Girl Dies After Falling on Carnival Glory

Carnival GloryA 8 year-old girl died Saturday morning after falling from a deck in an interior atrium to a lower deck on the Carnival Glory

A representative of Miami Fire-Rescue Department said the child fell "about two stories" inside the Carnival cruise ship around 8:15 a.m. after the ship had returned from a cruise in the Caribbean and Mexico and had docked at the port of Miami. Photos taken after the accident posted online show the atrium lobby with railings and glass panels around the interior decks. 

The child apparently went over the rails while the family was in the process of using the atrium elevator to disembark from the ship. 

A passenger (a retired emergency medical technician) reportedly performed CPR on the girl, until the ship doctor arrived.  Fire-Rescue paramedics then transported her to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in "extremely critical condition." 

A Miami-Dade police detective later reported the child had died. Police indicated that they would work with the cruise line "to determine the details surrounding this incident," according to Local News 10 in Miami. 

This is not the first time that a child was fallen from an upper deck on a cruise ship. Six weeks ago, a 3-year-old girl fell from the balcony of the Carnival Breeze which was heading back to Galveston, Texas. The child survived the fall.  Several years ago, a one-year-old child crawled through an 12th floor railing and fell to the pool deck below on the Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas

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October 17, 2017 Update: 

Miami Herald: Girl, 8, got on ‘tippy toes’ to peer over cruise ship railing, then fell to her death.

Photo credit: Mark Dennis CC BY-SA 2.0, commons / wikimedia.; video credit: Local News 10 Miami. 

 

 

Passenger Charged with Raping Boy on NCL Cruise Ship

Adam ChristopherOn August 30, 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts filed criminal charges against a man reportedly from Bay Springs, Mississippi for allegedly raping a 15-year-old boy on a NCL cruise ship during a seven-day cruise from Boston to Bermuda. The sexual assault reportedly occurred on August 14, 2017 while the cruise ship was docked in Bermuda, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston.* 

The incident was first reported by the newspapers in Bermuda, including Bernews and the Royal Gazette, which did not mention of name of the assailant or the cruise ship where the incident occurred. The newspapers in Bermuda, which typically do a poor job of reporting about crimes on cruise ships, did not provide any details regarding the alleged shipboard crime.  

The federal court filing in federal court in Boston (see below) indicates that the United States charged Adam Christopher Boyd, age 30, with one count of sexual abuse of a minor. Mr. Boyd was arrested in Bermuda and faces extradition back to the United States. The court filing indicates that the cruise ship where the rape occurred is the Norwegian Dawn. According to an affidavit from a FBI agent in support of the criminal charges and arrest warrant, the Dawn arrived at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda on August 13, 2017 where it was scheduled to spend three days before returning to Boston.

The FBI affidavit states that before the rape, the 15-year-old boy was drinking alcohol on deck 13 of the ship with other passengers who he met during the cruise.  Mr. Boyd met the child and informed him that he was an hairdresser and offered to braid the child's hair. Mr. Boyd reportedly asked the child his age and the boy said he was 15-years-old. The FBI reportedly later interviewed another passenger who stated that Mr. Boyd asked him if the boy was really just 15-years-old, and the passenger confirmed that the minor was, in fact, 15-years-old and not 18 as Mr. Boyd later claimed.  

According to the court filing, Mr. Boyd volunteered to escort the boy back to his cabin and offered the boy to stay in Mr. Boyd's cabin which the child declined. The ship's surveillance footage reportedly showed Mr. Boyd and the boy leaving deck 13 early in the morning of August 14th; another passenger verified that the boy appeared to be intoxicated at the time. When they reached a secluded area of deck 14, Mr. Boyd kissed the child and put his hands down the minor's pants and felt his genitals, following which he anally raped the child, according to the affidavit.  After the incident, the boy told a group of other teenagers who he previously met during the cruise, that he had been sexually assaulted. He also he told the police in Bermuda, who later came onto the ship to investigate the incident, that he had been "raped."

The court filing further indicates that other passengers stated that later that morning they saw the boy sitting by himself on deck 13, appearing upset and crying.  The child eventually returned to his cabin and reported the sexual assault to his family who alerted the ship's security personnel who, in turn, notified the police in Bermuda. The local police took the child to a hospital where a rape kit was administered. The police arrested Mr. Boyd who denied that penetrated the child.

The FBI agent, who prepared the affidavit, stated that she believed that there was probable cause that Mr. Boyd violated Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 2243(a) which defines sexual abuse as knowingly engaging or attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor who has not attained the age of 16 and is four years or more younger than the assailant. The sexual abuse of a minor carries a jail sentence of five to fifteen years and a fine of up to $250,000. 

Sexual assaults of minors on cruise ships is an issue which I write about often; last month NBC News aired an investigation into the sexual assault of minors on cruise ships - NBC News: Hidden Dangers for Children on Cruise Ships. We have written about boys as well as girls being victimized during cruises, not only by crew members but by other adult passengers. Cruise lines are in the business of selling carefree, dream vacations to idyllic destinations; the cruise industry will never warn passengers of the dangers of their children encountering predator crew members or pedophile passengers. 

The U.S. government has jurisdiction to prosecute cases of rape on cruise ships when a U.S. citizen is involved, as either the victim or the assailant.  The criminal charge in federal court in a case of rape of a child is characterized as the "sexual abuse" of a minor; there are no criminal federal statutes for "rape" or "sexual assault."  

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

Photo credit: Rap Sheets - of Adam Boyd for arrest on charges of driving under the influence in Mississippi in August 2015. 

*Note: The Department of Justice writes: "The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law."  

September 26, 2017 Update: Passenger from Mississippi finally about to be extradicted back to the U.S. to face criminal charges.

 

 

Lawsuit: MSC Crew Member Sexually Assaults 12 Year Old Child

MSC DivinaA lawsuit filed suit last week against MSC Cruises (USA) Inc., and MSC Crociere SA, alleges that a MSC crew member, identified as Rudy Samuel Santos Hernandez, sexually assaulted and battered a 12-year-old child on the MSC cruise ship.

According to the Florida Record, which reports on filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the lawsuit against MSC and its crew member alleges:

"that on Feb. 14, 2016, [plaintiff] and his 12-year-old granddaughter were aboard MSC Cruises for a seven-night Caribbean cruise. Defendant Hernandez allegedly took advantage of the situation as he observed the minor enter the empty cabin, which she shared with her grandfather, legal guardian and plaintiff."

According to the lawsuit, the crew member used his service key to "enter the room where he sexually assaulted and physically battered the minor." The incident is alleged to have occurred aboard the MSC Divina.

The family is represented by Jason Margulies and Carol Finklehoffe here in Miami.

Sexual crimes against children on cruises are hardly rare. I have written about it here many times. 

Over six years ago, I wrote:

"The number one crime we see on cruise ships is when the parents stay out late at the disco or casino, and they leave their 12 year old son or 14 year old daughter alone in the cabin. Many kids get tired after a fun day at the pool or after an excursion ashore, and they don't want to go to the second seating at dinner. There are far too many cases where the cabin attendants will use their key card to access the cabin when the parents are away."

We have recommended that the cruise lines deactivate the key cards of crew members after hours so they can't use them to get into the passenger cabins, using female cabin attendants rather than 25 year old males, or assigning supervisors to monitor the passenger cabins. Most cruise lines have ignored these recommendations.

Cruise lines like MSC Cruises typically do not perform independent background checks on their housekeeping and wait staff before they are hired. Read: Perverts, Child Predators and Cruise Ships

Photo credit: By Mllturro - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Denial, Skepticism Plague Sexual Assaults Against Passengers on Cruises

Disney Cruises Sexual Asssault

I have found that whenever I write about a crew member sexually assaulting a passenger, a certain number of the co-employees instinctively defend the crew member, even when the victim involves a child. 

On Christmas Eve, a local Miami news station reported that a 31 year old Disney crew member was arrested for allegedly sexually molesting an 11 year old girl on the Disney Magic cruise ship which sailed from Miami.

We posted the article on our Facebook page. Cruise passengers who regularly follow our page did not express surprise (this is not the first time this has occurred on a Disney cruise). Many readers expressed their disgust with the news; however, a number of people (mostly crew members) accused the little girl and her family of perpetuating a fraud on the Disney crew member.

The fact that the Disney crew member reportedly confessed to molesting the little girl (according to the news station) did not dissuade the crew member supporters from disparaging the child and her family.

" Working with him i kno (sic) he would never do something like that. Thats a f**king lie. Poor innocent guy getting locked up for sh*t," commented a current crew member on our Facebook page." 

Other comments by people identifying themselves as current or past crew members were equally accusatory of the child and blindly supportive of the Disney employee:

"Was my room mate I don't believe this for one second . . . I've worked with him too . . . I can't believe this  . . . No chance that he would do this, he's been put in an awkward situation by a guest and now paying for it! . . . Man he was my helper sometimes, he wouldn't do this, disgusting guests! . . .   This is a Hugh (sic)  lie . . . . most of the People coming and finding the way to get money From This company and if you as a Cruise member say Hello to one kid the parents already say you are abusing their Child but they do Not Know the company wash their hands and do Not give nathing and they fix a inocent person..!!! . . . I worked with this guy, this just cannot be true. Plus after being on ships for more then 4 years, I have seen everything when it comes to guests trying to get things for free and to get money from the company. Its sick, and some people will stoop to really low levels . . ."

"I don't think the guy did it i know this guy nobody here can tell me anything I've been working with him and I still work for the company .. .  is about americans that wants money for free just saying nonsenses . . . "

One crew member who said he previously worked with the alleged assailant on the Disney Fantasy made this outlandish, misogynous attack:   'I think you need to educate your kids, cause you can not blame a man when your daughter is wearing a short showing what she's not suppose to show at her age." 

Unfortunately, every time we write an article about a crew member molesting a child, I hear these same type of groundless accusations by crew members expressing doubt of the crime and attacking the victim. These defensive and mean-spirited comments are troubling. They also reveal a fundamental lack of proper training and a lack of empathy on the Disney fleet of cruise ships. The problem is wider than just Disney Cruises. 

Costa Sexual AssaultLast October, a Honduran Costa crew member allegedly sexually molested a 15 yer old girl aboard the Costa Diadema.  When we mentioned the alleged crime on our blog, crew members made these comments: "I dont't think it's true story written here. The guy is 50 , and the girl is 15. Honduras guy is not a stupit (sic) to do something drectly. Maybe she called him to came to cabin to ask something and he misunderstand what she says . . .  That's why, never go to guest cabin, where a minor is staying, they will make up all kind of stories, just to get something out of it."

On the same Costa cruise ship, a bartender, Mark Guinucud from Manila, Philippines, allegedly followed an 18 year-old French woman into her cabin and raped her brutally. But his co-employee friends quickly came to his defense: 

"I do not believe this! I know that guy and I've been his colleague from a hotel before and he is not that kind of man to rape a woman specially a foreigner? Mark is kind and gentleman and he is a good friend of ours. He will never do anything like this. Why would he even rape a girl when he came over there just to work for him and for his family? I suspect that the French woman is making up stories. . . ." 

After Royal Caribbean Karan Seechurn from Mauritius (a mini-bar attendant) was arrested on the Quantum of the Seas after he used his master key to enter a woman's cabin at night while he was Royal Caribbean Sexual Assaultwas off-duty and molested the woman while she was sleeping, a crew member friend commented "I worked RCCL and I think . . . this is a vindictive allegation for money."  Seechurn later pleaded guilty and was sent to jail. 

Some crew members reacted cynically even when there is no denying that the attack was particularly brutal. A Holland America Line (HAL) crew member Ketut Pujayasa, age 28, from Indonesia, sexually assaulted, brutally beat and then tried to throw a woman overboard from her balcony on the Nieuw Amsterdam. Even though the crew member was later sentenced to 30 years in jail, the passenger who was savagely victimized was faced with baseless criticism from some of the crew members. One commented on our article:

"Some passenger sometime will do anything to avoid paying, including false aligation for rape, American are full of drama, they complain about everything they could from the first time they step on the cruise. Finding a way to cut cost. Some single lady's already are so lonely , and sluty they are desperate for sex on the cruise, they invite a crew member, if they are not satisfied they do something like this . . . "

In fact, the crew member beat and choked the woman so savagely (warning graphic photos) that she is lucky to be alive. Certainly no rational person would suggest that a victim faked such horrendous injuries in order to file a false claim against a crew member. 

But the cynicism against such claims brought by passengers is pervasive on the ships. This attitude flows from the management of cruise lines through the supervisors down to the crew. The "us versus them" mentality when a crew member is accused of a crime is alive and well in the cruise ships' security departments.  Yahoo Travel just published Ships Have HAL Sexual AssaultPadded Cells for Problem Passengers and Other Confessions of a Cruise Security Officer in which a security officer for Holland America Line makes the claim that some passengers specifically come on the cruise ship to "scam the ship" and allege that the "ship did something wrong to them" in order to claim money or a free cruise.  

