Norwegian Breakaway accidents and incidents

Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship


Length (LOA)
326 m / 1070 ft

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CruiseMapper's Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 4819-passenger vessel owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. Our Norwegian Breakaway accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • propulsion/power loss - 2014
  • deaths - 2014 (kid drowned), 2014 (bike crash in Bermuda), 2015 (Bermuda snorkeling), 2016 (2 crew, lifeboat fall), 2022 (overboard)
  • injuries/crimes - drug busts (2014-Bermuda, 2015-Bermuda), near drowning (2015-Bermuda), sexual (2016, 2022), crew (2016, US$3,34 million in compensation), 2019, 2020 (crew brawl)
  • Coronavirus - 2020 (3 passengers), 2021 (8 pax, 9 crew)
  • medevacs - 2013, 2014, 2015 (2), 2016 (4), 2017 (3), 2018 (4), 2019

13 September 2022Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On September 13, 2022, while berthed at Black Falcon Terminal in Port Boston (Massachusetts USA), at ~10 pm (2:00 UTC) the ship was boarded by MSP officers after the Captain reported an assault on board. Three police SUVs were dispatched.

As a result of the MSP/Massachusetts State Police investigation conducted onboard, the voyage's departure was delayed for 5+ hours (12:10 am instead of the scheduled 7 pm). Later released by the police details revealed that at 7:15 pm MSP received a report from the ship about an onboard sexual assault and responded by sending State Troopers and FBI agents. The investigation revealed that the abuse happened while the liner was at sea (navigating between Providence RI and Boston) and that both the suspect and the victim were NCL employees/crew.

The incident occurred at the beginning of a 7-day "Canada and New England Cruise" (itinerary Sept 11-18, roundtrip from NYC New York) visiting Newport RI, Boston MA (port stay 10 am - 7 pm/delayed), Bar Harbor ME, Saint John (NB Canada) and Halifax (NS Canada).

11 March 2022Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On March 11, 2022, a 31-year-old male passenger jumped overboard while the ship was navigating close to Mexico's coast (off Costa Maya), en route back to Port NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana USA).

The local authorities were immediately notified, and a search and rescue operation was started. The man's body was not found.

The incident occurred during the 7-day "Caribbean, Harvest Caye, Cozumel and Roatan Cruise" (itinerary March 6-13, roundtrip from New Orleans), with call ports Cozumel (Mexico/Mar 8), Harvest Caye (Belize/Mar 9), Coxen Hole (Isla Roatan, Honduras/Mar 10) and Costa Maya (Mexico/Mar 11, port stay 7 am-1 pm).

December 2021Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) At the end of the 7-night roundtrip from homeport NOLA/New Orleans (itinerary Nov 28 - Dec 5, 2021) NCL reported a total of 10x COVID-positive people (8x passengers + 2x crew). The ship was carrying 3200+ tourists during the voyage.

According to NCL's COVID policy, all passengers and crew were fully vaccinated. The infected (all asymptomatic) were quarantined in their staterooms, and contact tracing procedures were initiated. Following the debarkation in New Orleans (Dec 5th), the positive tourists were required to either travel directly to their homes in a personal vehicle (in accordance with CDC's guidelines) or to self-isolate in NCL-provided accommodations.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, additional onboard testing (conducted on Dec 5) revealed 7 more cases among the crew (including an Omicron-infected male crew/cabin attendant), bringing to a total of 17.

19 May 2020Crew / Passenger Crimes

(crew brawl) At ~ 11 AM on May 19, 2020, while the cruise liner was berthed in Port Barcelona (Spain), onboard security personnel physically assaulted a male crew. Reportedly, the incident was started by the vessel's Chief Security Officer (British), assisted by 6 other guards (India nationals) and turned into a brawl involving 30+ people.

The incident happened in Waves Bar (poolside bar located midship on Lido Deck 15) where several of the crew were having their drinks. Usually, around midnight the ship's security guards start to disperse staff and crew from all public areas and require them to return to their cabins. The incident started when a security officer approached a Romania crew and told him to go to his cabin. The man insisted to finish his drink first, and when the security persisted to obey the order immediately, the man replied to him with “fuck off.” The security guard called for backup and soon the man was surrounded by the Chief Security and  6 other guards.

