Sir Jimmy Savile, a "True Friend of Cunard:" Cruise Ship Pedophile?

Today I read an article on the BBC website stating that Cunard canceled a tribute to eccentric British television star Jimmy Savile who sailed regularly on Cunard ships, and other cruise ships, before his death.

For the U.S. readers of this blog unfamiliar with Mr. Savile, he was a popular disc jockey and television presenter for BBC Radio and Television. In the 1960's and 70's, he hosted the popular TV music program Top of the Pops and Jim'll Fix It which catered primarily to children. He was known for his fundraising and support of charities and hospitals. He was knighted by the Queen in 1990. 

Jimmy Savile - Sexual AbuseA few years before his death in 2011, things began to unravel for Sir Savile. He was the target of allegations of child sexual abuse. After he died in October last year, these allegations increased. Several women stepped forward to claim that Savile sexually abused them while they were girls.

Nonetheless, Cunard cruise line had planned a tribute to Savile where the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship would sail by Scarborough, where Savile was buried. BBC News reports that a Cunard spokesperson had previously characterized Savile as a frequent Cunard cruise passenger and a "true friend of Cunard."

But after an ITV documentary aired last week about Savile's alleged abuse of children, including girls on the premises of BBC, an additional 40 women reported that Savile abused them while they were children. The U.K. police described Savile as a "predatory sex offender" who had a "predilection" for young girls.

It was at this point that Cunard finally decided to distance itself from its celebrity passenger Sir Savile.  

The concern I have when I read stories like this is the safety of children on cruise ships. Pedophiles plan their lives to come into close association with children and will prey on them if the opportunity exists - whether it's a hospital, orphanage, BBC's premises, or a luxury cruise ship.

If you think it's far-fetched that a pedophile would target children on a cruise ship, consider the fact that a Cunard youth counselor, Paul Trotter, is currently in jail in the U.K. after pleading guilty to abusing at least 13 children over the course of many years while working throughout the Cunard fleet.  

I have not located any evidence that Savile sexually abused anyone on Cunard's ships, but there is some disturbing accounts that he may have abused girls on a P & O cruise ship.

Jimmy Savile - Cruise ship PassengerThe U.K.'s Mirror published an article indicating that two passengers notified the captain of a P & O cruise ship that Savile had acted inappropriately with their daughter during a cruise - "I Kicked Sleazy Jimmy Savile Off Cruise Ship." The article states that after the captain of the P & O Canberra heard the complaints of the parents of a 14 year old girl, the captain told Savile ". . . he disgusted me and I wanted him off my ship when we reached Gibraltar.”  

Back in the 1970's when the incident aboard the P & O cruise ship occurred, cruise lines did not report sexual perverts to the police.  That was long before laws existed that required cruise lines to report such shipboard crimes to the authorities. At best, all that happened was the captain would kick the pervert off at the next port.  That permitted the pedophile to continue his ways on other cruise ships.

Other newspapers have raised the issue whether Savile sexually assaulted children on cruise ships. The U.K.'s Express newspaper published an article written by a journalist who commented that Savile was a regular on Cunard cruise ships and he observed Savile ". . . leering at girls and young women in the hot tub."

Sir Savile last sailed with Cunard, on the Queen Elizabeth, in September 2011 - thirty-five years after he was accused of abusing a girl on a P & O ship and one month before he died.

October 17, 2012 Update: The Sun newspaper in the U.K. published an article today about "Sue" age 16 who recalled Jimmy Sevile's conduct aboard a P & O cruise ship back in 1978

 

Photo credit:

Top: Sydney Morning Herald

Bottom: Mirror 

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Ex-Kiwi - October 20, 2012 7:35 AM

What about the paedophiles within St John ambulance who are about to receive awards from the Queen's representative:
http://bit.ly/ourNZexperience

Ed Jim - December 11, 2012 4:18 PM

The cabin boy is an old English sailing tradation which may explain the reluctance of the Cunard Line folks to throw pervert Jimmy off the ship.

In British .....Columbia ....there was once the Three Mile Club where elite perverts such as judges lawyers politicians and the wealthy were alleged to take children outside territorial waters so they they could abuse them without legal sanction - nice folks, eh.

Lyn in 1976 - November 13, 2013 4:22 AM

I suspect that there is a lot more of this going on than is reported. I was fortunate (?) enough to be brought up by a father who adored ships and as an only child went on a quite few cruises during my teens. In a space of about three years, between the ages of 14 - 17, I ran wild on cruise ships (in particular P&O Arcadia, P&O Oriana and the Archille Lauro). My parents were normally very strict, and I'm surprised they pretty much left me unsupervised while on cruise ships; perhaps they thought I was safe because I couldn’t go anywhere (presumably other than overboard). If only they knew.

At about 14 I was starstruck by a children’s entertainer (who also had some other role, perhaps DJ but not sure) on the Archille Lauro. I was a precocious only-child, and probably made it very clear that I worshipped him. He lured me back to his cabin, sat me on his bunk, exposed himself to me and tried to inappropriately touch me. I was shocked to the core, as I was sexually quite innocent, and started to cry. I don't remember how but somehow got out of there, I do remember him telling me not to tell anyone as they wouldn’t believe me and I would get into trouble. My father still talks about that as 'the only time I got seasick in my life' - little does he know why I took to my bunk and refused to leave the cabin for the rst of the trip.

At the age of about 16 I was regularly being served alcohol in the Monkey Bar on the Oriana , when I was very obviously not of age. I lost my virginity to a barman on the Oriana - he would have been around thirty years of age and I barely legal, 'it' occured in his cabin and I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I remember his colleagues joking about it when he smuggled me out of there, looking somewhat the worse for wear. I would like to get my hands on him now.

This account is absolutely truthful. I don’t think it did me any long term psychological damage, and thankfully I still love to cruise – with my 25+ year loving husband. I'm grateful really, because my life could have been very different. This is the first time I have ever told anyone about these incidents but just wanted to ‘put it out there’. I was motivated to write it when I heard about Jimmy Saville on Cunard.

My message is; if you have teenage daughters and take them on cruises, keep an eye on them: it’s really not as safe as you might think.

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