Such a discussion makes a mockery of the reality of cruise ship crime and illustrates the built-in bias of the cruise lines when dealing with crime victims. Yet, the cruise industry seems to love the Yahoo article; the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) twitter feed re-tweeted the Yahoo article as a sign of approval. 

A victim of sexual molestation, particularly a young girl, needs unqualified love and support from the community around her, not cynical accusations of conspiracy, particularly from the crew members of the magical cruise community which promised her a dream cruise right before Christmas. 

11 Year Old Girl Sexually Assaulted on Disney Magic Cruise Ship

Juan Manuel Palma Ortega / Disney Wonder Sexual Assault MinorWSVN Channel 7 reports that a 31 year old man was arrested for allegedly molesting  an 11-year-old girl aboard a Disney cruise ship which sailed last week from the port of Miami.

The news channel says that the man is from Honduras and he allegedly fondled the little girl on board the Disney Magic, which sailed from Port Miami on December 18, 2015. The stations says that "while on the ship, the girl told her parents that a man, later identified as 31-year-old Juan Manuel Palma Ortega, fondled her three times."

The Magic returned to the port of Miami yesterday.

The station further reports that "Miami-Dade police detained Palma Ortega back at Port Miami, where he allegedly confessed to the crime. He was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor and is being held without bond."  

His mug shot is to the left.

The news article does not state whether he is a crew member or not. His Facebook page states that from Tegucigalpa, Honduras where many crew members are from. However, there is no information confirming this yet.

This latest alleged crime should serve to remind the public that sexual assault of minors do occur on cruise ships, even on those cruise ships which cater to families.

Last year, a Disney employee, age 36, of Jakarta Indonesia (photo below right), employed as a cabin attendant on the Disney Dream, molested a girl during a family cruise. He befriended the family during the cruise and assaulted the 13 year old girl on the last morning of the cruise. We are representing the family of the child.  The Port Canaveral Police department arrested the Disney cruise employee. He was Disney Pervert Cruise Shipsentenced earlier this year to 70 months in jail.  You can read about that case here.

Disney refused to timely report a similar incident when a 33 year old Disney waiter molested an 11 year old girl on the Disney Dream. Although the incident occurred while the cruise ship was in port in Port Canaveral, Disney sailed the cruise ship to the Bahamas in what appeared to be an attempt to aid the crew member in escaping justice. The Bahamas, as expected, refused to arrest the molester and Disney then flew the crew member back to his home country, India. WKMG covered the disturbing story. You can see photos of the incident here and read our account of the crime here.

Florida is the only state which gives jurisdiction to state police agencies to arrest foreign crew members or passengers who commit sexual crimes in international waters and provides jurisdiction to state prosecutors to criminally charge these perverts. Typically other states must rely on the FBI and federal prosecutors who do a terrible job investigating crimes at sea,  

Photo Credit: Top: Miami-Dade County Police via WSVN; Bottom FOX 35.

8 Year Old Child Drowns on Liberty of the Seas

Yesterday, a young child drowned on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas, according to the website of cruise expert Ross Klein. A letter (below right) handed out to passengers states that the child was pulled, apparently unconscious, from one of the cruise ship's pools by a passenger. A medical team administered CPR on the boy which was not successful.

This incident will again raise the issue of why virtually all cruise lines do not assign lifeguards to cruise ship swimming pools. The problem is widespread and well known in the cruise industry.  

As matters now stand, only Disney Cruises assigns lifeguards to cruise ship swimming pools. However it did so only after a 4 year old child nearly drown and sustained a catastrophic brain injury aboard Liberty of the Seas - Child Drownsthe Fantasy cruise ship requiring life-time medical care and resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement.

This year began with a 4 year old boy nearly drowning aboard the Oasis of the Seas on January 3, 2015. Royal Caribbean. The Miami Herald published Near-drowning on Royal Caribbean cruise raises concerns about lack of lifeguards after that incident. Royal Caribbean also experienced a near drowning of a child on the Independence of the Seas in May of last year that left a 6 year old boy fighting for his life in a hospital.

I have long advocated for having a lifeguard at every pool on a cruise ship. Lifeguards are needed because parents are not perfect, and there is a natural tendency for parents to let their guards down when they are on vacation. Kids deserve to have their parents and the cruise line working together to keep them safe. The cruise industry collects $45 billion dollars a year from passengers and pays virtually zero in U.S. taxes. It's shameful for every cruise line except Disney to refuse to hire lifeguards to keep kids safe.

In an article published earlier this year titled Cruise Ships Are Unregulated Trouble on the High Seas, the New York Times wrote that Congress has exempted these cruise ship behemoths from virtually all regulations. The Times characterized the last death of a child in a pool without a lifeguard as a problem with letting cruise lines regulate themselves.

All major cruise lines have lost children and passengers in swimming pools on their ships. Like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, NCL and Princess Cruises continue to refuse to hire lifeguards.

Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean have legal responsibility to parents and children on its cruise ships. A "no lifeguard on duty" sign does not legally exonerate a cruise line, or a hotel, or an amusement park. It simply raises the issue whether the sign was legally conspicuous enough to provide an effective warning to the parents.

I understand the concept of personal and parental responsibility. But I also understand that justice demands corporate responsibility as well. It's easy to criticize a parent when a child is injured; we are all perfect parents when it's not our child, aren't we? But I find that those people who are quick to blame parents when kids are injured and who talk incessantly about "personal responsibility" are the first to defend corporate malfeasance and use the term "personal responsibility" as code words for condoning the complete absence of "corporate responsibility." 

Italian News Station: Crew Member Sexually Molests Girl on Costa Diadema

Costa DiademaAn Italian news station reports that a Costa crew member allegedly sexually molested a 15 yer old girl aboard the Costa Diadema.

The Costa crew member is described as a 50 year-old Honduran man employed on the cruise ship as a cleaner. Italian police arrested him and criminally charged him with sexually assaulted the girl in her cabin. The assault occurred yesterday while the ship was at the La Spezia terminal.

The Primocanale news station says that girl, who was traveling with her aunt and uncle, left the dinner table to return to her cabin. The crew member apparently entered her cabin and began to touch the child's private parts and kiss her. The child broke free, escaped and told her aunt and uncle what happened.

Costa then notified the police who arrested the crew member. 

In August of this year, a Costa bar tender was arrested on charges on sexually assaulting an 18 year old passenger on the same cruise ship. 

Photo Credit: Luca Mauri licensed under CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia 

Man Arrested for Child Pornography After Carnival Fantasy Returns to Port

A 41 year old man returning on a cruise was arrested on child pornography charges last Thursday after his cruise ended and the ship returned to Charleston, South Carolina, according to a report in the Post and Courier newspaper

The newspaper reports that Eric Jason Blankenship of West Virginia was charged with one count of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He disembarked from the Carnival Fantasy

The Charleston Police Department, a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, acted on information that Blackenship had received child pornography.

The police detained him when he was disembarking the ship and found multiple images containing child pornography on his phone,

Blankenship was reportedly released on a $100,000 bail,  

We have written about dozens of cases where cruise passengers and crew members have been arrested for child pornography. 

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

Cruise Ship Child Pornography

Photo Credit: abcnews4

10 Year Old Girl Drowns on Norwegian Gem

A young passenger, reportedly a 10-year-old girl, drowned in a swimming pool aboard NCL's Norwegian Gem while the cruise ship was 75 miles east of Myrtle Beach yesterday afternoon. 

I first learned of the incident on Twitter from CNBC's @RyanRuggiero who tweeted "The Coast Guard is investigating a death that occurred aboard the Norwegian Gem off the coast of NC. The investigation is still ongoing." He mentioned that the death involved a child drowning on the Gem.

This incident will rekindle the debate whether cruise lines should employ lifeguard their ships.

Norwegian GemThere have been a number of drownings and near-drownings of minors on cruise ships in the last couple of years. 

This is not the first time a child has drowned on a NCL cruise ship.

Last year, two small children were pulled from a pool on NCL's Norwegian Breakaway as the cruise ship was sailing from New York to the Bahamas. Both children were unresponsive. The younger child (age 4) died on the cruise ship. The other child (age 6) was medevaced by the Coast Guard. Read our article: Drowning Tragedy Aboard the Norwegian Breakaway: Where Are the Lifeguards?

All of the major cruise lines without lifeguards have seen children killed or seriously injured in the cruise ship swimming pools. You can read about the incidents:

A four year old on the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas January 2015.  

A six year old on Carnival Victory October 2014

A six year old boy on Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas May 2014. 

A four year old on Disney Fantasy March 2013.

The child on the Disney cruise ship was permanently and seriously injured. Disney paid a multi-million dollar settlement and began employing lifeguards on its ships. No other cruise lines have followed Disney's lead.

Inclined to always blame the parents and give the cruise line a pass?  Think again. Read: Imperfect Parents & Corporate Irresponsibility: Why No Lifeguards on Disney Cruise Ships?

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

 

Photo credit: Captain-Tucker via Wikipedia Creative Commons 3.0

Near Drowning on Oasis of the Seas Leaves Child in Critical Condition

Local 10 News reports that a child is in critical condition after nearly drowning on board the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas this evening.  According to Channel 7, "officials said the young victim was swept under a wave pool and remained underwater for several minutes." The Broward County Sheriff's Office said the child was under water from 5 to 10 minutes.

The ship promptly returned to Port Everglades.

The 4 year old child was rescued by other passengers. The child was revived on board the ship and taken to Broward Health Medical Center. 

I first learned of the incident when the Port Everglades webcam @PTZtv tweeted "#OasisoftheSeas Oasis of the Seas Drowning approaching berth #18 #PortEverglades o. . . for medical disembark."

There has been great debate in the cruise industry whether to employ life guards to supervise the activities around cruise ship swimming pools. Royal Caribbean experienced a near drowning of a child on the Independence of the Seas in May of this year that left a 6 year old boy fighting for his life in a hospital.

To my knowledge, Disney is the only cruise line to employ life guards on its cruise ships. However it did so only after a 4 year old child nearly drown and sustained a catastrophic brain injury requiring life-time medical care and resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement.   

I have long advocated for having a lifeguard at every pool on a cruise ship. Lifeguards are needed because parents are not perfect, and there is a natural tendency for parents to let their guards down when they are on vacation. Kids deserve to have their parents and the cruise line working together to keep them safe. The cruise industry collects $45 billion dollars a year from passengers and pays virtually zero in U.S. taxes. It's shameful for every cruise line except Disney to refuse to hire lifeguards to keep kids safe. 

In an article published last week entitled Cruise Ships Are Unregulated Trouble on the High Seas, the New York Times wrote that Congress has exempted these cruise ship behemoths from virtually all regulations. The Times characterized the last death of a child in a pool without a lifeguard as a problem with letting cruise lines regulate themselves.  

Here are other articles of kids drowning or nearly drowning on cruise ships:

6 Year Old Drowns on Carnival Victory Cruise Ship

Drowning Tragedy Aboard the Norwegian Breakaway: Where Are the Lifeguards?

No Lifeguards for Children on Cruise Ships? Maritime Law Encourages Cruise Lines to Act Irresponsibly

Imperfect Parents & Corporate Irresponsibility: Why No Lifeguards on  Cruise Ships?

Dangerous Disney Cruise Ship Swimming Pool: Thoughts from a Concerned Cruiser

I'm interviewed below in the video about legal issues about the safety for children around cruise ships swimming pools. 

January 4 2015 Update: Where did this occur on the Oasis?  The Broward County Sheriff's Office refers to a "wave pool" but I didn't realize that the cruise ship has one. He referred to deck 15 where the Flowriders are located but the water there is not deep enough to drown in.  A web site in Italy discusses this issue.

Miami Herald publishes Near-drowning on Royal Caribbean cruise raises concerns about lack of lifeguards.

 

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

Photo: PTZtv

 

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Disney Child Molestation Case: "Swept Under the Rug"

Disney Cruise Ship CrimeWKMG Local 6 (Orlando) aired the second segment of an interview with a former Disney security officer regarding an incident in 2012 when the Disney Dream staff captain ordered her to "keep her mouth shut" after she investigated the sexual assault of an 11 year-old girl by a 33 year-old Disney waiter.

The incident occurred in U.S. waters in Port Canaveral but Officer Dawn Taplin was ordered by the staff captain to be quiet.  She feared that she would lose her job if she notified the local police at the port or in Brevard county or called the FBI. She quit her job, according to WKMG, a few weeks after the crime.

