are only in the business of running the cruise line.
The situation can change if the cruise line is not partnering with a reputable and responsible vendor. During this time, it is not clear whether Royal Caribbean partnered with any local company or whether the passengers were responsible for taking independent excursions. It could also be so that an official trip was sponsored by the cruise.
Investigations are going on and if the Royal Caribbean hired the best vendor, and the vendor was responsible for making a bad decision, it would not be the responsibility of the cruise line. Rather, the vendor would be responsible for the injured and dead passengers. The vendor ultimately has to take the final call regarding whether any particular excursion is unsafe. However, if the cruise line is not heeding the advice of any vendor, the responsibility lies with the cruise line. Only time will tell who is liable.