Early this morning, British news outlet Gazette Live, reported that an elderly couple from Teeside, England, had been violently assaulted by a fellow passenger, whilst cruising on Thomson Cruises Thomson Celebration in January. According to the report, the woman suffered “serious spinal injuries,” while her husband incurred “serious facial injuries,” both requiring treatment at a hospital. Apparently, the couple’s attacker was permitted to leave the cruise shortly after the incident, and the cruise line did nothing to detain him. Cleveland, England Police are investigating what they are referring to as a “serious unprovoked assault”, but have not yet made an arrest.
As our Florida cruise ship accident attorneys have discussed before, preventing and controlling crime on board ships is one of the biggest problems that the cruise ship industry faces. Every year, dozens of cruise ship passengers fall victim to physical and sexual assaults onboard cruise ships at the hands of crew members and other passengers.
Back in December, this blog discussed an assault on a 14-year-old passenger aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Imagination by a security guard. According to the victim of the alleged assault, the guard chased him into a stairwell and slammed him into a wall after witnessing the teen try to sneak into the ship’s nightclub. In July of last year, a 19-year-old man from Kentucky was charged with raping an 18-year-old aboard the Carnival Dream. These are just a couple of the dozens of crimes that are committed against cruise passengers each year.
According to FBI statistics, in 2007, there were 207 criminal incidents reported by the U.S. Coast Guard and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) that year. However, as this blog has mentioned, that number is likely much higher. At the time the report was issued in 2007, there had already been 41 reported instances of sexual assault accounting for 55 percent of the violent crimes that were reported. Further, there were a reported 13 assaults resulting in “serious bodily injury.”
Cruise companies have a duty to provide a safe environment for their passengers, and the failure to do so may entitle the injured party to compensation. In July of 2010, Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (“CVSSA”, legislation designed to improve the security and safety of passengers aboard cruise ships carrying more than 250 passengers on a voyage embarking or disembarking from any U.S. port. Under the CVSSA, cruise lines are required to report all sexual assaults, rapes, and other violent crimes to the appropriate authorizes. Further, cruise lines must file reports of all rape and sexual assault with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.
The Florida cruise ship accident lawyers of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. are licensed to practice law in all of Florida’s state and federal courts, and have been representing the victims of cruise ship crimes for over four decades. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime while on a cruise ship, contact the Florida maritime attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today.