Disney sailed the Dream out of U.S. waters and flew its employee home to India rather than promptly reporting the sexual molestation to U.S. law authorities who had jurisdiction.

Officer Taplin said that she felt like Disney tried to sweep the crime under the carpet, partly because the little girl and her grandmother were Brazilian. "Disney wouldn't have got away with it if they were Americans," Officer Taplin told WKMG's Mike DeForest.

You can watch other portions of the eye-opening interview here and here.

WKMG has been a leader in reporting crimes which occur on cruise ships.  Read and watch: "Murky reporting obscures some cruise ship crimes."

Credits: WKMG Local 6 (Orlando)

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Disney Dream Child Molestation Case: Staff Captain Instructed Security Officer Not to Contact U.S. Law Authorities

After a 33 year-old Disney waiter molested an 11 year-old girl aboard the Disney Dream at the port of Cape Canaveral, the cruise ship's staff captain ordered a security officer not to contact local U.S. police officers or the FBI. 

That's what former Disney security officer Dawn Taplin told Orlando news station WKMG Local 6 in an interview which aired last night. WKMG reporter Mike DeForest conducted the interview.  

The Dream then left the U.S. port and sailed to Nassau where Disney flew the pervert back to his home in India.

According to the WKMG interview, Officer Taplin previously worked for the Palm Bay Police Department and Port Canaveral Police. Disney Cruise Child MolestationDisney recruited her to work for the family-oriented cruise line as a Security Officer. She was responsible for supervising 8 or 9 security guards. She was the first female security officer at Disney. 

In 2012 Officer Taplin was involved in the investigation of a child molestation case on the Disney Dream. An upset, crying 11 year-old girl told her that a 33 year-old Disney waiter followed her into an elevator and grabbed her breast and kissed her on the mouth. Officer Taplin reviewed surveillance video that confirmed the incident and wanted to call Port Canaveral police or her longtime contact with the FBI in Brevard County. However, Officer Taplin says that the cruise ship's staff captain ordered her not to report the crime. 

WKMG reported that the Disney Dream left Port Canaveral promptly at 5:02 p.m. with the victim and the molestation suspect still on board.

Officer Taplin told WKMG that "Disney waits on passengers' luggage . . . not setting sail on time. I remember waiting until 6:30 one time on somebody's luggage."

The Disney staff captain was not identified in the interview.  it will be interesting to determine his identity and find out whether he is still working on Disney cruise ships. It will also be interesting to learn whether the staff captain contacted Disney's shore-side risk management department about the crime before the cruise ship left the jurisdiction and determine whether the quick departure was approved by Disney's corporate management. Disney was quoted, when WKMG exposed the cover-up, saying that the ship handled the case properly. 

Image and video credit:  WKMG Local 6 (Orlando)

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WKMG Local 6 (Orlando): "A Former Disney Cruise Officer Speaks Out"

Tonight an Orlando television station is airing an interview with a former Disney Cruise Line security officer about her experiences working aboard Disney cruise ships.

WKMG (Orlando) has released a short preview of the interview on a Facebook page. The program tonight is entitled "Exposed - Crimes Going Unreported."

The interview was conducted by WKMG reporter Mike DeForest. The Facebook page states:

"I speak exclusively with a former Disney Cruise Line Security Officer. She'll expose the Disney Cruise - Sexual Assaultcrime she saw while working on the inside, and share info you and your family need to know before sailing."

WKMG has been the leader in reporting on cases where Disney cruise line employees have sexually molested girls during cruises. 

Last year, WKMG reported on a 33 year old Disney waiter sexually assaulted an 11 year old girl. Even though the crime occurred at the port in Cape Canaveral in Florida waters, Disney refused to report it to U.S. law enforcement and sailed the cruise ship to the Bahamas where Disney flew the sexual predator back to India.

This year, a 36 year old Disney cabin attendant sexually molested a 13 year old girl aboard the Disney Dream.

Hopefully this former Disney security officer can shed some insight into the case where Disney refused to report the child molester to the police in the U.S. 

I will be posting the interviews when they become public. Update: Watch the complete video here: Disney Dream Child Molestation Case: Staff Captain Instructed Security Officer Not to Contact U.S. Law Authorities.

 

 

Child Porn Lands Cruise Passenger In Jail

The Palm Beach Post reports that a cruise passenger's vacation ended dramatically when he was busted by federal agents who found child pornography on his computer.

Incidents involving crew members and passengers, all men, arrested leaving cruise ships with child porn on their computers, iPhones and flash-drives occur all too often.

In this case,the Palm Beach Post says that the man was arrested when the Bahamas Celebration cruise ship returned to port in Palm Beach last Sunday.

Bahamas Celebration Cruise ShipThe newspaper identifies the passengers as Zachary Frederick-Scott Cunningham whose Acer laptop is alleged to contain images and videos of child pornography. According to the criminal complaint, subsequently filed by prosecutors in Palm Beach, Cunningham admitted that he downloaded the pornographic images.

These type of cases should act as a reminder to families vacationing on cruise ships that there are perverts everywhere, including the high seas. Here are some of the more notorious cruise ship child pornography / child predator cases:

Celebrity Cruises Crew Member Arrested on Child Porn Charges

Royal Caribbean Cruise Passenger Sentenced to Jail for Over 5,000 Images of Child Pornography

Passenger Indicted for Sexual Abuse of 13 Year Old Girl on Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Perverts, Child Predators and Cruise Ships

Our advice? Watch your kids, parents. Yes, the U.S. federal agents and Canadian authorities will occasionally nab a child porno sicko with images on his iPhone or laptop but that's just a fraction of the child porn coming on and off cruise ships. But don't think that the port officials anywhere else will look for the porno or predator creeps.  With 21,000,000 people sailing each year there are many thousands of sick perverts out there on the high seas.

Drowning Tragedy Aboard the Norwegian Breakaway: Where Are the Lifeguards?

NCL Norwegian BreakawayNews broke tonight that two small children were pulled from a pool from NCL's Norwegian Breakaway as the cruise ship was sailing from New York to the Bahamas this morning. 

Both children were unresponsive. The younger child (age 4) died on the cruise ship. The other child (age 6) reportedly was medevaced by the U.S. Coast Guard accompanied by his grandmother a nurse from the ship.   

WBTW aired a video (below) of the sad events.

This is the third event in the last nine months involving children who have drowned or were permanently injured in cruise ship swimming pools.

The first tragedy involved a young child (also 4 yeas old) who slipped under the water on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship and sustained brain damage. You can read our articles below:

Dangerous Disney Cruise Ship Swimming Pool: Thoughts from a Concerned Cruiser

Imperfect Parents & Corporate Irresponsibility: Why No Lifeguards on Disney Cruise Ships?

Swimming Pool Mishap on Disney Fantasy Sends 4 Year Old to Hospital

To Disney's credit, it subsequently began to assign lifeguards to the swimming pools on its cruise ships.

The second recent event involved the death of a young child who drowned on the Carnival Victory.  Our article is below:

6 Year Old Drowns on Carnival Victory Cruise Ship

There is never an excuse when a child drowns in a swimming pool operated by an amusement park or cruise ship. Protecting children is the joint obligation of the parents and cruise line. There needs to be a combination of both personal responsibility and corporate responsibility to take care of kids around a pool.  

The Breakaway is suppose to be one of the newer and bigger cruise ships NCL offers to the public.  It is a shame that NCL decided not to assign lifeguards to the pool from where the children were eventually pulled unconscious.  What lesson did NCL learn from the Disney and Carnival tragedies?

The cruise industry will collect between $35 and $40 billion a year, tax free, but NCL won't assign lifeguards to the public pools?      

NCL apologized. However, cruising families with children deserve reasonable care exhibited by the cruise lines and lifeguards to watch over the public pools, not after-the-fact apologies.   

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Dickelbers

6 Year Old Drowns on Carnival Victory Cruise Ship

Carnival VictoryThe AP reports that a 6-year-old boy drowned in a pool on Carnival Victory cruise ship on Sunday. 

Carnival said that this was the first time a child drowned on one of its ships.  

But just last month a 41 year-old passenger drowned in one of the hot tubs on the Carnival Dream. 

We reported the last time a major cruise line experienced such an incident.  The Disney Fantasy has a small boy rendered brain damaged when he nearly drown.  You can read our articles:

Imperfect Parents & Corporate Irresponsibility: Why No Lifeguards on Disney Cruise Ships?

Dangerous Disney Cruise Ship Swimming Pool: Thoughts from a Concerned Cruiser

I was quoted by the AP about this latest fatality:

"There is a great deal of debate on whether cruise lines should have lifeguards, according to Jim Walker, a Miami maritime attorney . . . " 

"This involves the debate between personal responsibility and corporate responsibility," he wrote in an email to the Associated Press. "Yes, parents should have responsibility for watching their children but at the same time cruise corporations have a duty to watch over the parents and children and provide a reasonably safe place for them to have a family vacation."

Lawsuit Filed Against Royal Caribbean After Injury to Child

Today local NBC affiliate channel 6 aired a story today about a 9 year old boy who underwent emergency brain surgery after being injured during a cruise sponsored game on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

The incident occurred on the Monarch of the Seas. 

The child's family say that they trusted Royal Caribbean to organize safe activities for their son during the cruise. The family claims that two staff members threw balls at the boy who ran to avoid getting hit.  The boy collided with another child and then struck his head on a hard object. 

Monarch of the SeasaThe child then underwent emergency brain surgery in Nassau.

The family is now suing Royal Caribbean claiming that the activity designed by the cruise line was unreasonably dangerous for the child. 

Royal Caribbean responded with the following statement:

“We regret that a young guest that sailed onboard Monarch of the Seas was injured. A vacation is supposed to be filled with fun, rejuvenation and relaxation, and it is regrettable that this family's vacation was interrupted by their son's injury, However, Royal Caribbean believes that while this unfortunate incident happened on board a cruise ship, it is not unique to a cruise ship, and could happen at any school, playground, or daycare.”

It should be interesting to see if Royal Caribbean releases the true number of injuries caused by the game - or whether it hides the ball so to speak. 

The child and his family are represented by Miami lawyer Spencer Aronfeld.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Sparrowman980

  

Miami Herald Editorial: "Report, Punish Crime on Cruises"

The following is an editorial / opinion piece by the Miami Herald which was published tonight:

"Crime on the high seas isn’t just about illegal commercial fishing practices, drug-running and Somalian pirates. Unfortunately, it also comes in the form of sexual assault, theft and suspicious disappearances on what are supposed to be pleasure cruises.

Under pressure from Congress, specifically, a consumer-safety bill introduced by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, of West Virginia, the three largest cruise lines, Miami-based Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, agreed to release the data of alleged crimes reported on their ships. Combined, they make up 85 percent of the industry. The crime stats will allow potential passengers to make better-informed decisions, just as the flying public can access information on airline safety and car buyers can find out which are the most road-worthy.

The crime data’s release should also propel cruise lines to take the problem as seriously as their CEOs say they do. In South Florida, cruises are a bread-and-butter industry, boosting the economy and luring tourists back again and again.

Given the multitude of cruises that depart annually, there isn’t anything akin to a crime wave on cruise ships. However, Sen. Rockefeller is right to be perturbed by how many cruise lines handle — or fail to handle — crime reported on board. Cruise-industry leaders announced their crime-data release agreement last week during a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation.

It’s been a rough 18 months for the cruise industry. The public has heard unsettling news of cruise ship fires, read published messages sent from frightened and beleaguered passengers adrift in the dark and, most disturbing, seen dramatic photographs of the Costa Concordia, beached off the Italian coast, lying on its side, swamped with water, 32 passengers dead. Because of the public nature of these incidents, cruise-line leaders were equally as public in taking responsibility for what went wrong.

Less so, however, when it comes to crime aboard cruises to exotic locales. Legislation in the U.S. House and Senate would require the information be made available to the public. Before, only crimes that no longer were being investigated by the FBI were made public. As a result, potential passengers only had misleading information to go on. A report showed that 130 alleged crimes in categories specified by the cruise safety act had been reported to the FBI in 2011 and 2012, but only 31 of those had been reported to the public during that time. Cruise lines reported a total of 959 alleged crimes overall to the FBI, the document says.

There’s another serious problem that lawmakers should address: Some cruise lines egregiously help crew members accused of sexual assault and other crimes elude prosecution. Unfortunately, it’s an old story being given new life in an awful case reported by WKMG-Channel 6 in Orlando. A crew member on a Disney cruise was caught on video molesting an 11-year-old girl while the ship still was in port. Ship authorities waited a full day before reporting the crime to the FBI. By that time the ship was on its way to the Bahamas, where the alleged perpetrator was allowed to disembark, out of the reach of U.S. law enforcement. Disney then did the guy a further favor and flew him home to India.

