When the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 was passed, there was belief that the cruise industry would become more transparent in their reporting of crime statistics on the high seas. Unfortunately, some critics feel that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Coast Guard have helped the cruise industry achieve the opposite. How did that happen? Last minute wording that changed the bill from requiring cruise companies to report all crimes to the FBI which then are added to statistics on the U.S. Coast Guard website—the altered wording says only crimes no longer under investigation must be reported. A concern of citizens, family members who have lost loved ones at sea, and cruise ship attorneys alike, is that the lack of data suggests cruises are safer than ever—which is not the case.
The members of Congress who sponsored the bill were Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), and within a memo obtained by NBC Bay Area, Kerry’s own office states that the bill was changed at the request of both agencies involved—the FBI and the U.S. Coast Guard. Now, Sen. Kerry’s office is seeking stronger legislation.
If you’ve experienced a cruise ship crime, or know someone who has, be sure to seek the counsel of a reputable cruise ship attorney today.