Crime Watch Daily is a new program which focuses on stories of crime in the daily life of average Americans. Last month, it published it’s first show regarding crime on cruise ships – Cruise Ship Crime: Hard to Prosecute, Convict about the difficulties prosecuting crimes on the high seas.
The program has now published its second show about cruise ship dangers – When Cruise Ship Passengers Disappear Without A Trace.
When 40 year old Boston resident Merrian Carver "disappeared" from the cruise ship Mercury operated by Royal Caribbean’s subsidiary brand Celebrity Cruises, the cruise line tried its best to cover the incident up. It didn’t report Merrian missing to either the FBI or the Alaskan State Troopers, even though the cabin attendant reported her missing early in the cruise. Merrian’s father, insurance executive Ken Carver, began a serious investigation. Royal Caribbean responded by lying to Mr. Carver and disposing of evidence. Mr. Carver didn’t go away and the story went public. The The Arizona Republic published an excellently researched and written story. In response, the cruise line reached into its bag of tricks and pulled out a good excuse: " . . . there is very little a cruise line, a resort or a hotel can do to prevent someone from committing suicide."
Aside of the speculation fueled by the cruise line’s lawyers and PR team, there was no competent evidence whatsoever for Royal Caribbean’s self serving announcement to the media. If it was a suicide, why did Royal Caribbean work so hard to cover the incident up and lie to Mr. Carver? Indeed, there is now an issue whether a crew member was involved in Merrian’s death.
Other cruise lines would duplicate the shameful way that Royal Caribbean handled the case. In 2009, I wrote "Suicide" – One of the Cruise Lines’ Favorite Excuses When a Passenger Disappears at Sea.
Since then, we have seen repeated mysteries where young, healthy and seemingly happy crew members and passengers disappear from cruise ships, with the cruise line wildly speculating that they probably committed suicide, like Denisa Markoska, or Angelo Faliva, or Fariba Amani, or Annette Mizener, or George Smith, where there is absolutely no evidence supporting such a conclusion.
Royal Caribbean refused to speak to Crime Watch Daily. The cruise industry’s trade organization, the Cruise Line International Organization, claims that automatic man overboard systems – which can easily detect a person going overboard and immediately report the incident to the bridge – are somehow just an "emerging technology."