According to the website cruiselawnews.com, “Disney was able to avoid the U.S. investigation into the incident while making certain that any investigation was handled only by the Bahamas which, theoretically can investigate shipboard crimes because Disney cruise ships fly Bahamian flags of convenience.” But the Bahamas has a lousy record of investigating such crimes.

Lawmakers must pressure guilty cruise lines to confront and end this deplorable practice. Merely reporting the number of onboard crimes brings little comfort if perpetrators are not brought to justice." 

Disney Cruise Line Sexual PredatorRead other articles regarding this problem with Disney Cruise Line:

"Sickened" By Molestation of Child on Disney Dream, Brevard County Attorney General Vows to Zealously Prosecute Cruise Ship Crimes

Images of a Disney Nightmare: Are Your Kids Safe Sailing With Disney?

Did Disney Cruise Line Really Sail a Crime Scene from the U.S. to Nassau? International Press Focuses on Disney Child Molestation Case
 

Is Child Pornography Widespread on Cruise Ships?

Last week we reported on an arrest of a Holland American Line (HAL) crew member from the Veendam cruise ship on charges of possessing and importing images of child pornography.

I mentioned that the arrest was one of six arrests of crew members for child pornography in the port of Halifax Canada alone.  The arrests involved crew members from a wide variety of cruise ships, including the Cunard Queen Mary 2, Carnival Glory, Carnival Triumph, Costa Atlantica, Norwegian Jewel, and HAL Veendam.

Cruise Ship Child PornographyBut these incidents are just a small percentage of the total number of crew members arrested by the Canadian authorities for possessing child pornography on cruise ships entering ports in Canada.

A spokesperson for the Canada Border Service Agency stated that there have been fifty-six (56) seizures of child pornography from ships in Canadian ports from 2009 - 2012:

2012: 6 seizures of child porn.
2011: 17 seizures of child porn.
2010: 14 seizures of child porn.
2009: 19 seizures of child porn. 

We have reported on child pornographers and child predators in many other articles, including some very disturbing cases like this crew member on a Celebrity cruise ship

Yes, there are perverts everywhere, but few parents who cruise realize that the problem exists on cruise ships as well.  Unfortunately, Canada is the only country where the customs and border authorities are serious about searching crew member computers and putting the perverts in jail. 
   

Another Cruise Ship Employee Busted with Child Porn - This Time HAL Veendam

Child Porn HAL Veendam Sean BellA newspaper in Canada reports today that a 36-year-old cruise ship employee faces child pornography charges after police and Canadian border officials in Halifax found explicit files aboard the cruise ship where he works. Metro News Canada identified the crew member as Sean Richard Bell.

Halifax Regional Police state that Canada immigration authorities arrested the crew member following a routine search aboard the MS Veendam, a Holland America America (HAL) cruise ship, while it was docked in the Nova Scotia capital on Monday.

Officers from the Canada Border Service Agency discovered "explicit electronic files depicting child pornography" on various electronic equipment belonging to a crew member in his cabin.  

The crew member is reported to be a musician / performer who was employed by HAL. The crew member faces charges of possessing, smuggling and importing child pornography.

This is hardly the first time a crew member has been arrested on child porn charges.  The authorities in Halifax, Canada do an outstanding job of arresting crew members with child pornography, including the following cases. These cases involve just crew members arrested in Halifax:

Edward Brillantes Mangubat, age 40, worked for Cunard. He was arrested in Halifax when Canadian Border officer searched his laptop computer and found sexually explicit video featuring children. Mangubat worked as a stagehand on Cunard's cruise ship Queen Mary 2. He worked on cruise ships for seven years.

Nyoman Putra, age 26, is an Indonesian working as an assistant room steward on the Carnival Glory, allegedly had child pornography on a laptop computer. Canada Border Services Agency officers were inspecting crew members getting off the cruise ship when they nabbed the Carnival crew member at Pier 22 in Halifax.

Jay-Ar Ramos Trilles, age 23, of the Philippines pleaded guilty in Halifax provincial court to charges of possessing and importing child pornography. Canada Border Services Agency officer arrested an assistant waiter on the Costa Atlantica on Tuesday as he was getting off the cruise ship at Pier 22 in Halifax. Two sexually explicit videos of children were found on both a USB flash drive and a laptop computer. One of the videos depicted a boy and a girl between the ages of 10 and 12, while the other showed a six-year-old girl being sexually abused by a man. The prosecutor in Canada stated that the border agency is determined to keep such "abhorrent" material from being brought into the country. Trilles worked with Costa Cruises for three years.

Menandro Lim Lanzar, age 31, from the Philippines was arraigned in Halifax on a charge of importing child pornography. Mr. Lanzar was employed as a quarter master on the NCL cruise ship Norwegian Jewel.

Hendri Dharmawan, age 29, was working as a pastry chef on the Carnival Triumph when he was arrested in Halifax. The crew member was caught with pornography on his iPhone as he returned to the Carnival cruise ship. The border police then accompanied him back to his cabin where they discovered over two hours of child pornography on Dharmawan's laptop and external hard drive. The footage depicted girls as young as eight and boys as young as 10 being abused.

 

Photo Credit: Winnipeg Free Press / Facebook

Royal Caribbean Cruise Passenger Sentenced to Jail for Over 5,000 Images of Child Pornography

Gary Lee Reed - Chilh PornographyIn a story we first reported on in December last year, a cruise passenger aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for transporting thousands of child pornography photos and videos on a cruise from Port Canaveral. 

Gary Lee Reed seemed like a normal passenger but an initial search of his laptop computer revealed 1,162 photos and videos when he cruised on Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas ship during a cruise to the Bahamas and back to Florida. 

Federal agents searched the 47-year-old's computer laptop he brought during the cruise and found the extensive collection of child pornography. The Orlando Sentinel reported that around 350 of the victims in photos and videos were identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The images included sexual abuse of toddlers and babies.

Reed was returning to Port Canaveral at the end of the cruise to the Bahamas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations.

Reed is from Idaho and a newspaper there reported earlier this year that Reed had a desktop computer, thumb drives, CDs and DVDs where he downloaded and stored child pornography images at his home.

A forensic search of the computers, discs, USB flash and digital hard drives revealed a staggering amount of child pornography: 38,731 images and 680 videos of child pornography.  A more detailed search of his laptop seized after the cruise in Florida revealed a total of 3,021 images and 2000 videos of child pornography.

Reed faced up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release for the crime, according to the plea agreement, which adds that he will also have to register as a sex offender.

Think passengers and crew members with child porn on cruises are rare? Read here

 

Photo Credit: Florida Today

Images of a Disney Nightmare: Are Your Kids Safe Sailing With Disney?

Last night a local news station in Orlando Florida aired a blockbuster investigation into a crime aboard a Disney cruise ship (the Disney Dream) at Port Canaveral where a Disney waiter stalked an eleven year old girl and molested her in an elevator.

Yes, crimes occur everywhere. But the disturbing thing thing about this story is that Disney clearly knew what happened and who did it, but it took steps that resulted in its crew member avoiding prosecution. Instead of reporting the crime promptly to local law enforcement in Port Canaveral which has jurisdiction over crimes in the port, Disney left the port without reporting the crime to U.S. authorities. Disney reported the crime to the police at the next port in Nassau, Bahamas. But Disney flies the flag of the Bahamas and has a cozy relationship with that island.  

A prosecution of a Disney employee in Nassau? Never going to happen. Sure enough, Disney quickly flew the child molester back to his home country in India rather than return him to the U.S. for prosecution.   

We covered the story which you can read here: Did Disney Cruise Lines Cover Up Sexual Molestation of 11 Year Old Girl on Disney Dream?    

We created a Facebook photo album of images from the program aired by WKMG Channel 6 in Orlando, which you can see here.  A couple of images from WKMG Channel 6 Orlando are below:

Disney Dream Child Molester

Disney Dream Child Molester

Disney Dream Child Molester

 

Carnival Passenger Sentenced to 20 Years for Raping Teen During Cruise

A judge sentenced 31 year old Carnival cruise passenger Casey Dickerson to 20 years in prison to be followed by 15 years probation for raping a 15 year old girl aboard the Carnival Sensation cruise ship. Dickerson and a pack of four boys raped the child last year. Dickerson supplied the boys with alcohol during the cruise and encouraged them to take turns raping the child.

We reported on the crime in an article in August of last year: 15 Year Old Girl Alleges Gang Rape on Carnival Sensation.

There is a serious problem on cruise ships with far too much booze, lax security and an anything goes mentality. Read our article last year -  Rape of 15 Year Old Girl Is Latest Crime Against Children on Carnival Cruises.  

Casey Dickerson - Carnival Cruise Rape


 Photo credit: FanDaily

Antigua National Security Investigates Fist Fight Between Cruise Passengers & Police Over Broken $5 Souvenir

A newspaper in Antiqua reports today about an altercation which allegedly occurred between two cruise passengers & their child and police officers in a souvenir shop in Antigua.

In an article entitled "Cruise Passengers and Police Come to Fisticuffs," the Antigua Obeserver states that  a souvenir shop in the touristy Heritage Quay section of St. John's was the scene of a fist fight yesterday allegedly between two police officers and a couple and their child from Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas. The incident occurred in the the Shipwreck Shop whose website shows pirate statues at the shop's entrance and states that "Shipwreck is the perfect little souvenir shop, filled with Shipwreck Shop - Antigua - Cruise Ship Passengersall sorts of trinkets." The stores sells an assortment of items including ". . . fridge magnets, shot glasses, key rings and even small Caribbean Christmas tree decorations."

The incident apparently occurred when a child from the cruise ship broke an item valued at less than $5 (U.S.).  The owner of the store told the newspaper that he informed the passengers of the store’s “You break it, you pay for it” policy, but the parents declined to pay for the item. The owner, who refused to identify himself to the newspaper, apparently called the local police who arrived on the scene. 

According to the Antigua Observer, the couple told the police that they were not going to pay for the broken souvenir, and an altercation occurred when they tried to leave the store.

The unidentified shop owner said that the cruise passengers were allegedly hostile to his staff and law enforcement officers.  He says that an apology would have been sufficient but the "child got very abusive."  The owner further claims that the child was "beating up on the police." The ship owner further stated: " We must not allow these people to talk down to us. I only want happy customers. The father and his son got very physical. They were hostile to the police and my staff. The officers were being fair and only doing their job. People have to treat people with respect.” 

The newspaper article indicates that the police made no arrest, and the cruise passengers returned to the ship.

The newspaper further states that the island's Ministry of National Security was notified and paid a visit to the souvenir shop to investigate. 

The newspaper contains a second curious twist stating that the cruise ship’s captain allegedly apologized to the shop owner the passengers' behavior and said "he would be asking them to disembark at the next port." 

This is rather unusual because cruise lines like Royal Caribbean tell the cruise passengers that they are on their own while ashore. However, the cruise line Guest Conduct Policy states that its standards of conduct for guests to follow apply "throughout their Royal Caribbean International cruise vacation, including transfers to and from ships, inside terminals, while onboard, at ports of call, during shore excursions and at our private destinations."

It will be interesting to see if the cruise line dumps the family off at the next port, or whether the captain threatened this merely to placate the shop owner and the island's National Security.

A strange story in any event, this is something that begs hearing the passenger's side of these events.

We have reported about all types of things which occur involving cruise passengers ashore in Antigua, such as a young woman being murdered and cruise passengers attacked and robbed and six cruise passengers from Brooklyn arrested after disputing a cab fare and fighting with the police in Antigua. For one, I'd like to understand why the Antigua Ministry of National Security got involved in an altercation involving a broken souvenir trinket worth less than $5.  

January 5, 2013 Update:  Another newspaper contains the "other side of the story."  Caribarena Antigua states that "eyewitness reports from taxi drivers in the area suggests that the police officers were the aggressors, having reportedly “roughed up” the lad in front of his parents and as they interjected they too became victims, with even the pregnant mother receiving a thug or two."

"The family was eventually ordered and escorted back to the ship by a senior officer who arrived on the scene. And during that journey, the child is reported to have wetted himself out of fear."

Irrespective of what occurred, news accounts of a broken trinket, a boy who wets himself, a pregnant mother, and a violent encounter with police will surely cast a black eye on Antigua.

In an unrelated article in the Antigua Oberserver today, tourism officials state that they are optimistic about attracting cruise visitors to Antigua this year.  

The brawl in the tourist area comes at the same time that Antigua announced that it formed a new police unit to protect tourists from crime

 

Photo: Shipwreck Shop

Another Child Porn Bust, This Time on Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas

Child Porn Royal Caribbean Monarch of the SeasThe Orlando Sentinel reported this afternoon that Federal authorities arrested an Idaho man who took a cruise from Port Canaveral earlier this month with more than 1,000 images of child pornography on a laptop he took on the cruise ship.