After hearing an explanation about the issue, the Chief Security started to yell at him and eventually grabbed his hand, then pushed and restrained him on the floor. The other guards engaged by hitting him. Reportedly, around 30 other crew were present on the scene and attempted to help the situation.

March 2020Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On March 18, 2020, NCL emailed all former passengers of Norwegian Breakaway that a female passenger on the March 7-14 voyage tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The 7-day Western Caribbean itinerary was a roundtrip from homeport Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida) with call ports Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas), Ocho Rios (Jamaica), George Town (Grand Cayman) and Cozumel (Mexico).

After showing flu-like symptoms, the woman was disembarked in Ocho Rios (March 10) and eventually medevaced (flown) to Florida and hospitalized in Fort Lauderdale (Broward Health Medical Center), where she tested Coronavirus-positive.

Reportedly, during the NCL Breakaway cruise, numerous other tourists started to show flu-like symptoms but were not tested for the virus. The debarkation in Port Canaveral (March 14) was also processed routinely (without temperature screenings or any health questions asked) and via standard shuttle bus services. On March 14, in Westmoreland County (Pennsylvania) were reported 2x Coronavirus cases (former NCL Breakaway cruisers) out of the county's 11x total confirmed cases at that time.

04 November 2019Crew / Passenger Crimes

On November 4, 2019, while the ship was at sea (en-route from Florida to Puerto Rico), a male passenger brutally assaulted a female passenger. After a heavy chase inside the liner, the woman was brutally beaten, suffering heavy jaw and arm fractures. The incident was confirmed by CCTV footage of the assault and by witnesses.

On November 5, FBI agents backed by the USCG boarded the cruise ship and arrested the man (Jeff Smiley III). After berthing in Port San Juan, he was handed over to the local police and charged with two assault charges. If proven guilty, he could receive at least 5 years prison sentence.

The incident occurred at the beginning of 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Nov 3-10) roundtrip from homeport Miami to  Puerto Rico (San Juan, Nov 5, docking time 5:30 pm), USVI (Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas Island) and BVI (Road Town, Tortola Island).

01 September 2019Other Incidents

Due to Hurricane Dorian, the 7-day Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary September 1-8) was canceled. The roundtrip voyage from homeport Miami (Florida) was planned to visit Honduras (Roatan Island, Sept 3, 10 am - 6 pm), Belize (Harvest Caye, Sept 4, 8 am - 5 pm), and Mexico - Costa Maya (Sept 5, 8 am - 5 pm) and Cozumel (Sept 6, 8 am - 5 pm).

Note: Hurricane Dorian was a Category 4 tropical cyclone that mostly affected the territories of USA, Canada, Bahamas (Abaco Islands, Grand Bahama), Puerto Rico, Windward Islands (Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia), Leeward Islands (US Virgin Islands, BVI). Hurricane's reported max wind speeds were 295 kph ((183 mph). Formed in the Central Atlantic Ocean on August 24, the powerful cyclone was first moving west (towards the Caribbean), then turned north along the US East Coast and Atlantic Canada, affecting the coastal regions of USA (Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia) and Canada (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Quebec).

22 July 2019Coast Guard Medevacs

On July 22, 2019, a Mexican Navy vessel medevaced a 92-year-old female passenger experiencing brain-related complications from high blood pressure. The elderly woman and her family were offloaded from the cruise liner (navigating off Isla Mujeres) and transported to Isla Mujeres Navy Base, from where ambulanced to a Cancun hospital. Woman's condition increases the risk of vascular brain disease.

The incident occurred at the beginning of 7-day Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary July 21-28) roundtrip from homeport Miami to Honduras (Roatan Island), Belize (Harvest Caye Island) and Mexico (Costa Maya, and Cozumel).

17 November 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On November 17, 2018, the USCG medevaced a 64-year-old female passenger (suffering from abdominal pain) in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship was approx 245 km (265 ml) from Southwest Pass (Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana). The emergency request was received from 8th District (New Orleans) at ~9:15 am. From Aviation Training Center (Mobile AL) was dispatched an MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter assisted by an EADS HC-144 Ocean Sentry (twin-engined aircraft). The woman was hoisted from the liner and flown to West Jefferson Medical Center (Marrero, Louisiana).

