A newspaper in Canada published a couple of interesting articles this weekend about a story that won't go away - the disappearance of passengers and crewmembers from cruise ships.
The Star newspaper published Families Search for Cruise Ship Passengers Lost at Sea which discusses the circumstances surrounding the disappearances of Canadian citizen Fariba Amani who vanished from the Celebration cruise ship as it was returning to Florida from the Bahamas. Ms. Amani was cruising with her boyfriend, in what is described as a difficult relationship, who could offer no explanation for his girlfriend's disappearance at sea in the middle of the night.
The article also mentions the plight of Son Michael Pham, from Seattle, whose parents disappeared from a Carnival cruise ship in the Caribbean. Hue Pham, 71, and his wife, Hue Tran, 67, had been married 49 years and were with their daughter and granddaughter when they disappeared from the Carnival Cruise Line ship Destiny in 2005.
The article also touches upon the story of a woman, Arlene Pretty, who was drugged during a cruise aboard a Celebrity Cruises ship. By the time she returned to her cabin, she was staggering. Within minutes her legs went numb and she couldn’t breathe. She was rushed to sick bay, where she was stabilized and where blood and urine samples were taken from her.
“The FBI refused on two requests to take the blood and urine samples and have them tested,” she says. “My samples are still on the ship, going to the Caribbean every 14 days, or they probably just got rid of them . . . What happened to me was absolute hell,” says Pretty, who has been on 19 cruises. “I thought I was going to die."
The Star newspaper also published another article The Mystery Surrounding Two Cruise Ship Deaths.
Merrian Carver disappeared while cruising on the Celebrity Mercury cruise ship. "Security on board these vessels is severely lacking," Kendall Carver, president of International Cruise Victims, is quoted as saying. His daughter, Merrian, went missing on a cruise ship sailing from Vancouver to Alaska in 2004, when she was 40. Celebrity thereafter engaged in a cover up of the disappearance.
The other disappearance mentioned in the article involved George Smith, who vanished from Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Sea cruise ship in the Mediterranean in July 2005. The Smith family and their counsel in Connecticut are continuing to search for answers.
All of the stories contain common themes - indifference of the FBI, lack of cooperation by the cruise lines and families who continue to search for answers against all odds.