Abbott Clay & Reed

Posts Tagged ‘cruise ships’

Sexual Assaults, or Worse, on Cruise Ships

In Maritime on June 22, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Newspapers, television and the Internet are reporting a number of assaults, injuries and deaths on cruise ships. Cruises are advertised as exciting and glitzy but nothing is said about the crimes that are committed on-board. Many cruise liners have larger populations than small cities and every form of crime and neglect can exist on even the best cruise lines. There have been recent reports of murder and rape along with assault, burglary and theft. When you think of a cruise, you think of the slick television ads instead of a reality that includes a mixture of different types of people from all over the world. Passengers and crew are thrown together in cramped quarters and often mix together on-board and on-shore. Cruise lines sometimes fail to properly investigate their employees’ records before hiring them and expose passengers to crew members with criminal backgrounds, usually from a country other than the United States.

Close quarters association with crew is a risk factor that must be taken into consideration in addition to the normal risk associated with binge drinking, drug experimentation and a party atmosphere. In addition to criminal behavior, there are on-board accidents such as falling overboard due to inadequately designed railings, slipping on wet decks, being hit by falling objects, food poisoning, being thrown about in rough seas due to the negligence of the captain and every conceivable type of injury common to people on land.

In the news recently, a cruise ship was alerted to a passenger overboard, but delayed action, resulting in the passenger’s death. In another case a young man barely twenty-one years old, on vacation with his friends, had too much to drink and fell overboard while leaning over the railing because he was sick. The event was captured by a ship surveillance camera. Cruise ships are promoted as the place to “party.” Cruise ships heavily promote the sale of liquor to passengers and do not effectively monitor or police underage passengers who bring alcohol on board, especially in foreign ports.

Injuries also occur when passengers leave the ship to visit ports of call. Cruise ships arrange and promote tours, trips, scuba, fishing and other activities and sometimes they do not check out or monitor the safety of these companies that provide the services the cruise ship sells to the passengers.

It is important passengers do the research on various cruise ship lines before making a choice. Internet searches can produce many incidents that point out the risk and danger involved in cruise ship vacations. No one should should take safety for granted just because they are passengers on an American cruise ship line. Most “American” cruise lines are not American at all. Most cruise lines are foreign companies with vessels flying flags of convenience.