According to a complaint filed in Orlando federal court, authorities were inspecting cruise passengers onboard Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas cruise ship on December 10, 2012, when they discovered that the laptop computer of cruise passenger Gary Lee Reed, of Blackfoot Idaho, had around 1,162 images and videos depicting child pornography. 

The images included sexual abuse of toddlers and babies.  Reed reportedly admitted that he has viewed child pornography for many years. He was arrested and subsequently indicted by an Orlando federal grand jury on a child pornography charge. (Anyone have a link to his mugshot?)

Cases like this may be surprising to some families who like to cruise but the arrest of cruise passengers and crew members is not uncommon. Consider the following arrests which we have blogged about here on Cruise Law News for just the last three years:

Cruise Child Porn Paul Trotter Paul Trotter, age 34, is the most prolific cruise child porn king known to the public so far. He worked for Cunard for seven years as a child supervisor aboard the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. He would take the children to areas not covered by surveillance cameras and physically and sexually abuse them. A real sicko, he would film himself sexually molesting the children to watch later. This was ultimately what got him caught. Someone tipped the police off in the U.K. where he lived. A police search of his computer revealed not only child pornography but his own videos of his crimes against the kids he was entrusted with on cruises. One newspaper reported that he supervised the "play zone" on 295 cruises over his seven years with Cunard. He admitted to abusing thirteen child probably because he was caught with images of 13 victims, is my suspicion. 295 cruises and several thousand children. A play zone of his own with no one supervising him while he abused the customer's kids. A pedophile's dream. How many more victims are there?  

Edward Brillantes Mangubat, age 40, is another pedophile who worked for Cunard. He was arrested in Halifax when Canadian Border officer searched his laptop computer and found sexually explicit video featuring children. Mangubat worked as a stagehand on Cunard's cruise ship Queen Mary 2. He worked on cruise ships for seven years.

Did he know Trotter and exchange porno tapes? Border agents went to Mangubat’s cabin and discovered that his laptop contained several videos showing “what can only be described as sexual assault of children,” including children under 12.” He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.

Amado Nicholas Hernandez, age 31, (left) is a pedophile who was employed by Celebrity Cruises as an Child Porn Celebrity Cruise Ship audiovisual manager and provided onboard guest-entertainment services aboard the Constellation cruise ship.

Hernandez was arrested after police determined that his computer contained 450 photographs and about 250 video files of child pornography portraying a total of 44 different victims. The criminal complaint filed against Hernandez alleged that upcoming cruises included several stops in Mexico.

Hernandez, in documented online chats, reportedly had bragged that he had bought young boys for sex in Mexico and “almost offed one,” the criminal complaint alleges.

Nyoman Putra, age 26, an Indonesian working as an assistant room steward on the Carnival Glory, allegedly had child pornography on a laptop computer. Canada Border Services Agency officers were inspecting crew members getting off the cruise ship when they nabbed the Carnival crew member at Pier 22 in Halifax.

Canada's border agents do a good job catching crew members who try and enter the country with child Cruise Ship Pornpornography.  Putra was an assistant cabin attendant. It should concern any parent who cruises with their children to think of pedophile cabin attendants coming into the stateroom.

Jay-Ar Ramos Trilles, age 23, of the Philippines pleaded guilty in Halifax provincial court to charges of possessing and importing child pornography. Canada Border Services Agency officer arrested an assistant waiter on the Costa Atlantica on Tuesday as he was getting off the cruise ship at Pier 22 in Halifax. Two sexually explicit videos of children were found on both a USB flash drive and a laptop computer. One of the videos depicted a boy and a girl between the ages of 10 and 12, while the other showed a six-year-old girl being sexually abused by a man. The prosecutor in Canada stated that the border agency is determined to keep such "abhorrent" material from being brought into the country. Trilles worked with Costa Cruises for three years.

Menandro Lim Lanzar, age 31, from the Philippines was arraigned in Halifax on a charge of importing child pornography. Mr. Lanzar was employed as a quarter master on the NCL cruise ship Norwegian Jewel.

Hendri Dharmawan, age 29, was working as a pastry chef on the Carnival Triumph when he was arrested in Halifax.  The crew member was caught with pornography on his iPhone as he returned to the Carnival cruise ship. The border police then accompanied him back to his cabin where they discovered over two hours of child pornography on Dharmawan's laptop and external hard drive. The footage depicted girls as young as eight and boys as young as 10 being abused.

Cruise Ship Porn PassengerTimothy David Webb, age 32, (left) was arrested after he disembarked Royal Caribbean's cruise ship Grandeur of the Seas as a passenger at the Norfolk cruise ship terminal. Webb is a convicted sex offender and has a prior conviction sodomy in the state of Virginia. The customs agents pulled Webb from a line of passengers disembarking the cruise ship and searched his laptop, which contained child pornography videos. 

Senad Djedovic, (right) from Bosnia and Herzegovina, was arrested earlier this year after he boasted about engaging in sexual relations with a 16 year old girl who sailed on NCL's Norwegian Star cruise ship with her parents. After the cruise ended, Djedovic exchanged emails with the underage girl and received a number of sexually explicit photographs. Other crew members on the NCL cruise ship observed the photos and learned the girl's age and reported Djedovic to NCL which contacted the FBI. A search of Djedovic's computers revealed child pornography. Under a sub-folder entitled "scandals" there were several videos depicting sexual acts with 12 to 15 year old girls. NCL employed Cruise Ship Porn - NCLDjedovic from 2005 to March 2012 aboard a number of different cruise ships.

After Djedovic was arrested, a number of crew members and friends came to his defense arguing that he should be acquitted because sex with a 16 year old is not a big deal and this kind of conduct is not illegal in most countries. Djedovic was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

These type of stories should serve as a wake up to parents who take their children on cruises. Yes, there are sexual deviants and predators on cruise ships. A cruise ship presents the same dangers as your home town.

The stories above mostly involve child porn, not sexual assault. We have discussed all types of cases on this blog about men abusing children, such as a Carnival waiter raping a 14 year old girl, to a youth counselor abusing at least 13 boys on Cunard cruise ship, to a 71 year old man from the Pittsburg area traveling down to Miami to molest a 6 year old boy on a Royal Caribbean ship

Our advice? Parents watch your kids. Yes, the U.S. federal agents and Canadian authorities will occasionally nab a child porno sicko with images on his iPhone or laptop but that's probably a fraction of the child porn coming on and off cruise ships. With 16,000,000 people sailing each year there are many thousands of sick perverts out there on the high seas. 

Toddler Falls From Balcony on Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas

A cruise leaving yesterday from Port Canaveral Florida quickly turned into a nightmare when a family's one-year-old child fell from a balcony to the balcony below.

According to WFTV, the incident occurred on the Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas which left yesterday afternoon from Port Canaveral around 4:30 PM. 

The news station states that a one-year-old child crawled through an 11th floor railing and fell to a balcony one floor below. Other news stations do not refer to a fall from a "balcony" but a fall from one deck to the deck below.

The cruise ship turned around and headed back to port. The child was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, some say at 6:30 PM and others say at 7:30 PM.

There are many images of stateroom balconies of this cruise ship on line. Some of the images show vertical railings and well as a horizontal railing at the bottom of stateroom balconies. But my understanding is that deck 11 contains the pools and sports deck and does not contain staterooms. Anyone with information about the railings on deck 11 or how this could occur, please leave a comment below. 

Royal Caribbean issued a statement:

"On Friday, December 21, a 14 month old guest from India traveling on Monarch of the Seas was Monarch of the Seas Cruise Shipinjured in a fall. The guest was initially treated in our medical facility, but required additional and urgent medical attention that could only be provided in a hospital. Therefore, the ship turned around and returned to Port Canaveral, Florida, where we could debark the guest and their family so that the guest could receive urgent medical care.

Our Care Team is providing support and assistance to the guest’s family. Our thoughts are with their family, and we will continue to do our very best to assist them.

Monarch of the Seas is sailing a three-night itinerary that will call to CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas."

December 26, 2012 Update: a passengers on the cruise left a comment below, stating that the toddler fell from deck 12 down to deck 11 (the pool deck, photo above).

NCL Assistant Cruise Director Sentenced to Nine Years for Child Pornography

Today, a Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) former assistant cruise director was sentenced to nine years in jail for possessing child pornography.

Senad Djedovic, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, was arrested earlier this year after he boasted about engaging in sexual relations with a 16 year old girl who sailed on the NCL Star cruise ship with her parents. 

After the cruise ended, Djedovic exchanged emails with the underage girl and received a number of sexually explicit photographs.

Other crew members on the NCL cruise ship observed the photos and learned the girl's age and reported Djedovic to NCL which contacted the FBI. A search of Djedovic's computers revealed child Senad Djedovic - NCL - Child Pornpornography. 

NCL employed Djedovic from 2005 to March 2012 aboard a number of different cruise ships. 

We wrote a series of articles this year about this case which you can review here, including videos of him singing on YouTube. 

After Djedovic was arrested, a number of crew members and friends came to his defense arguing that he should be acquitted because sex with a 16 year old is not a big deal and this kind of conduct is not illegal in most countries. We received bizarre comments to this blog to this effect.

Parents who consider cruising with their teenage daughters should take into consideration that this is the mentality of some crew members toward your underage children.

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 

Rape of 15 Year Old Girl Is Latest Crime Against Children on Carnival Cruises

Casey Dickerson - Carnival Cruise Rape AllegationThe alleged gang rape of a fifteen year old girl on the Carnival Sensation cruise ship has received international coverage with news stations across the U.S. and even the U.K. press covering the disturbing story of how a 31 year old passenger reportedly bought alcohol for four underage boys and they took turns raping the girl during a drunken party.

The alleged adult rapist reportedly has a criminal record as reported by another website which contains unflattering photographs of the suspect (left). 

The story of the rape broke on the same day that Carnival stated that it would start introducing $50 a day "all-you-can-drink" booze packages on its cruise ships.

As we have learned by handling numerous rape cases on cruise ships, there is a direct correlation between lots of cruise booze and violence against women and children.  Its a real problem considering there are no independent police officers on cruise ships and the few security guards cannot effectively handle the problem.

A newspaper in Australia quoted me yesterday saying: ". . . we see a direct correlation between excess alcohol and fights in bars, drunken underage girls, sexual violence . . . dealing with drunken violence on cruise ship is a challenge as there are no police officers on board and security staff are often stretched to the limit. Encouraging more people to drink more alcohol . . . will lead to more crimes during cruises."

If you have any doubt that there is a problem with children being raped on cruise ships, click on the "sexual assault of minors" or "rape" categories to the left.  Most sexual assault cases are not reported because the cruise lines typically require the victims and their parents to sign confidentiality agreements. Carnival Cruise Ship RapeBut one 16 year old girl, raped by a crew member on a Carnival cruise, refused to sign her rights away.

She had the strength to speak about her rape on ABC NEWS' Nightline program "Sex Crimes on Cruise Ships."

Unfortunately, the Carnival rapist (right) was sentenced to only 37 months in jail, whereas the child has to deal with the trauma for the rest of her life.

Watch the video, which also features two clients of our firm testifying before our U.S. Congress about being raped on cruise ships. The cruise line rapists in those cases were not even prosecuted.  

 

Photo credit:

Top: FanDaily

Bottom: US Attorneys Office

15 Year Old Girl Alleges Gang Rape on Carnival Sensation

 A local news station in central Florida is reporting that a 15 year old cruise passenger alleges that she was gang raped by other passengers while cruising aboard the Carnival Sensation cruise ship.

WFTV reports that one of their news reporters interviewed a man who was arrested for allegedly raping a a 15-year-old girl during a Carnival cruise. The news station reports that "investigators said the girl was raped on the Carnival Sensation cruise ship by the man who then encouraged other attackers to do the same."

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the teenage victim stated  that she and another friend, also 15, went to 31 year old Casey Dickerson's cabin with him and four other boys.

The newspaper states that once in the cabin, the girl said, Dickerson and the boys held her down and took turns having sex with her. 

At the same time, the victim's teenage friend was being held in the bathroom by one of the boys.

As Dickerson and the others sexually assaulted the victim, they told each other to "switch," so that they would change positions.

The girl said someone knocked on the door while she was being attacked and one of the boys answered it.

The girl said she was on the floor of the cabin, wearing only a bra, and after the person who knocked at the door left, Dickerson and the boys continued their sexual attacks, the complaint says.

The WFTV reporter, Jeff Deal, talked with the suspect, Dickerson, in jail. Dickerson denied raping anyone.

Carnival Cruise  Rape Allegation"According to investigators, a group of underage people asked Dickerson to buy them alcohol.

