Once again the sexual misconduct of a crew member on board a cruise ship is a hot topic. During the recent airing of the CNN news series, “ Safe at Sea”, Anderson Cooper AC360, a 15 year old girl reveals one horrifying incident; she was sexually assaulted by an unidentified crew member. Dressed in a bar tender’s uniform, this man uses a key to enter her room, and forces her to perform oral sex on him, on board a Royal Caribbean Cruise in 2010.
Due to the traumatic nature of this incident, the girl was frightened and did not tell anyone what had happened until after the cruise ended, and she was safe and sound at home. In an interview with cruise ship security expert, Randy Jacques, the reality of this event was brought to light. Jacques reiterates again and again the frequency of sexual assaults on board cruise ships, and the high number of sexual predators that travel on cruise ships in search of female victims. In actuality, 85% or crimes committed on cruise ships go unreported, an astounding statistic which the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) has kept hidden from the public, in order to protect the industry’s reputation and ensure large profits.
In this instance, Royal Caribbean settled the case with the female under aged crime victim for an undisclosed amount. However, far too often individuals do not report these crimes and the cruise lines continue to advertise themselves, as safe modes of travel neglecting their passengers’ safety and escaping any legal ramifications or police involvement. Even when the crimes are reported the cruise companies try to cover up and don’t follow the procedures which would apply as standard on land. The truth of the matter is that cruises are amongst the most dangerous places for young girls and women traveling alone or in small groups. Sexual predators board cruise ships either as crew members or passengers are enabled because these floating cities lack police protection and security. Thus, sexual assaults can take place, virtually unnoticed.
More often than not, crew members are foreign nationals from other countries and the Cruise ship industry does not require back ground checks on these individuals. Therefore, they can literally slide under the radar after committing crimes against passengers. Unfortunately, the cruise ship industry wants you to believe you are safe when you get on board a cruise, but this is certainly not the case. You are putting yourself at risk every time you take a cruise.
In order to assist crime victims in their plight for justice against sexual predators on board cruise ships, experienced attorneys, specializing in maritime law are at your service. The team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA helps individuals bring legal action against cruise lines in a professional and effective manner, recovering damages for their clients. Gerson & Schwartz, PA has been in practice for over 40 years, focusing on the needs of crime victims and victims of sexual assault on and off cruise ships.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a sexual crime, or has suffered an injury on or off a cruise ship contact (305)371-6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org today, for a free consultation. Gerson & Schwartz, PA will fight for your rights against an industry that is grossly negligent and does not protect its passengers adequately. Your victimization deserves effective legal representation and fair compensation.