The Hill reports today that the most recent edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for investigating crimes on cruise ships.

The Hill says that cruise ships face "new security protocols, such as informing passengers about crime aboard the ship, installing systems to detect if someone falls overboard, and crime scene preservation and evidence gathering training, under proposed rules from the Coast Guard."

"Congress found that serious incidents, including sexual assault and the disappearance of passengers at sea, have occurred on cruise vessel voyages, that passengers lack adequate understanding of their vulnerability to crime on board cruise vessels, that inadequate resources are available to assist cruise vessel crime victims, and that detecting and investigating cruise vessel crimes is difficult," the Coast Guard wrote.

The issues of crime on cruise ships and man overboards have been the topic of eight Congressional hearing since 2005 attended by members of the International Cruise Victims (ICV). The photo below is from the last Senate hearing before Senator Rockefeller and shows me (far right), ICV Chairman Ken Carver (right) and Laurie Dishman (far left). The cruise industry essentially boycotted the hearing.

The recent man overboard from the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas reveals that the cruise lines have a long way to go. The passenger went overboard without the cruise ship even knowing that it lost one of its guests. The vast majority of the cruise lines have developed all types of attractions and contraptions to wow the passengers but refuse to invest in state-of-the-art technologies to make cruising safer.

The public has 90 days to comment. 

Cruise Ship Crime

  • John Goldsmith

    Just a concern.
    Will these new rules apply for cruise ships and vessels operating in U.S. waters?
    Will they apply to ALL vessels? Even those not registered in the U.S.?
    Want are the limitations of these rules?

  • David Leone

    This recent Man Overboard on the Oasis of the Seas would have been detected instantly if our technology was implemented on board. View the 20/20 Video showing this technology and how it can save lives and provide instant notification.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOROF4Db8xI

  • janet fuqua

    Hello I’m a cruiser, I’ve cruise 13 cruises in 13 yrs and I really love it. The cruise industry must do something about all of the crimes that I’ve been reading about.A cruise employee just sentenced to 30 yrs for attacking a guest and let’s not forget how so many guest are falling off cruise ships unnoticed. And what about how U.S.passengers disappear will vacationing on the islands. Something has to be done. And soon!!

  • Whatever laws are brought in by a flag state applies only to that flag state. As far as I know the IMO is already looking at a motion from the Cruise ship workers union about crime onboard. I also know that the IAMSP has a whitepaper (unreleased as yet) stating our concerns about the new “laws”.

  • Baltazar A. Rafales

    If the Man Overboard System, “Censor” can detect 20 meters from the ship on Forward or Front of the ship; can detect 20 meters from the ship on Aft or Rear of the ship; can detect 20 meters from the ship on Right side of the ship; and can detect 20 meters from the ship on Left side of the ship, then it will be a 100% accurate tools to protect the Passengers and Crew from Man Overboard issue.

    However, how about those Passenger and Crew who will be a victim of rape or homicide/murder etc and in order to hide the crime committed by the perpetrator on board the vessel, they will brought the victim to the incinerator?

    Based on my experienced on board HAL vessels working from September year 2000 until December year 2008, I have a simple suggestion, aside from Man Overboard System… how about if the Passengers and Crew who will be on board for days or months shall wear a wristband that has a censor on it, and if that wristband will be damaged, destroy or removed by unauthorized person on board, the alarm will sound on board the ship and will relay a distress information to the Coast Guard or FBI headquarters? Then perhaps, detecting and investigating cruise vessel crimes will not be difficult anymore?

  • Bob jones