A local ABC affiliate in Boston WCVB TV5 recently aired a special investigation into the issue of cruise ship crime: "Crimes On Cruise Ships Often Not Reported - Local Victims Hope Laws At Sea Change."
The ABC affiliate accurately concludes that cruise lines are not required to report crimes on cruise ships in international waters. The consequences of having no legal obligation to report a crime means that there is no consequence when the cruise line does not report the crime - such as in the case of Merrian Carver.
Ms. Carver "disappeared" from the Mercury cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean's subsidiary Celebrity Cruises. But Royal Caribbean did not report her missing and tried to cover the incident up. ABC PrimeTime aired a special on this disturbing case "Cruise Cover Up - Cruise Line Doesn't Notify Anyone When Woman Disappears On Second Day of Tour."
We have written many articles about the cover up by Royal Caribbean, and the fight by Ms. Carver's father Ken Carver who continues to advocate for the safety of cruise passengers and demand transparency by the foreign flagged cruise industry.
The ABC TV5 investigation also focused on the story of our firm client, cruise passenger Angela Orlich, who was sexually assaulted during a diving excursion while on a Royal Caribbean cruise. The program also touches upon the well known case of George Smith IV who died during his honeymoon cruise on Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas. We represented Mr. Smith's widow, Jennifer Hagel.
After the story aired, the cruise industry's trade group, the notorious Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), complained on the station's web page that the story was "inaccurate." CLIA claimed that the story misled the public because U.S. law allegedly "requires cruise lines to report allegations of crime involving U.S. citizens no matter where the ship is in the world." This is not true. CLIA has no credibility and earned a reputation for bogus statements like this long ago. Take a moment and read "Cruise Line Pravda" or learn about CLIA's dubious cast of characters here.
In truth, there is absolutely no law requiring cruise lines to report crimes outside of 12 miles from shore.
It also telling that CLIA took the time to complain about the news program, but didn't bother to apologize to Ms. Orlich or express sympathy to the parents of Ms. Carver and Mr. Smith who lost a child during a CLIA cruise.
Unfortunately, such dishonesty and insensitivity characterizes CLIA and the cruise industry.
Video ABC affiliate in Boston WCVB TV5