herald

Thursday 23 November 2017

Cruise disaster firm linked to legal fight over Irish girl's death

THE cruise company behind the crash off Italy's coast was previously embroiled in a legal battle over the death of an Irish schoolgirl, it has emerged.

The Costa Concordia, which capsized by the island of Giglio after hitting submerged rocks, is one of several ships belonging to Carnival Corp (CCL), a company that was sued for the death of Lynsey O'Brien in 2006.

Lynsey (15) fell overboard from the Costa Magica liner while on a family cruise off the Mexican coast on in 2006.

The teenager's body has never been found.

The tragedy took place in the Gulf of Mexico, about 20 miles off the coast of the popular Mexican holiday resort Cancun.

Dubliner Lynsey's sister Imelda saw her fall from the ship's upper decks at about 2am.

Imelda tried to open the balcony door to help her sister, as she appeared to cling to the ship's railings, however by the time she got out, Lynsey had fallen 140ft into the sea.

Shortly after the tragedy, it was reported that Lynsey had been served several measures of alcohol on the Costa Magica.

It was discovered that Lynsey had drunk a number of vodka cocktails in two hours in one of the Costa Magica cruise ship's bars, despite being underage.

On their return home, the O'Brien family from Fortfield Road in Terenure, began a quest to have better safety systems implemented on board cruise liners and systems for the serving of alcohol overhauled.



nightmare

Her mum Sandra previously told the Herald she was still seeking answers about what happened to her daughter.

Sandra and Lynsey's dad Paul hired internationally-renowned lawyer Brett Rivkind to handle their compensation case against Carnival Cruise Lines, however the case has yet to be settled.

Lynsey would have turned 21 on June 3, 2011. On the occasion, Paul said: "I will fight on until I have no breath in my body but someone will be made to answer for Lynsey's death.

"We boarded the ship, Costa Magica, with our four children on January 2, 2006.

"On the 3rd night of the cruise, our beloved 15-year old daughter, Lynsey, fell overboard and has not been found.

"[ ... ]This was supposed to be a cruise of a lifetime ... with old friends and their families, but instead, it turned out to be the worst nightmare imaginable. You do not expect to go on a cruise with four children and return with only three.

"There are many unanswered questions, but my family and I will not rest until we seek justice for Lynsey.

"Our family unit is all broken. We love you dearly, Lynsey, and we know you are watching and smiling down upon us from heaven.

"We are desperately seeking the identity of the young gentleman, who cared enough to throw the life buoys into the water, in an attempt to save our baby, Lynsey."

Turn to pages 14-15

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