The incident occurred at the end of 7-day Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary Nov 11-18) roundtrip from homeport NOLA (New Orleans) to Cozumel, Harvest Caye (Belize) and Costa Maya.

28 October 2018Other Incidents

On October 28, 2018, a medical emergency, involvement in a maritime SAR operation (search-and-rescue) and harsh weather in the Atlantic Ocean (along with US East Coast) resulted in a significant delay and itinerary changes. The shipowner NCL officially announced that the itinerary was modified, with call port San Juan (Puerto Rico) being cancelled and replaced with a sea day.

The incident occurred during the 15-day repositioning cruise (itinerary Oct 27 - Nov 11) from NYC to NOLA (New Orleans), visiting Puerto Rico (cancelled), Tortola Island, St Maarten Island, St Lucia Island, Curacao Island, Aruba Island, Jamaica (Ocho Rios), Grand Cayman Island and Mexico (Cozumel).

24 March 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On March 24, 2018, a 76-year-old male passenger (suffering a stroke and possible internal bleeding) was medevaced by a USCG helicopter crew dispatched from Air Station Elizabeth City NC. The liner was approx 75 ml / 120 km southeast of Chesapeake Bay, returning from a 7-day Florida and Bahamas cruise (itinerary March 18-25) roundtrip from homeport NYC New York.

The man and a crew nurse were hoisted on an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and transported to Norfolk Sentra General Hospital (Norfolk VA).

31 January 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On January 31, 2018, a 62-year-old female passenger (suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding) was medevaced by an USCG helicopter crew dispatched from Air Station Elizabeth City NC. The ship was approx 120 ml / 190 km southeast of Cape Lookout National Seashore (North Carolina, USA), returning from a 14-day Florida and Caribbean cruise (itinerary Jan 19 - Feb 2) roundtrip from homeport NYC New York.

The woman was hoisted a(together with a crew nurse) and transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center (Wilmington NC).

January 2018Ship Listing

On January 2, 2018, at the end of the ship's stop at Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas), when started the passenger tendering from the island, the weather turned from calm to stormy. The voyage continued with extreme winds and waves on the sea days Jan 3 and 4. On these days, the onboard experience was marked by frightened and traumatized passengers (crying and throwing up) as the vessel was heavily listing and shaking.

In one of NCL's social media released after the ship returned to homeport in NYC, the company claimed that the vessel "encountered stronger than forecasted weather conditions". The incident occurred during the 7-day Florida-Bahamas "New Year Cruise" (itinerary Dec 29 - Jan 5) roundtrip from New York to Port Canaveral, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay (private island).

02 December 2017Coast Guard Medevacs

On December 2, 2017, a 71-year-old male passenger (with acute respiratory distress) was USCG-medevaced from the ship approx 60 ml (95 km) east of Chincoteague Virginia. The elderly man was airlifted by an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew (dispatched from Air Station Elizabeth City) and flown to Norfolk Sentara Hospital in stable condition.

27 June 2017Coast Guard Medevacs

On June 27, 2017, a 14-year-old male passenger (suffering from appendicitis) was USCG-medevaced while the ship was approx 300 ml (480 km) off US East Coast (Ocean City MD). From Elizabeth City NC, the USCG dispatched a helicopter (MH-60 Jayhawk) and a Lockheed Martin HC-130J aircraft. The boy and his grandmother were flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The ship was on 7-day Bermuda cruise from NYC New York.

21 April 2017Coast Guard Medevacs

On April 21, 2017, a 60-year-old male passenger (experiencing kidney failure) was medevaced by USCG helicopter team (MH-60 Jayhawk) dispatched from Elizabeth City NC. The NCL ship was approx 190 km (120 ml) southeast of Wilmington North Carolina. The man was airlifted and transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center (Wilmington NC).

04 September 2016Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On September 4, 2016, a 28-year-old male passenger was reported for sexual abuse of a 21-year-old female passenger. The incident occurred while the liner was docked in homeport NYC (Manhattan Cruise Terminal). The victim (from New Jersey USA) was dancing at Bliss Ultra Lounge (deck 7), when at ~1:30 am the British man (Lee Ashley Berry, from Hull, England) approached and groped her from behind.

The man then fled the bar, but the security crew followed and detained him. NYPD police officers then boarded the ship and arrested the man, charging him with "forcible touching and sexual abuse".

