Canadian Woman from Oasis of the Seas Missing in Nassau

Samantha LoverridgeThe Nassau Tribune published a troubling article today indicating that:  

"Police are seeking the public’s help in locating 27–year-old Canadian Samantha Loveridge, who was a passenger onboard the Oasis of the Seas that arrived in New Providence on Sunday.

Ms. Loveridge is a white female of slim build who was last seen in Nassau on Sunday when she disembarked the cruise ship at Prince George Dock."

Photo Credit:  Nassau Tribune

Contact information for the Police in the Bahamas can he obtained here.  

Update: Ms. Loveridge has been located and arrangements are being made for her to return to Canada. 

 

 

Retired Canadian Doctor Murdered in the Bahamas

Multiple news sources in Canada are reporting that a prominent retired doctor from Canada was violently murdered while on vacation in the Bahamas.

Canadian Broadcasting Cor[oration reports that Dr. Geoffrey Harding, age 88, was stabbed to death during a home-invasion robbery last Thursday. 

CVT says that he was an accomplished family doctor who practiced in small communities in Canada before retiring 10 years ago. His son-m-law described him as living a modest life, and not a wealthy man by any means: “He didn’t have any money. It wasn’t like he was living in a mansion there or anything like that. It Geoffrey Harding Murdered in the Bahamaswas a very modest two-bedroom bungalow." 

The police in the Bahamas arrested a 43-year-old Bahamian late Saturday night, but refused to disclose that the murder victim was Canadian. Unfortunately, we have seen the local police in the Bahamas (called the Royal Bahamas Police Force) acting like a tourism bureau before.  

The newspapers in the Bahamas are also down-playing the incident. The Tribune newspaper described the Canadian doctor merely as a "Caucasian man."  This is how the police released the information. The Nassau Guardian did not report on the murder.

In the last 15 months, the United States has issued six (6) critical crime warnings for the Bahamas via the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Nassau, warning tourists of armed robbery, kidnapping and sexual assault there. The last warning was in February.

The murder took place on Long Island, an island in the Bahamas.

Canada warned its citizens of violent crime in the Bahamas last year. A visitor from Canada was killed in front of his family during a horrible home invasion robbery last April.  Last May, a young Canadian tourist was stabbed 7 times in the chest, back and stomach when thugs robbed him of a gold chain.

There is nowhere in the world with so many critical crime advisories.

Cruising to the Bahamas? Beware.

April 7 2015 Update: Local Bahamians say that Long Island is peaceful and crime is rare but just last December a 53 year old woman had her hands and feet bound and was stabbed to death, according to the Nassau Guardian.

Have a comment? Please leave on below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

 

Photo Credit: CBC

Canada Issues Crime Warning for Nassau, Bahamas

On Wednesday, Canada began advising its citizens to “exercise a high degree of caution, especially in Nassau, due to high rates of crime.”

On its government website Canada urged Canadian travelers to be vigilant and raised the alert status from normal. The warning effective September 17 2014 states:

"There is no nationwide advisory in effect for the Bahamas. However, you should exercise a Canada Crime Warning Nassau Bahamashigh degree of caution, especially in Nassau, due to high rates of crime." 

The headline of the Tribune newspaper in Nassau is Crime alert for Nassau Tourists - Canada Urges Visitors to be Vigilant.

We have written frequently about the high incidents of murder and armed robbery in Nassau (New Providence). About half of the Bahamians who read our articles acknowledge the issue of crime and are frustrated that the government can't do more to address the problem of armed robberies and murder. The other half of our readers are in denial and have a false sense of patriotism. This leads to to threats and accusations that crime is higher in the U.S. with references to the high crime rate in Detroit, for example.

My response is to simply state that everyone knows that its dangerous in Detroit. But most visitors to Nassau naively think that Nassau is some type of idyllic paradise. They need to be warned.

We have also written about Canadians residents and citizens becoming victims of horrific violent crimes in the Bahamas.  You can read a few of our articles here and here.

