Crime on cruise ships is not a new phenomenon, regrettably. Many voyages were ruined by unexplained deaths, overboard passengers, sexual assault, battery, and theft suffered by passengers on the world’s most popular cruise lines. Committing a crime while on vacation seems utterly irrational, but it happens. Cruise lines owe passengers a duty of care to protect their passengers from harm. Therefore, cruise lines may be held accountable to you if you are the victim of a crime while onboard. Florida cruise ship attorneys will provide you with zealous representation if you are the victim of a crime while on a cruise ship.
Until very recently, crime statistics for crimes that occur on a cruise ship were inconsistently reported. While the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) maintains crime statistics, cruise lines compiled their own statistics. These compilations rarely, if ever, agreed with one another. Often, the FBI would report individual numbers while the cruise lines would report something wildly different. The public did not have access to the crime statistics, which compounded matters. Obviously, cruise lines have a vested interest in under reporting the numbers of crimes allegedly happening during their voyages.
Now, with the assistance from the United States Department of Transportation, the public has ready access to crime statistics for a crime allegedly committed on board a cruising vessel. Critically, recently enacted legislation not only compels cruise line to cooperate with reporting of offenses, but FBI agents are also assigned to investigate crimes the reportedly happen during a voyage. The FBI will establish a communication system that enables victims to contact the FBI for assistance while onboard the vessel.
Victim advocates are pushing for further reforms. A bill introduced into Congress this past creates additional protections. The bill proposes that a four-hour window is imposed upon cruise ships to report serious crimes to the FBI. Additionally, the bill requires cruise ships make surveillance video available to aid in a criminal investigation. Furthermore, the bill would require cruise lines to retain surveillance video for a longer amount of time so investigators, the passengers can access it in the event a crime occurs in an area covered by surveillance video. Additionally, the cruise lines, if the bill is passed, must carry a trained medical staff during cruises as well as provide the opportunity for the family of a deceased passenger to have the body transported to the United States for post-mortem inspection and autopsy.
Cruise lines counter the need for greater regulation by claiming that you are much more likely to fall victim to a criminal in your home than you are on a cruise ship. While statistically that may be true, a cruise ship passenger is particularly vulnerable while sailing on the high seas. The cruise lines do not employ a police force who can respond to emergencies, interview witnesses, preserve crime scenes, perform forensic analysis, and detain suspects. Consequently, cruise lines must prevent crime rather than just respond to it.
Miami Cruise Ship Attorneys Ready To Fight For Your Rights If You Suffered Injuries On A Cruise Ship
The Miami cruise ship crime victim attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. have decades of experience holding cruise lines accountable for personal injuries or death of its passengers. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or died as a result of a cruise line’s negligence, call Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today at (877) 475-2905 or visit our website injuryattorneyfla.com to schedule a free consultation.