'You admit you bought alcohol for them?' Deal asked.

'I admit I bought alcohol,' said Dickerson.

Dickerson had access to two rooms because his wife had complained about noise early on in the cruise. Carnival gave them keys to a second room.

Investigators said the group started partying in the first room and that's where the 15-year-old claims she was essentially gang-raped.

Investigators said the girl first claims Dickerson raped her and then two underage boys raped her too.

Investigators said the boys said Dickerson told them to do it.

During the interview, Dickerson claimed he didn't know the age of the young people . . and when we pressed him on the rape allegations he suddenly decided to end the interview." 

 

Photo credit: WFTV

Court Rejects Carnival's Attempt to Dismiss Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Sexually Assaulted Girl

Yesterday a federal judge in Miami rejected a motion filed by Carnival Corporation seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed on behalf of young girl who was sexually assaulted on a Carnival cruise ship.   

The case involved a nine year old girl who was raped on Carnival's Destiny cruise ship. The case is a reminder that sexual assaults against children occur during cruises, even when the children are entrusted to youth counselors on cruise ships. The case also shows how far cruise lines like Carnival will go to avoid legal responsibility when crimes occur during cruises.

The allegations against Carnival in this case were described as follows:

At the age of nine, the child took a cruise aboard Carnival’s Destiny cruise ship. She was accompanied on this cruise by several family members. During the cruise, and at a Carnival employee’s encouragement, the child's father signed her into a shipboard children’s program (“Camp Carnival”). The father told Camp Carnival personnel that his daughter was to stay with them until he returned for her. However, when the little girl asked for permission from the Camp Carnival staff member to attend a teen party with her cousin and friends, the staff member permitted her to go. After leaving Camp Carnival, the girl was physically and sexually assaulted.

The lawsuit alleges negligence on Carnival’s part in the false advertising of Camp Carnival, the failure to implement appropriate safety precautions, and the refusal to warn the child's parents of the numerous sexual assaults of passengers, including minors, during cruises.

The mother hired a lawyer in Florida and filed a lawsuit within three years of the rape.

Under federal maritime law, lawsuits involving minors must be filed within three years after the injury, or within one year from the date a legal representative is appointed for the minor (whichever date is shorter). 

Even though the lawsuit was timely filed both within three years of the rape and within one year since the mother was appointed as the child's legal guardian, Carnival moved to dismiss the case as "untimely." Carnival made a technical argument that the one year limitations period began to run when the mother learned of the crime or, alternatively, within one year after the mother retained a lawyer and the attorney sent a claim letter to Carnival. 

The Court rejected Carnival's argument and permitted the case to continue.

The child is represented by David Brill who is a skilled trial lawyer who represents crew members and passengers against cruise lines.

The motion to dismiss the child's case was filed by defense lawyer Lauren DeFabio of the Mase, Lara law firm.

 

Photo credit:  Maxum255 / Wikipedia

CNN's "Safe at Sea" Series Investigates Sexual Assault of 15 Year Old Girl on Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

Royal Caribbean Child Rape - Cruise Ship Crime Tonight, the CNN Anderson Cooper AC360 program aired a short documentary into the issue of the safety of children on the high seas, entitled "Safe at Sea."

The program focuses on a fifteen year old girl sailing with her family on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in 2010.  While her parents and siblings were at a different part of the ship, the young girl was in her cabin alone.  A crew member in uniform uses a pass key and enters the cabin unannounced and violently forces her to perform oral sex.

Terrified and distraught, the child did not immediately report the crime to her parents.

Our investigation into other crimes against children on Royal Caribbean cruise ships led us to the court ordered production of an internal report by Royal Caribbean which concluded that sexual misconduct occurs "frequently." The report concluded that as many as one-third of women and children sexually assaulted on Royal Caribbean cruise ships report the crime only after they have left the cruise ship and are back in the security of their home.  

In this case, the parents informed the local police in California of the shipboard crime who found the child's complaints to be "credible."  The police forwarded the complaints to the FBI.  The FBI investigation included collecting photographs of crew members selected by the cruise line which, not surprisingly, did not contain the predator's photo. The family thereafter never heard back from the FBI.

Child Sexual Assault - Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship The cruise line, however, paid a settlement to the child. On the CNN program tonight, the child (whose identify was protected for her privacy) stated that she felt the crew member was a predator and had done it before.

The program also contained an interview with a former U.S. Customs and Border official who stated that, in her experience, 85% of cruises contain at least one sexual predator on the cruise ship.  

The cruise industry's trade organization, the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), attacked the former federal employee and released a statement to CNN stating that:

" . . . . it is disconcerting that this individual would irresponsibly offer such inflammatory and unfounded accusations."

This, in a nutshell, is the attitude of the cruise industry and cruise lines like Royal Caribbean toward victims.

A fifteen year old child is sexually assaulted during a cruise. Yet, the cruise line and the cruise industry offer no apologies to the child or her family.  

Instead, they attack those who dare to speak out in public about crimes on cruise ships.

Cruise Line International Association - CLIA Attacks Cruise Victim

Former NCL Assistant Cruise Director Pleads Guilty to Child Porn

The Tampa Bay Times reports that yesterday a former Norwegian Cruise Lines crew member formally pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.  Earlier this month, the crew member agreed to make this plea. 

The case involves former NCL Assistant Cruise Director Senad Djedovic, age 29, from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Djedovic engaged in sexual relations with a 16 year old girl during a cruise last January. Later, Djedovic solicited naked images from the minor and reportedly received more than 20 pornographic images. 

Senad Djedovic - NCL Pervert - Child PornThe article points out that Djedovic used a NCL company computer to correspond with the teen and receive the images. 

Cruise Law News reported on the case back in February in our article "FBI Arrests NCL Assistant Cruise Director for Engaging in Sex With 16 Year Old Passenger & Child Pornography."

We mentioned that under a sub-folder entitled "scandals" there were several videos depicting sexual acts with 12 to 15 year old girls, which were downloaded from the internet. The Department of Justice charged Djedovic with sexual abuse of a minor and possessing materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

Djedovic worked for Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) for six years for a number of different NCL cruise ships.

NCL Assistant Cruise Director Admits to Child Pornography

NCL Senad Djedovic - Child PornographyThe Tampa Bay Times reports that a former assistant NCL Cruise Director, last employed aboard the Norwegian Star cruise ship, who had sex in a stairwell with a 16 year old passenger, agreed to plead guilty today to possessing child pornography.

NCL employee Senad Djedovic, met the minor girl from Minnesota on a cruise which departed Tampa on January 29th and returned on February 5th. 

"I wish you said yes way earlier than the last day because we would have way more fun," NCL's Djedovic wrote to her in an email, according to the plea agreement. "I miss you big time … you little young girl."

Djedovic stored about 20 photos of the victim who sent emails from Minnesota after the cruise. She was naked in most. After Djedovic was arrested, the FBI found additional videos and photos of minors engaging in sexual activities.

Cruise Law News reported on the case back in February in our article "FBI Arrests NCL Assistant Cruise Director for Engaging in Sex With 16 Year Old Passenger & Child Pornography." 

We mentioned that under a sub-folder entitled "scandals" there were several videos depicting sexual acts with 12 to 15 year old girls, which were downloaded from the internet. The Department of Justice charged Djedovic with sexual abuse of a minor and possessing materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

29 year old Senad Djedovic, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, worked for Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) for six years for a number of different NCL cruise ships.

There are a lot of weird YouTube videos of him as a NCL assistant CD singing on the NCL cruise ships.  Think that there are no sexual perverts hired by the cruise lines who are preying on your kids? Think again.

 

Frommer's Names Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria "Best Cruise Ships For Kids," Even Though 13 Kids Were Sexually Abused on Cunard Ships

Today, Frommer's travel website published an article "Best Cruise Ships For Kids."

When I saw the title, I thought to myself: oh no, not Frommer's.  The Frommer's people didn't include any of the Cunard cruise ships on its "best for kids" list did it? I prayed not.  I held my breath and clicked on the article - Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria - two of the "best cruise ships for kids."  

Jesus Christ.

There are times I become so angry at the way that cruise lines and travel writers work that I want to rip my monitor from the computer and smash it against the wall.

For the past three months I have been writing about the disturbing case case of a Cunard youth supervisor, Paul Trotter, who was investigated in January and arrested in February of this year for the Cunard Cruise Ship Child Sexual Predator sexual abuse of a child on a Cunard cruise ship.  I was the first one in the U.S. to write about it.  You can read the articles here and here.

Where there is smoke, there is fire.  

Where there is an arrest of a sexual predator for victimizing a child, there are at least a dozen victims.  

I asked in a follow-up article two months ago how many other children did the Cunard youth counselor sexually molest?  After all he worked on several Cunard cruise ships for 4 to 5 years. Many thousand of little kids were dropped of by their unsuspecting parents in the "play zone" managed by "certified" children specialists like Trotter. 

Since then I have corresponded back and forth with the English press.  Our firm has represented around 80 children and women sexually assaulted on cruise ships, including several women who have testified before our U.S. Congress.  "Do you represent other victims of Trotter?" the British press inquired. "What do you know about how many children were involved? I responded. There was little known about the extent of the harm to children on either side of the Atlantic.

The police officers in the U.K investigating the issue kept mum, but clearly they were onto something big.

Last week we learned that that the investigating police officers were going to release a statement. The truth emerged: Trotter molested at least 13 boys. To boot, the sick pervert took video of himself abusing some of the children, the police stated.

I immediately blogged about the serial Cunard child predator.  I posted my article on facebook, tweeted about it to my 9,000 Twitter followers, emailed the blog to 1,000 subscribers and sent it out on the RSS feed.  For the past week, I have written additional articles about the Cunard predator who worked on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria cruise ships.

Cunard Queen Mary Play ZoneThe police said that Trotter molested the children when he was assigned to the children's "play zone" on the ships.

The same kid friendly "play zone" from the Queen Mary 2 that Frommer's depicted in its article

It might as well be called a "prey zone" if truth be known.

Most U.S. travel writers and supposedly reputable newspapers looked the other way. Only a couple of cruise bloggers touched the story.  Why upset their cruise sales or anger the cruise line advertisers, especially with so much bad cruise news these days? 

There are many travel writers and journalists who are unabashed shills for the cruise industry, the Miami Herald being at the top of the list.  (The Miami Herald has not written about the Cunard child sex crimes even though Cunard is owned by Miami-based Carnival.)

But Frommer's is not in that bunch of unethical vagabonds and cruise cheerleaders.  Arthur Frommer was one of the few travel writers who congratulated the International Victims Organization for its five year struggle against the cruise industry to obtain the passage of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act which President Obama signed into law to protect cruise passengers.  Arthur Frommer is a man of integrity, known for his straight moral compass. He is certainly not the cruise lines' bitch.

So how did Frommer's pick two Cunard cruise ships where unspeakable crimes against children occurred?  The best cruise ships for kids?  Why not just pour salt into the wounds of the parents grieving the loss of their children's innocence? Why did Frommer's include a photograph of the crime scene where Trotter abused the little innocent victims, for Christ's sake?

I'm don't know.  Perhaps someone at Frommer's can explain?   

 

Photo credit: QM 2 "Play Zone" - Cunard via Frommer's    

Cruise Ship "Prey Zones" - U.S. Media Ignores Widespread Sexual Abuse Of Children On Cunard Cruise Ships

Yesterday, we reported on the case of Cunard cruise youth supervisor Paul Trotter who was arrested in February after police in England were tipped off that his home computer contained indecent images of children. When the police seized his computer, they realized that Trotter had filmed himself sexually abusing the children on the cruise ships.

We reported on the story after reading a police statement which indicated that the abuse occurred in and/or around the children's "play zone area."  Many cruises lines have lax policies and procedures and permit adult crew members to be alone with children and take them into the bathrooms in the children's clubs.

Paul Trotter - Cunard - Sexual Abuse of Children The police had the difficult task of identifying the victims, and then faced the unpleasant task of informing the parents that their children were molested by the youth counselor whom they entrusted with their children's safety during a family cruise.  

I posted an article about this disgusting set of circumstances early yesterday morning. There were already two articles posted in England.  I anticipated that the U.S. press would soon follow.  After all, Cunard is owned by Miami-based Carnival and many thousands of U.S. families have sailed aboard Cunard's Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria cruise ships.

The police found evidence that Trotter abused at least 13 children.  But he worked for Cunard for many years, some articles say 4 years others say 5 years.  Although one victim is too many and 13 victims is a lot, do you think that is all of the victims?  Trotter enjoyed the luxury of waiting for his victims in the "play zone" over the course of hundreds and hundreds of cruises where unsuspecting families dropped their kids off to be watched by him.  