According to the Tribune, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said he was worried about the effect of the warning on tourism because there are lots of tourists from Canada who visit the Bahamian islands.

 

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

G.I. Blues: Over 300 Sick on the Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit Cruise ShipCruise expert Professor Ross Klein reports that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that 307 of 2112 passengers (14.5%) and 14 of 952 crew (1.5%) aboard the Celebrity Summit have reported sick with "gastrointestinal illness."

You can read about the outbreak on the CDC website here.

There is no indication whether the illness is due to norovirus, e-coli or some other virus or bacteria. 

The CDC is working with Health Canada officials as the cruise ship sails in Canada on its way to Bayonne, New Jersey,  The cruise ship will arrival in Bayonne on October 5, 2013.

The CDC will send an epidemiologist and an environmental health officer to meet the ship and conduct an epidemiologic investigation and environmental health assessment, and monitor the sanitation procedures onboard prior to the embarkation of new passengers.

Over 14% of the passengers being sick with gastrointestinal illness is a very high percentage.  

In the past week, we have reported about cruise ship norovirus outbreaks on two Fred Olsen cruise ships, the Black Watch and the Boudicca.

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Yankeesman312

Small Cruise Ship Runs Aground in Canada

Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) reports that a cruise ship ran aground yesterday near Sainte-Pétronille, at the south end of Île d'Orléans on the St. Lawrence River.

57 passengers were on board. There are no reports of injury. A tugboat transported everyone back to shore. 

The ship is a small cruise ship named the Louis-Jolliet which left a port in Quebec City and was on its way to tour Montmorency Falls when it ran aground just before 3 p.m.

A spokeswoman for the Canadian Coast Guard said late Thursday that Croisières AML, the cruise ship's owner, would either have the boat towed to safety or await high tide at 11:45 p.m. for the boat to free itself.

The cruise ship suffered what is being described as minor damage to its hull.

Photo Credit: CBC / Gilles Lachance

Louis Jolliet Cruise Ship

Cruising, "Eh!" to Z! What Canadians Should Know Before Getting On-Board . . .

Danielle Gauer, JD Candidate 2013 University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, joins us for another guest blog.  You can read about Danielle's background and read her first guest blog here. This blog is an interesting inside look at cruising for our friends north of the border:

More and more Canadians are looking for a way to escape the cold and snow during the winter months and instead catch some sun. Cruise ships seem like the perfect way to spend a family vacation offering passengers an experience similar to that of a five star all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. With luxury travel, activities catered to the entire family, world class-cuisine and entertainment, and Canada Cruise Shipssome of the most fascinating ports of call, Canadians are hopping on-board these monster ships to enjoy the family vacation of their lives. However, with the move towards accommodating more passengers and offering more “risky” activities, such as rock-climbing and surf simulators, there is inevitably an increased possibility of catastrophe occurring.

When serious personal injury arises as a result of negligence on the part of the cruise line, it is imperative that Canadian cruise ship passengers know how to assert their rights and obtain compensation for their damages. Being injured on-board a cruise ship is frustrating. Injured passengers also experience physical, emotional and financial loss. In many situations, Canadians fear that taking legal action in the U.S. will be pointless. They can feel defeated at the outset. The choice not to advance their rights can stem simply from the perception that retaining a U.S. attorney can be expensive and time consuming. The thought of “competing” against a large corporate enterprise, that has equipped itself with a team of lawyers that have unlimited resources at their disposal, can be intimidating.

When Canadians pay for a vacation on a cruise ship, they also agree to certain contractual terms and conditions. Cruise ticket contracts generally include a “forum selection clause” stating where a lawsuit can be brought. This informs the passenger where they can file documents to commence legal action against the cruise line. Most cruise ship companies have inserted an exclusive foreign selection clause in their cruise ticket contract. What this means is that when signed, passengers have submitted to the jurisdiction chosen by the defendant cruise line, whether it is the State of Florida (Carnival and Royal Caribbean), California (Princess), or Washington (Holland America Line). This limits the plaintiff’s choice in selecting a location to file a lawsuit that is more convenient and close to home (i.e. in Canada).

