Inconsistent information is emerging regarding the death of a passenger aboard the Liberty cruise ship operated by Carnival cruise line.
On November 20th we wrote about the Passenger Death On Carnival Liberty Cruise Ship based on information from a local news station in Miami - WSVN -7. After posting our article, we received a number of comments from passengers on the cruise indicating that the FBI treated the cabin as a crime scene. Some passengers conveyed disturbing information, suggesting that the passenger may have been beaten and murdered.
No one other than the Miami Herald initially covered the story. Unfortunately, the Miami Herald, a friend of the cruise industry, is known for looking the other way when things go wrong on Miami-based cruise ships. Its skimpy article regarding the death involves little more than a quote from Carnival's PR department: Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said in a statement that "evidence suggests [the death] was medical related. In respect to the privacy of our guests, we are not able to release specifics on the nature of the medical condition.''
Some of the passengers are critical of the lack of basic information released by Carnival. Its official statement that the death was "medical related" (aren't all deaths medically related?) raises more questions than provides answers. There are plenty of ways a cruise line can release information about shipboard incidents without violating an individual's privacy rights.
The issue of the cruise industry's lack of transparency has been a topic of Congressional inquiry over the last five years, and cases like this one make it look like the cruise line has something to hide. One of the readers of our blog, "Tomm," left the following comment:
". . . do Carnival spokespeople think that we are ignorant? The FBI does not show up to medical crime scenes and stay there ALL day and then take bags of evidence with them as they leave. I have video of it that I will download Tuesday for others to see. I know things will happen when thousands of people are gathered but let's get some regulations passed so Marshalls are on board and people can have access to information.
Was this a violent crime, or a death due to a medical condition as Carnival wants everyone to believe? Home of the "fun ships," Canival does not like publicity like this and wants everyone to forget about it.
Let's hope that other passengers and crew member on the cruise can provide additional information regarding this incident.
If you have information, please leave a comment below.
November 24 Update:
A reader of Cruise Law News, Tomm, posted his video of what looks like eight FBI agents leaving the cruise ship in St. Thomas, taking with them bags of evidence. The video is below.
Photo credit: Fodors
Video credit: PTOMM100 Youtube