23 July 2016Coast Guard Medevacs

On July 23, 2016, a 19-year-old female passenger (suffering from severe stomach pains) was USCG-medevaced. The ship was approx 650 km / 400 ml off North Carolina’s coast and en-route to homeport NYC New York, returning from 7-day Bermuda cruise (itinerary July 17-24 to Kings Wharf).

Two USCG vessels (MH-60 helicopter, C-130 aircraft) were dispatched from Elizabeth City NC. They arrived at ~5:40 pm at the ship’s current position (approx 370 km / 230 ml northeast Elizabeth City). The woman was airlifted and flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital (Virginia USA).

20 July 2016Crew / Passenger Deaths

On July 20, 2016, a 41-year-old male crew (Diogenes Carpio, of Filipino origin) died in a lifeboat accident. During routine ship safety drill, one of the vessel’s rescue boats (with all 4 crew onboard) broke from its tethering (left hanging from one wire). The men fell into the water suffering serious injuries. They were transported by an ambulance to Jackson Memorial Hospital (Miami FL) in critical condition, and soon after one of them died.

On September 19, a second crew member (Ben Buenaventura, also Filipino), who was in an intensive care unit, died because of his injuries (severe head trauma and broken bones). The incident occurred while the ship was docked in call port Kings Wharf, on 7-day Bermuda cruise (itinerary July 17-24) from homeport NYC New York.

04 June 2016Coast Guard Medevacs

On June 4, 2016, two passengers were medevaced while the ship was returning to homeport NYC from Bermuda (King’s Wharf) on a 7-day itinerary (May 29 – June 5). The ship was approx 260 ml / 420 km away from the US coast when the Captain contacted the USCG requesting emergency medical assistance for a 28-year-old female and a 38-year-old male, both experiencing severe stomach pain.

USCG helicopter and aircraft teams were dispatched from Elizabeth City (North Carolina, USA). Both passengers were airlifted and transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital (Virginia USA).

28 March 2016Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On March 28, 2016, a male crew reported flu-like symptoms (including nausea) to the onboard Infirmary. Followed a series of blunders by the ship's medical staff and USD 3,34 million payout in compensation.

The 30-year-old man (Ilija Loncar, from Serbia) served as a waiter on the NCL Breakaway ship. In March he developed flu-like symptoms and reported to the cruise ship's physician Sebastian Campuzano, who had been hired by NCL a few months ago and was described as a young and inexperienced.

The doctor prescribed Promethazine (antihistamine medicine that relieves allergy symptoms) which was injected by nurse Marco Oracion intravenously into the arm (instead of intramuscularly in the buttocks / recommended technique). The medicine was injected in a “huge dose" (25 mg, instead of the suggested 6,25 mg) and over a short period of time, which lead to a reaction that resulted in Loncar's right arm being amputated at the elbow.

As soon as the medication was injected, the man immediately reported burning. A few hours later, his right forearm turned black and blue. Instead of an emergency medevac (via helicopter), the med staff massaged the affected area for 24 hours and waited until the cruise liner docked in the next port. As result, the crew developed Compartment Syndrome. The increased pressure within the affected area caused bleeding and swelling and resulted in insufficient blood supply to the forearm. This condition required the amputation of his arm a few days later at a Miami hospital.

Crew's lawyer was Thomas Scolaro from Leesfield Scolaro (Miami-based personal injury law firm). In an arbitration case, the court awarded Ilija Loncar USD 3,34 million for his mental anguish, past and present pain, medical expenses, loss of future earning capacity, inconvenience, humiliation, scarring, disfigurement, aggravation of pre-existing conditions.

01 February 2016Coast Guard Medevacs

On February 1, 2016, a 61-year-old female passenger was found unconscious and medevaced at ~1 pm. The ship was near Cape Hatteras (North Carolina) en-route to San Juan Puerto Rico on 14-day Caribbean cruise (itinerary Jan 31 – Feb 14) from homeport NYC New York. USCG deployed from Elizabeth City NC a Jayhawk helicopter MH-60. The woman was airlifted and transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

06 October 2015Coast Guard Medevacs

On October 6, 2015, a 30-year-old female passenger (suffering from severe abdominal pain) was medevaced by USCG. The ship was located approx 165 ml / 265 km east of Virginia Beach VA (USA), on a 7-day New York to Bermuda cruise (itinerary Oct 4-11). The woman was transported to the Norfolk’s Sentara General Hospital.