Sometimes these ticket contracts may include clauses that place a limit on the types of lawsuits that a plaintiff can bring. Some of these conditions are valid and legally enforceable; other conditions are illegal and unenforceable. For example, Norwegian Cruise Lines has inserted a clause to limit its liability for injuries or damages resulting from participating in specific activities on-board (i.e. rock Canada Cruise Ship Passengersclimbing wall, ice skating, onboard water-slides). Royal Caribbean has similar conditions which attempt to protect the cruise line from lawsuits arising out of injuries from participating in flow-riding or zip-lining. These types of conditions have been struck down in Florida although the cruise lines still insert the illegal language in their passengers contracts.

Before commencing an action against a cruise line, Canadians must be aware of any clauses in the passenger ticket contract that can limit their claims. Canadian laws make it difficult to challenge forum selection clauses in cruise ship contracts, so Canadian plaintiffs should be fully aware of those challenges before contemplating litigation in Canada instead of the United States. Contacting a US attorney who specializes in cruise ship litigation will helpful as they will be fully equipped with the resources and knowledge to assert their client’s rights and allow a Canadian plaintiff to obtain the most accurate information regarding their claim.

Canadians should also realize that passengers have only one year to file suit, and most cruise lines require that the passenger notify them in writing of their intention to file suit within six months.  

Cruises can be very enjoyable, but Canadian passengers should be aware of their rights before getting on-board!

 

Photo credit: "Winter in Ottawa" - Danielle Gauer

Did the Carnival Glory Sicken Canadians Ashore With Norovirus?

Cruise Ship NorovirusWhen passengers fall victim to norovirus while cruising, cruise lines typically blame the passengers for bringing the virus aboard and sickening the ship and crew. But if this Canadian news report is correct, its looks like the table has been turned on one cruise line which allegedly sickened people ashore in the port of Halifax with the dreaded "cruise ship virus."

According to CTV News, the Carnival Glory which stopped in Halifax about two weeks ago is the suspected source of an outbreak that shut down two restaurants on the waterfront this week. Two waterfront restaurants, The Bicycle Thief and Ristorante a Mano, had to close after at least 26 staff and customers became ill with what appears to be the norovirus. 

Other business owners complained that Carnival cruise passengers came through their shops and sickened the employees and customers.  

Some locals commented that they intended to avoid waterfront businesses out of fear that the virus from the cruise passengers might infect them.

We commented on the puke fest on the Carnival in a prior blog.  

Canadian Air Force Rescue of Stricken Sailboat Assisted By Star Princess Cruise Ship - This Time Princess Cruises Doesn't Abandon Mariners in Distress

The Vancouver Province contains a dramatic story involving the Canadian Air Force's rescue of two British Columbia sailors whose storm battered sailboat was pitching wildly in 80 km/h winds and high waves near the Queen Charlotte Islands.

The Canadian Air Force deployed a helicopter to try and winch the two men off the deck of the Magnolia sailboat but the torn rigging and swaying mast posed a hazard. A photo of the sailboat, illuminated by a helicopter spotlight, is to the right.  

Meanwhile, the Star Princess cruise ship was nearby heading to Alaska.

Everyone remembers the Star Princess. The notorious cruise ship recently made the headline when it sailed by three Magnolia Sailboat RescuePanamanian men in the little fishing boat, 50 Cents, leaving two men to perish at sea, while three cruise passengers pleaded for the cruise ship to stop and assist the disabled fishing boat. We wrote about the dreadful incident - Two Dead Fishermen: Did Star Princess Cruise Ship Ignore Mariners in Distress?

This time the Star Princess didn't look the other way.