We know from the Penn State-Jerry Sandusky case and the failures of the Catholic Church for decades, that sexual predators who target kids cannot be cured. They will abuse children for decades.  First there's one victim, then 2 or 3, then a dozen, and then the public comes to the uneasy realization that there must be many more but there will never be a definitive list. Victims, particularly child victims, are afraid to tell their parents what happened and try to suppress the trauma out of shame or confusion.  

Were U.S. children victimized by Trotter in the children's "play zones" of the three Cunard ships?  Only the most naive person would think not.  

Is Trotter the only child predator who worked for Cunard or Carnival?  Only the most naive person would think so. 

The "play zones" were Trotter's "prey zones" where he would target his victim, groom the child, and then engage in his depravity while videotaping the crime - probably in a bathroom.      

At the end of the day yesterday, there were over a hundred articles about Mr. Trotter all showing his creepy looking mug shot. All of the articles were in the U.K. and in other European countries.

Not a single U.S. newspaper or television / cable news covered the shocking news.  Only this blog, Cruise Law News.

I emailed the articles to news reporters, tweeted about the crimes and challenged the local newspaper and bloggers who cover cruise news to address the issue. Everyone remained silent.  Their journalistic ethics of honestly reporting on an important story fell short of their financial self-interest of not losing cruise sales or not embarrassing Cunard or Carnival or CEO Micky Arison.  As I write this follow up article this Saturday morning, the U.S. media remains silent. 

Newspapers like the Miami Herald and USA Today are deep in the cruise lines' pockets.  The cruise lines advertise heavily in the larger newspapers, and the "journalists" simply look the other way when stories appear that may embarrass their cruise lines friends.  I have warned for years about this problem. Take a moment and read Perverts, Child Predators and Cruise Ships or Cruise Lines Are A Perfect Place to Sexually Abuse Children.

Newspapers like the Miami Herald and USA Today should be ashamed.  They do the public a terrible disservice not warning parents of the dangers posed to children on cruise ships. They are happy to write puff pieces for Carnival and Cunard but avert their eyes when things go terribly wrong.  They are complicit with the Carnivals and Cunards who don't protect the children and then choose their marketing reputation over the children's welfare. 

 

 

Who's reporting on the Cunard / Paul Trotter story as of April 21, 2012:

U.S.A:  

Cruise Law News

U.K / Ireland:

BBC News Telegraph Mail Online The Sun Daily Echo Lancashire Evening Post Pontefract and Castleford Express ITV News The Independent Swindon Advertiser Belfast Telegraph Bourne Local Huffington Post UK MSNBC News UK Isle of Man Today and a hundred others in England.


Update of U.S. Media reporting on Cunard / Paul Trotter:

Old Salt Blog - April 21, 2012

Cruise Radio - April 22, 2012

South Florida Business Journal - April 23, 2012

Sun Sentinel - April 24, 2012

Cruise Critic - April 24, 2012

Cunard Child Supervisor Admits Sexually Abusing 13 Boys During Cruises

Newspapers in the U.K. are reporting that a former child supervisor who worked on Cunard cruise ships admitted to the police that he sexually abused children on cruise ships.

Two months ago we reported on the arrest of Paul Trotter, who worked on Cunard's Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria cruise ships. Police arrested him on allegations that he sexually assaulted a minor on a Cunard cruise ship.  Child predators of course don't abuse just one victim.  Our blog in February was entitled "Did Cunard Child Supervisor Molest Other Children During Cruises?"

Well now we know that he has admitted to sexually abusing at least thirteen (13) children between Paul Trotter - Cunard Child Sexual PredatorNovember 2007 and August 2011.  

According to the Daily Echo newspaper in the U.K., Trotter was also in possession of graphic film of the children he abused on the cruise ships. A police spokesperson said:

''The contents of his computer were examined and revealed that he had filmed himself abusing children in his care.

Many of these films were made on board three cruise ships operated by Cunard, where Trotter was employed in the children's play zone area."

Here's the account from the Independent newspaper in London:

"A former Cunard cruise ship worker has admitted carrying out sex attacks on 13 boys while working as a supervisor for a children's activity area.

Paul Trotter, 34, pleaded guilty to a string of sexual assaults and taking, making and possessing indecent images of children, most of whom were under the age of 13 at the time.

The supervisor made films of himself abusing the children in his care on board three cruise ships, operated by Cunard. He also possessed other indecent images of children he had obtained online.

In a statement Cunard, part of the Carnival Corporation group and owners of the Costa Concordia which ran aground earlier this year, said it was "deeply shocked" by Trotter's 'appalling crimes'.

It added he had avoided detection despite a number of safeguards, including having had his criminal record checked.

Trotter, from Pontefract, West Yorkshire, appeared at Swindon Crown Court, dressed in a suit and purple tie.

He admitted 12 counts of sexual assaulting a child under the age of 13, one count of sexual activity with a child under the age of 13, five counts of taking indecent images of a child, five of making indecent images of a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child.

The offences were committed from November 2007 to August 2011 when he arrested by Wiltshire Police's child abuse investigation unit.

Judge Douglas Field told Trotter, who was living in Wiltshire at the time of his arrest, he would be held in custody to return before the same court on May 11 for sentencing.

He also ordered him to sign the sexual offences register before he was taken back to prison."

The revelation of a prolific cruise ship child sexual predator comes at a bad time for Carnival (which owns Cunard) and the cruise industry in general.  First, the Costa Concordia capsized leaving 32 dead. Earlier this week Carnival was under siege for the outrageous conduct of a Princess cruise ship which ignored the distress pleas from a disabled fishing boat.  Two young men (ages 16 and 24) died. Carnival also owns Princess and Costa cruise lines.  

Think sexual abuse of children on cruises is rare?  Read our articles about the danger here.

 

Sources:

Independent newspaper

Swindon Advertiser

Read our first article about Paul Trotter here.

Royal Caribbean Crew Member Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse of 14 Year Old Passenger

A Royal Caribbean crew member has pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of a 14 year old girl during a Caribbean cruise.

25 year old Fabian Palmer admitted engaging in sexual relations with the girl during a cruise from Baltimore in December 2010.

Crew member Palmer was employed by Royal Caribbean as a pool attendant and interacted regularly with passengers during cruises.  He met the girl and her family earlier during the cruise. 

Palmer took the child into a men's locker room on the Enchantment of the Seas and engaged in sexual acts in the bathroom.  You can read more about this crime, and similar incidents, in our Fabian Palmer - Royal Caribbean - Sexual Abuse of Minorarticles BUSTED! Another Crew Member Arrested for Allegedly Raping on Cruise and Royal Caribbean Crew Member Arrested for Sexually Abusing 14 Year Old Girl.  

He faces imprisonment with a maximum sentence of 15 years.  His sentencing is June 29th in Baltimore. 

As part of the plea agreement, the crew member must register as a sexual predator where he lives and where he works.  To my knowledge, there are no sexual predators databases or programs in Jamaica where Palmer is from.   

In an unusual move, it was the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) which issued the press statement announcing the guilty plea.  The FBI has increasingly been criticized for its reluctance to involve itself in shipboard crimes.  

 

Photo Credit:  Fabian Palmer facebook

Did Cunard Child Supervisor Molest Other Children During Cruises?

Earlier this week, we reported on the arrest of former Cunard child supervisor Paul Trotter on allegations that he abused a child and possessed indecent photographs of children on his computer.

The British police investigated Mr. Trotter (photo below, playing piano on Cunard cruise ship) after the parents of a child, identified only as being under the age of thirteen, brought the matter to the attention of authorities after the cruise.  The initial newspaper articles indication that Mr. Trotter worked aboard Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth cruise ships, although one reader brought to my attention that he also worked aboard Cunard's Queen Victoria.

You can read our last article about Mr. Trotter here.

Cunard Cruise Children Activities Supervisor Paul TrotterThe disturbing thing with Mr. Trotter is that he reportedly worked for Cunard on various cruise ships over the course of five years.  The issue arises whether he allegedly molested other children during cruises. 

It is currently unknown whether Cunard terminated Mr. Trotter's employment or whether he voluntarily resigned.

Any expert in child sexual abuse will tell you that child predators are extremely manipulative and will position themselves to interact with children to satisfy their deviant sexual interests.  They cannot be cured.  They will abuse children again and again if given an opportunity.

It would be naive to think that any sexual predator, working for years and years with children, abused only one child and was promptly caught and prosecuted for that singular crime.  Although the police investigation resulted in an arrest on charges of abusing one child, we know that the British police announced that they are speaking with the families of other children in England who cruised with Cunard as well. 

We have been contacted by other families who cruised on Cunard asking for information on Mr. Trotter - what cruise ships did he work on and exactly when was he a child supervisor on these ships? 

We asked Cunard for this information.  We will update this article if we receive a response.

Certainly families who cruised with Cunard are entitled to know whether an alleged child predator was supervising their children during their cruises?

 February 16, 2012 Update:  Cunard's response is below:

"We are deeply shocked by these allegations as the safety and well being of our customers is of paramount importance to us.  A thorough police investigation is underway which we are supporting and co-operating with fully.  Given that the police inquiry is ongoing, we cannot comment any further or answer any questions at this stage.

What we can say is that we are working closely with the National Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), a UK-based charity which specializes in supporting children and families to ensure that affected families and children are offered appropriate support.  Following these allegations being made, we also asked the NSPCC to conduct an independent comprehensive review of our facilities, policies and procedures.  This review is underway and we will be implementing any recommendations resulting from this review." 

April 20, 2012 Update:  Cunard Youth Supervisor Admits to Sexually Abusing 13 Boys During Cruises
 

Photo credit: stretch gp23 YouTube

Cunard Child Supervisor Arrested for Sexually Molesting Child During Cruise

Several news stations in the U.K. are reporting that the police arrested a former Cunard crewmember on charges that he sexually molested at least one child during a cruise.

Paul Trotter, age 34, of Pontefract, West Yorkshire, in the U.K., is alleged to have abused the child between December 20, 2011 and January 5, 2012 while working in the children's child activities facility on an undisclosed Cunard cruise ship.   His official job title was "children's activity supervisor" for Cunard.  He was also charged with possessing indecent photographs of children. 

We reported on the fact that the police in England were investigating child molestation on Cunard cruise ships last month in our article:  Did a Cunard Child Predator Molest Children Aboard the QM2 & Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ships?

Queen Mary 2 - Child Molestation?The police in England started the investigation after a parent of one of the abused children tipped the police.   Although the U.K. media is referring to only one abused child at this point, the police have interviewed several families in England, Mr. Trotter worked for five years for Cunard  on Cunard’s flagship, the Queen Mary 2, and its sister cruise ships, the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Victoria.

These Cunard cruise ships carried passengers of course from many other countries, including the U.S.

So far, Cunard has not disclosed the incident to the public nor informed families who they should contact for information.

Cunard's website refers to "Children's Activities" and assure parents that their kids are safe: " . . . you can be certain that they are in the best of care with our certified Early Years staff . . . " 

Molestation of children by cruise employees is one of the cruise industry's nastiest secrets.  You can read about the problem in our prior blog articles, including Cruise Lines Are A Perfect Place To Sexually Abuse Children.

February 16, 2012 Update: Did Cunard Child Supervisor Molest Other Children During Cruises?

April 20, 2012 Update:  Trotter Admits He Sexually Abused 13 Boys

Did a Cunard Child Predator Molest Children Aboard the QM2 & Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ships?

The Mail Online in the U.K. reports tonight that a crewmember who worked aboard two of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships is being investigated by police on suspicions that he sexually assaulted children during the cruises. 

The newspaper reports that the Cunard crew member who allegedly carried out his indecent conduct worked for Cunard for over five years on Cunard’s flagship, the Queen Mary 2, and its sister cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth.

Queen Mary 2 - Cunard Child Predator?  Detectives in England started the investigation after a parent of one of the abused children tipped the police.   So far, the detectives have interviewed several families in England.   The crewmember suspected of the crimes lives in Wiltshire, in England.

These Cunard cruise ships carried passengers of course from many other countries, including the U.S.

According to this account, the crewmember left Cunard's employment before the police probe began six months ago but has been interviewed by detectives in Wiltshire.  The detectives have apparently examined photographic and computer equipment at the man’s home.

The UK newspaper indicates that Cunard refuses to identify the job position of the the former crew member, "but he is known to have been a low-ranking employee who had regular, close contact with passengers on board."   Based on this description, its sounds like the alleged child predator probably worked as a cabin attendant or a youth counselor.

Sexual molestation of children on cruises is an ugly topic we have written about many times before.  You can read more cases than you want to know about little kids being sexually abused on cruises here.