18 September 2015Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On September 18, 2015, a 71-year-old female passenger in a serious condition was hospitalized in Bermuda (Hamilton’s King Edward VII Memorial Hospital). The woman ran into breathing difficulties during swimming at the Royal Naval Dockyard’s Snorkel Park. The incident occurred at ~10 am, and was reported as “near drowning”. It happened on the same NYC to Bermuda cruise (itinerary Sept 13-20) on which a 56-year-old male passenger died on NCL-sponsored Bermuda snorkeling excursion.

16 September 2015Crew / Passenger Deaths

On September 16, 2015, a 56-year-old male passenger died on an NCL-sponsored shore excursion in Bermuda. The man (Stephen Sakman) died while snorkeling near Hawkins Island (privately owned island within Great Sound, Bermuda). During the incident, the ship was docked in call port King’s Wharf, on a 7-day Bermuda cruise (itinerary Sept 13-20) from homeport NYC New York.

16 September 2015Drug Smuggling

On September 16, 2015, a 30-year-old male crew was arrested and charged with drug smuggling in Bermuda. The man (Lindel Primus, from Grenada) was accused of conspiring to import ~1,9 kilos of cannabis (street value ~USD 95000).

06 May 2015Crew / Passenger Deaths

On May 6, 2015, a male passenger died on the ship from natural causes. The incident was reported upon arrival in call port Dockyard Bermuda.

15 January 2015Coast Guard Medevacs

On January 15, 2015, a 67-year-old female passenger was medevaced by a USCG helicopter team. The ship was approx 75 ml / 120 km east of Atlantic City (New Jersey).

08 December 2014Coast Guard Medevacs

On December 8, 2014, a 71-year-old female passenger needed emergency medical care ashore. The ship was approx 50 ml / 80 km off North Carolina’s coast (east of Cape Hatteras NC). The elderly woman was medevaced by USCG helicopter team dispatched from Elizabeth City NC. She was transported to Norfolk VA (Sentara Norfolk General Hospital).

23 May 2014Crew / Passenger Deaths

On May 23, 2014, a 60-year-old male passenger died ashore in Bermuda. The man was traveling on a bicycle along Cockburn Road (Sandys) when he veered into the opposite lane and crashed into a tree.

04 May 2014Propulsion / Power Loss

On May 4, 2014, the ship experienced a propulsion system (steering) malfunction as one of its pod thrusters failed and became inoperational. The incident occurred at ~7:40 am in Hudson River, while the ship was en-route to homeport NYC New York for docking. Assisted by a tugboat, the vessel was tugged to Pier 88 at ~10 am. The thruster was damaged by a 30 ft / 9 m long whale.

The necropsy report stated the whale sustained a blunt force trauma caused by the NCL cruise ship, It was not clear if the whale was killed by the vessel or already dead when the ship hit it.

03 February 2014Crew / Passenger Deaths

On February 3, 2014,  a 4-year-old boy drowned in an onboard swimming pool (in the Aqua Park area on Lido Deck 15) when the ship was near North Carolina’s coast. Another 6-year-old boy was also found unresponsive in the pool. The ship’s medical team gave both kids CPR, but the younger one died. The older boy was medevaced via USCG helicopter, together with his grandmother.

17 December 2013Coast Guard Medevacs

On December 17, 2013, the ship requested USCG assistance for an 87-year-old female passenger in medical distress. The elderly woman was medevaced by USCG helicopter team dispatched from Elizabeth City NC and transported to Greenville NC (Vidant Medical Center). The ship was approx 40 ml / 65 km off North Carolina’s coast.

17 September 2013Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On September 17, 2013, a female passenger suffered serious injuries after falling 2 decks down from her cabin’s balcony (from deck 10 to 8). After docking in Bermuda, the woman was disembarked, offloaded to a pilot boat in a stretcher, then transported by an ambulance to KEMH (King Edward VII Memorial Hospital).

On the same day, a 72-year old male passenger (suffering from a heart condition) was also disembarked and transported by an ambulance to KEMH.

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