As explained in the Vancouver Province, the giant ship tried to break the wind and calm the waves. But instead the cruise ship's presence added to the danger because the wind and current would move the cruise ship in unexpected directions. "It drifted much too fast towards us," said a Canadian Air Force rescuer who was in the water at the scene.

The helicopter diver had to drop into the water twice and then swim over to the bobbing sailboat to rescue the men.

The helicopter eventually lifted the two sailors to safety, and the Star Princess headed on to Alaska.  

If you were on the Star Princess and have photos, video or comments about the rescue to share, please let us hear from you.

 

Consider reading:

Duty of Cruise Lines to Assist Persons In Distress: Moral, Legal & Practical Considerations On The High Seas

 

Photo: Canadian Air Force (Sgt Robin Richardson, 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron)

M/V Clipper Adventurer Sues Canada After Running Aground in Northwest Passage

CBC News in Canada is reporting that the owners of the M/V Clipper Adventurer, which ran aground last summer in the Nothwest Passage, is suing the Canadian government. 

Adventurer Owner Ltd. of Nassau, Bahamas, is seeking at least $15 million from Canada, including $12 million in repair and salvage costs for damage to the vessel's hull, $2.6 million for loss of business, and $350,000 in other costs.

Clipper Adventurer Sues CanadaThe ship's owners blame Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans for failing to inform the vessel owners and other mariners about an underwater rock shelf.

The nautical charts on board the Clipper Adventurer at the time of the grounding indicated there were 29 meters of water when in fact there there were only three meters of water at the location of the grounding. 

We blogged about this last year:

Clipper Adventurer Cruise Ship Runs Aground in the Arctic

"Uncharted Rocks" and Other Tall Tales - Clipper Adventurer Ran Into A Charted Hazard

Although Canada has an obligation to update maps and charts for its waters, this seems to be a difficult case for the vessel owners.  They were in the rugged waters of the Northwest Passage and apparently were not using a local pilot who was familiar with the waters.  Were they using a depth sounder?  Sounds like they were not exercising diligence sailing in these waters without a pilot or correct charts.

Some observers are suggesting that Canada should counter sue the vessel owners for the expenses of the Canadian Coast Guard for rescuing the passengers.

 

Photo: Canadian Coast Guard/Canadian Press via CBC News

Cruising to Canada? Drunk Drivers Beware!

Just when you think you have heard everything  . . .  along comes a story like this.

Dianna Hilliard, an attorney in Missouri with 25 years of experience handling drunk driving cases, explains that if you are a passenger with a DWI / DUI conviction you may have a problem entering Canada during your cruise.  In a blog entitled "On a Cruise to Canada???  DWI Conviction?  May need a special waiver to enter Canada," Ms. Hilliard writes:

"A DWI incident will effect your ability to go to Canada.

Canada - Cruise - DUI - DWICanadian authorities are reported to be refusing admission to drivers with a DWI conviction in the USA.  Such records are immediately available on Canada Immigration computers and may show convictions as far back as 20 years ago.  Those with such convictions may be able to get a waiver for up to 30 days visitation upon payment of a $200 (Canadian) fee.  A single DWI conviction may be permanently expunged from the Canadian computers for payment of $400 (Canadian).  Canadian officials are reported justifying the fees because they feel DWI is a serious crime and it is a way of keeping "undesirables" out of Canada. 

This includes passengers on a cruise.  What should you do?  First, plan ahead, way ahead as Canada may take over 6 months to decide on a special waiver .  .  ."

It seems strange that a passenger who enters Canada only for an afternoon and returns to the cruise ship which leaves at 6:00 p.m. (and doesn't even rent a car) could be be prevented from entering the country for a drunk driving arrest 5 or 10 years ago.  It seems particularly strange because at any given time there are hundreds of drunk passengers on the cruise ships as they enter Canadian waters.  

Does anyone know of a passenger who was denied entering Canada because of a DWI / DUI conviction?