Today the case of missing Disney Cruise Line youth counselor Rebecca Coriam is again in the news as a MP from her hometown of Cheshire England spoke before the House of Commons.
You will recall that last March, Ms. Coriam "disappeared" from the Disney Wonder as the cruise ship was sailing a Los Angeles – Mexico cruise itinerary.
How could a young woman, especially one who is charged with taking care of children, simply vanish during a cruise?
The disturbing incident raises serious questions regarding not only the safety and security of the passengers and crew on foreign flagged ships but whether there are acceptable systems in place to conduct objective and aggressive investigations into such incidents.
Because the Wonder is flagged in the Bahamas, the Bahamas has the responsibility to investigate Ms. Coriam’s disappearance. This is so even though the cruise ship was based in Los Angeles, and her employer (Magical Cruise Company, Ltd.) is incorporated in the U.K.
In this case this means that a single policeman from Nassau flew to Los Angeles. Only one policeman from the Bahamas was responsible for conducting a forensic investigation and interviewing the thousands of passengers and crew on the cruise ship once it returned to Los Angeles.
The local FBI offices in Los Angeles have literally dozens of FBI agents and forensic experts and were readily available to meet the ship at the port. But they were not invited to become involved, either by the Bahamas or at the urging of the Disney cruise line.
The BBC published an article today about the dilemma. MP Stephen Mosley asked the House of Commons: "How could we have allowed this to happen to a British citizen?"
Mr Mosley warned people on cruises were not covered by British laws in cases of disappearance, theft or sexual assault at sea. He said:
"We have the disappearance of a young English woman hired by an English corporation to sail on a cruise ship out of a US port and yet not a single British or American police or forensic team went on board the cruise ship in the days following her disappearance."
Rebecca’s parents, Mike and Ann Coriam, are working to change in the law to allow British authorities to investigate cases when British nationals go missing on vessels registered in places like the Bahamas.
Do you know what happened to Rebecca? Please contact her family:
Coriam Family: 07747359968
Media Spokesman: 07932815970
You can read our articles about this case here.