Serious cruise ship safety incidents are not limited to sexual assaults. “Man overboard” incidents, thefts and even murders have long been a reality on these voyages. One tragic example concerns his 4th, 26-year-old George Smith from Greenwich, Connecticut, who went missing from a cruise in 2005. In 2015, the FBI closed the Smith case, And his family may never have an answer as to what happened. Secured the passage of the Security and Safety Act (the last major cruise industry reform). The law has made important strides in improving the safety of passengers on cruise ships, but additional action is desperately needed.
Since 2013, I have spearheaded efforts to further reform cruise line companies in the Senate, enacting the Cruise Passenger Protection Act. I am proud to be working with Rep. Doris Matsui of California on this effort. The bill implements additional passenger safety standards and cruise line reporting requirements to ensure that consumers are well informed before sailing about their rights and what they can rely on if something goes wrong. to
My bill would require cruise ships to retain footage of suspected crimes for a year so that investigators and victims have more time to access the footage they need to pursue justice. It also requires cruise lines to identify whether a crime, including sexual assault, has been committed against a minor. We plan to raise the penalties for
My Cruise Passenger Protection Act will also significantly increase victim assistance. Cruise lines clearly notify passengers of the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits and establish a Director of Victim Assistance Services within the U.S. Department of Transportation to communicate with cruise ship victims and handle cases. procedures must be formulated.
Since I led this bill, several of its health and safety provisions have passed Congress. These provisions include the installation of video cameras in common areas to keep surveillance records for 20 days, the installation of “outboard” imaging technology, and the provision of easy access for ships to automated external defibrillators. imposes requirements on cruise lines, such as These policies currently in place are an important step forward, but full cruise passenger protection legislation must be passed to address ongoing issues on cruise ships and protect all passengers on board. it won’t work.
The cruise ship industry has vehemently opposed the legislation, saying the requirement was “unnecessary.” They’re being contested by experts, lawyers, victims and their families, as a BuzzFeed News survey revealed. We hope the cruise industry will support these important reforms. This will only make sailing better for the consumer. Strong safety standards and practical enforcement help protect passengers and hold the cruise industry accountable.
Richard Blumenthal is a Senior Senator from Connecticut.