Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Cruises are dangerous: who knew?

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Not in terms of the cruise ship itself, but in the lack of oversight and protection. Rob Hotakainen reports for McClatchy:

Laurie Dishman, a 37-year-old food services manager from Sacramento, said it was time to face her fears head-on, so she took a therapeutic trip to the Port of Miami last weekend.

It was the first time she’d gone near big ships since 2006, when she was raped on a cruise by one of the ship’s janitors. Back then, she was appalled when the crew responded by telling her that she needed to control her drinking. So on Sunday, at one of the busiest ports in the nation, she handed out more than 300 pamphlets to people as they began their vacations, warning them of danger.

“There are no laws out there,” Dishman said in an interview. “All kinds of things can happen on this floating city in the middle of the ocean, and there’s no security. There’s no protection. You think you have American rights when you board a ship, but you don’t.”

Later in the article:

Critics say that immediate changes are needed because under current law, cruise ships aren’t required to report even the most serious crimes that are committed in international waters.

Congress is considering legislation that would force cruise ships to maintain logs that record all deaths, missing individuals, alleged crimes and passenger complaints of theft, sexual harassment and assault. That information would be made available to the FBI and the Coast Guard, and the public would have access to it on the Internet.

The legislation also would require cruise ships to have security latches and peepholes on passengers’ stateroom doors. Ships also would be required to keep medication to prevent the transmission of disease after a sexual assault, along with equipment to perform exams to determine if a passenger had been raped.

More at the link, including this note:

Sen. Kerry became involved in the issue when Merrian Carver of Cambridge, Mass., disappeared on a cruise in 2004. Kerry said the case was shocking because employees didn’t tell the FBI she was missing until weeks later, when her family started asking questions.

Written by Leisureguy

1 September 2008 at 8:30 am

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