These two Cunard cruise ships are part of the larger Carnival fleet of cruise ships.  Carnival owns Cunard.  This is the last thing that Carnival wants to be in the press at this time, as it is reeling from the bad publicity after another one of the cruise brand it owns, Costa Cruises, ran a $500,000,000 cruise ship into the rocks and killed around 30 of its guests.

A reckless captain who abandons ship while passengers are drowning in the submerged cabins of the Costa Concordia?  A child predator who worked aboard the Cunard QM2 and Queen Elizabeth for 5 years? 

What's the next shoe to drop in the Carnival fleet? 

February 16, 2012 Update: Did Cunard Child Supervisor Molest Other Children During Cruises?

"Serial Rapist" Sentenced to 10 Years for Rape of 13 Year Old During Carnival Cruise

A news blog in Alabama, al.com, reports tonight that a Gautier, Mississippi man dubbed a “serial rapist” by prosecutors will serve 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl during a cruise aboard a Carnival cruise ship. 

The case involves Dylan Cole Bloodsworth who was accused of raping the young passenger while he was sailing on the Carnival Elation cruise ship last March.  We reported on this crime in articles earlier this year entitled Passenger Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Minor on Carnival Cruise Ship and Carnival Passenger Admits to Sexually Abusing Minor During Cruise.  

Dylan Cole Bloodsworth - Cruise Ship RapeAlthough Bloodsworth admitted to the crime and said that he had "made a terrible mistake," the Federal District Judge sentenced him to a decade in jail and ordered that  spend the rest of his life under supervision by the U.S. Probation Office when he gets out of prison.

The prosecutor cited a prior sexual assault against another girl and told the judge that Bloodsworth is ". . .  a serial rapist.  He preys on underage girls.”

Bloodsworth's victim on the Carnival ship was on a cruise to Mexico with her family when she met him and agreed to go with him at his insistence to get a jacket from his cabin, where Bloodsworth sexually assaulted her according to court records.

Cases like this should be a wake up call to parents that rapes occur on cruise ships by older passengers as well as crewmembers.  You can read about cases where child predators abuse children in cases on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship like this or where a Carnival crew member rapes a 14 year old girl like this.   

Even supposedly kid friendly cruise lines like Disney Cruises have a history of sexual assaults against young girls on their cruise ships: Passenger Indicted for Sexual Abuse of 13 Year Old Girl on Disney Wonder Cruise Ship.

Think this is an isolated problem?  Take a moment and read:  Why Cruises are NOT the Best Vacations with Kids

Tragedy on HAL's Half Moon Cay: A Mother's Perspective

One of the purposes of this blog is to educate the public of dangers of cruising and the legal hurdles passengers face when things go wrong during a cruise.  

One of the first issues I felt compelled to write about when I started this blog over two years ago was the Death On The High Seas Act ("DOHSA").  DOSHA does not permit cruise passengers to recover pain, suffering, grief, or bereavement if a loved one dies outside of the territorial waters of the U.S.  DOSHA provides only limited financial damages, such as lost wages. 

If a child is killed during a cruise or shore excursion due to the cruise line's negligence, there is no recovery at all because the child is not a wage earner.  I wrote about this in my series of the "ten reasons not to cruise" -  Reason No. 5:  If You Are Retired Or A Child, The Cruise Line Considers Your Life Worthless.

Cruise lines love DOSHA.  It eliminates all consequences of their negligence and provides no incentive to act responsibly.  The cruise industry spends millions of dollars lobbying Congress to make certain that DOSHA is not amended to provide reasonable compensation to grieving families.

This weekend, I received the following comments from a Mom who lost her daughter during a  Holland American Line cruise, while on HAL's "private island" Half Moon Cay.          

Holland America Line's "Family Cruise" - Half Moon Cay

"My 3 year-old daughter was killed on Christmas Eve of last year while on a Holland America cruise with her biological father. She drowned in the designated children's swim area of a private island Death On The High Seas Act - Holland America Line -  Cruisein the Bahamas owned by HAL.  This tragedy occurred in plain view of hundreds of people present and right near where a lifeguard SHOULD have been actively on duty.

I would never have considered allowing her on the cruise if I believed for a moment that I was putting her in harm's way.

Imagine what it feels like to receive a phone call on Christmas Day and fully expecting to hear a relative calling with a Christmas greeting.  Instead, you are informed, with no preamble or warning, that your darling daughter is dead.

Holland America has made it perfectly clear to us that they feel they have no responsibility in the matter, and even if they did have any liability, that their interests are fully protected by the Death on the High Seas Act.  Never mind the fact that the children's swim area contained many bright toys to lure children into the water, and deliberately lulls the guests into a false sense of security with signs nearby that say "Paradise -- you'll want to stay forever" (or similar.)  Because the DOHSA does not cover pain and suffering (only loss of a paycheck, and let's face it, my daughter didn't have a steady job), they have informed me that I am entitled to absolutely nothing.

Thanks, Holland America. And a Merry Christmas to you as well.

Be aware of this stance before you go on one of Holland America's "Family Cruises" (one of their employees told me their target market is families for their Christmas Cruises).  Holland America is only too happy to take full advantage of their supposed protection under a law that they themselves have so much as admitted as being archaic.  For some terribly naive reason, I actually had hoped that instead of hiding behind the cover of an inappropriate law to protect themselves from their failures to provide a safe environment for my child, that they would actually be moved to simply do the right thing.  Silly me.

The DOHSA Act was originally passed in 1920 to cover scenarios of a fisherman (read: breadwinner) lost at sea.  The intent of the law was certainly never to cover the loss of a child on a cruise, but the cruise industry is taking full advantage of its existence and has opposed efforts to change this law.

The lesson that Holland America has taught me with their brush-off treatment of my complaint is loud and clear: pain and suffering are worthless.  I can't even bring myself to contemplate what their message communicates with regards to their perceived value of the life of my daughter."


 

Were you on the cruise or at Half Moon Cay at the time of this incident? 

Should DOHSA be amended to provide the same remedies as land based law?

Please leave a comment below . . .

 

For other articles on DOHSA, consider reading:

What Does BP, Al Qaeda and a Cruise Line Have In Common? 

Death On The High Seas Act Protects BP and Cruise Lines at the Grieving Family's Expense

ABC Nightline's "Crimes on a Cruise Ship" Video

ABC Nightline has posted the video of its program last night regarding the sexual assault of a 14 year old girl on the Carnival Freedom cruise ship.   Carnival crew member Hery Krispiyanto raped the child during a cruise in 2009.  

ABC News Nightline Covers Sexual Assault of Minor on Carnival Cruise Ship

Tonight, ABC's Nightline will cover the story of a 14 year old child who was sexually assaulted by a Carnival crew member aboard the Freedom cruise ship. 

Krispiyanto Rape Carnival Freedom Cruise ShipThis is a story which we covered last May:

Carnival Cruise Ship Bartender Arrested On Charges Of Raping 14 Year Old Passenger

Hery Krispiyanto, age 30, from Klitren, Yogykarta (Indonesia) worked aboard Carnival's Freedom as a bartender.  The 14-year-old girl, identified only as "Taylor" to protect her identity, was vacationing with her parents during the Carnival cruise which left Fort Lauderdale in April 2009.  During the cruise, the minor and her parents became acquainted with Krispiyanto who waited on the family.  When the minor was alone on the upper deck of the ship one night, Krispiyanto walked up behind her, grabbed her arm and pulled her into a nearby employee-only room and closed the door, court records disclose. 

We have written many articles about the problem of crew members preying on children on cruise ships:

Sexual Assault of Children on Cruise Ships - A Problem the Cruise Community Wants to Forget

Why Cruises are NOT the Best Vacations with Kids

Should Travel Agents Be Liable For Falsely Representing That Cruises Are Safe For Kids?

Passenger Indicted for Sexual Abuse of 13 Year Old Girl on Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Top Ten Reasons Not To Cruise: No. 1 - Cruise Lines Are A Perfect Place To Sexually Abuse Children

 

Krispiyanto Statutory Rape - Carnival Cruise Line - Cruise Ship

 

Photograph top   Seminole Co. Sheriff's Office (via Palm Beach Post)   

Photograph bottom    Hery Krispiyanto's Friendster page

Celebrity Cruises Crew Member Arrested on Child Porn Charges

Several newspapers in California are reporting that the FBI arrested a crew member aboard Celebrity Cruises' Constellation on child-pornography charges after the cruise ship arrived at the Port of San Diego. 

According to the Union Tribune newspaper in San Diego, Amado Nicholas Hernandez, age 31, was employed by Celebrity Cruises as an audiovisual manager and provided onboard guest-entertainment services. 

Amado Hernandez - Cruise - Child PornographyHernandez was arrested after he apparently abandoned his computer which was subsequently purchased at an estate sale.  The computer reportedly contained 450 photographs and about 250 video files of child pornography portraying a total of 44 different victims.  The computer contained information which permitted the FBI to trace the pornography back to the crew member. 

The criminal complaint filed against Hernandez alleged that upcoming cruises included several stops in Mexico.  Hernandez, in documented online chats, reportedly had bragged that he had bought young boys for sex in Mexico and “almost offed one,” the criminal complaint alleges.

The issue of child predators and crew members with child pornography on cruise ships is something we have written about frequently.  It's not an isolated problem: 

Nabbed at Pier 21 - Another Crew Member Busted with Child Porn in Halifax

Another Carnival Crew Member Busted for Child Porn

Costa Crew Member Caught With Child Pornography 

Perverts, Child Predators and Cruise Ships

Another Crew Member Arrested for Child Pornography 

Cruise Ship Passenger Sentenced in Child Porn Case

 

Photo Credit:    roadiejobs.com

Three Year Old Child From Holland America Line's Zuiderdam Drowns in Half Moon Cay

A Christmas cruise ended in tragedy when a three year old girl from Holland America Line's Zuiderdam cruise ship reportedly drowned in HAL's private destination Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas.   The incident occurred on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, according to a newspaper in the Bahamas.

Nabbed at Pier 21 - Another Crew Member Busted with Child Porn in Halifax

On September 7th, Canada Border Services Agency officers nabbed crew member Edward Brillantes Mangubat after they searched his laptop computer and found sexually explicit movies featuring children.

Cunard - Queen Mary 2 - Pier 21 - HalifaxMangubat worked as a stagehand on Cunard's cruise ship Queen Mary 2.  The Chronicle Herald reports that he had worked on cruise ships for seven years.

Today, Mangubat pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.

Canada vigorously enforces its laws against child pornography.  This is the third case this year where the Canadian Border agents arrested a crew member from a cruise ship.  Most of the crew members are arrested at Pier 21 in Halifax (photo, left).  

If you think child pornography and sexual predators are rare on cruise ships, consider reading:

Another Carnival Crew Member Busted for Child Porn

 

Photo Credit:  Travel and Transitions

Another Carnival Crew Member Busted for Child Porn

The Chronicle Herald in Canada reports today that a crew member on a Carnival cruise ship which that visited Halifax was arrested and charged with smuggling child pornography into Canada.

Carnival Cruise Child PornographyThe newspaper indicates that 26-year-old crew member Nyoman Putra, an Indonesian working as an assistant room steward on the Carnival Glory, allegedly had child pornography on a laptop computer.

Canada Border Services Agency officers were inspecting crew members getting off the cruise ship when they nabbed the Carnival crew member at Pier 22 in Halifax.  Canada's border agents do a good job catching crew members who try and enter the country with child pornography.  

The Canadian newspaper writes that Putra is the second cruise ship employee to be charged with having child pornography so far this year in Halifax.  In May, a Filipino who was an assistant waiter on the Costa Atlantica was sentenced to four months in jail for possession and importation. 

Putra was an assistant cabin attendant.  It should concern any parent who cruises with their children to think of pedophile cabin attendants coming into the stateroom.

Parents don't like to think about these things, and the cruise lines and travel agents hate to admit these things happen.  Consider the following articles:

Costa Crew Member Caught With Child Pornography  (caught at Pier 22 in Halifax too!)

Carnival Cruise Ship - Child PornographyPerverts, Child Predators and Cruise Ships (Carnival crewmember caught with child pornography in Halifax!!)

Another Crew Member Arrested for Child Pornography  (NCL crew member caught with child porn in Halifax!!!) 

Carnival Cruise Ship Bartender Arrested On Charges Of Raping 14 Year Old Passenger

Sexual Predator Abuses 6 Year Old Aboard Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas

Passenger Indicted for Sexual Abuse of 13 Year Old Girl on Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Cruise Ship Passenger Sentenced in Child Porn Case

Most Wanted Rape Suspect Arrested On Carnival Cruise Ship - Worked As Manager Of Onboard Hair Salon

Top Ten Reasons Not To Cruise: No. 1 - Cruise Lines Are A Perfect Place To Sexually Abuse Children