Two crew members suffer chemical burns and were evacuated from celebrity summit

Two crew members*, who allegedly suffered chemical burns on a Celebrity cruise ship today, were evacuated to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia.

Crew members were injured while working on the Celebrity Summit cruise ship. Earlier in the day, the cruise ship contacted the Coast Guard’s Fifth District Command Center, which responds to maritime incidents in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, to seek medical assistance for members. injured crew. The Celebrity cruise ship was located about 70 miles off the coast of Virginia.

The Coast Guard dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and transported the crew members and a ship’s doctor from the ship to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Injured Celebrity crew members are not allowed to sue the cruise line after being injured. Instead, they are required to pursue their legal remedies through international arbitration in accordance with unilateral arbitration agreements inserted by their employer into their employment contracts which require the law of Malta to apply.

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Image credit: Celebrity Summit – Master0Garfield – CC BY-SA 4.0, commons/wikimedia.

Update of June 3, 2022: * According to an engineer aboard a Celebrity ship, the two injured workers are not Celebrity crew members but rather contractors: specifically, “two contractors working on the AEP overhaul”. “AEP” stands for “Advanced Emission Purification System”. We have already written about scrubbers on cruise ships owned by Royal Caribbean).

Legally, if the injured workers were in fact being paid by a Celebrity contractor rather than the ship directly, they should still have had a reasonably safe workplace and full PPE (personal protective equipment) , just like a ship’s employee paid by the cruise line.

Regarding the work on the sewage system, the question arises as to why Celebrity was asking the contractors to work on the project when the Celebrity Summit was at sea with passengers rather than when the vessel was not in service? You will recall that a fire broke out on the Royal Caribbean freedom of the seas when welding operations were underway as the cruise ship sailed to Falmouth, Jamaica in 2015. Freedom of the Seas Fire: Is Royal Caribbean installing a sewage system with passengers on board?