The Complexities of Being a Crime Victim at Sea

OCEAN BUOY 2The cruise industry has significantly grown in popularity over the years. With this, however, comes an increase in crime on cruise ships. Crime at sea is now a serious problem. Just recently, near the Bahamas, an 11-year-old female was molested on a Disney Cruise Line (“DCL”) cruise ship when one of DCL’s chefs touched her breast. Stunningly, this crime was not reported until 16 hours after it occurred. This non-reporting occurred despite the requirement for cruise lines to make such reporting. What is more surprising is that, for one, the victim’s grandmother decided that she did not want to press charges on the suspect, and, two, Bahamian authorities did nothing more than fly, free of cost, the suspect back to his home! Justice was certainly not served in this case. Not only was the incident not reported until 16 hours after it took place, but an overlapping of jurisdictions (Bahamas instead of Florida) prevented this suspect from being fully investigated and prosecuted.

It is becoming commonplace that crime victims on cruise are not provided the help they need by the judicial system. With the blatant lack of reporting, despite a high occurrence of crime at sea, the cruise line business appears to be misleading the public. Perhaps this is to keep sales high. If you, or your loved one, are a cruise ship crime victim, it is critical that you hire an attorney. The Miami maritime attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz PA are here for you. Our attorneys have plenty of experience filing claims against all major cruise lines. We can provide you an ease of mind, as we know what do and know how to deal with the numerous complexities. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights.  

Serious Problem with Cruise Lines

In essence, cruise lines voluntarily release statistics relating to crime on cruise ships. Serious crimes involving Americans on cruise ships are specifically required to be reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). Serious crimes include, but are certainly not limited to, rape, homicide, and assault. However, there is astonishingly no similar requirement for other crimes.  A recent report indicates that the Coast Guard reported more than 959 crimes to the FBI, yet only 31 crimes were reported to the public. As it turns out, per said report, the total number of crimes on cruise ships, including crimes committed by crewmembers, is nearly 30 times higher than the number of alleged that are publically reported.  

Major cruise ships have certain policies where they conduct “thorough” background checks of employees who are hired to work onboard the cruise ship. Nevertheless, multi-cultural backgrounds of not only crewmembers, but also cruise ship passengers, have made serious crimes, sexual assaults, and disappearances commonplace. What is noteworthy is that there are no police on cruise ships. The cruise ship captain is the individual who answers to crime reports.

Take Action and Hire an Attorney

Again, if you or a loved one has been the victim of a crime on a cruise ship, contact the Maritime lawyers of Gerson & Schwartz PA. Our law office specializes representing crime victims at sea. ,At Gerson & Schwartz, PA all of our lawyers licensed to practice law in all Florida state and federal courts. We provide aggressive quality legal representation. Contact us today for a free consultation. Se Habla Espanol.

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