Cruise Ship Crimes
Most people expect a cruise to be a wonderful mix of relaxation, fun, and new experiences. Nobody expects those experiences to include assault, rape, or death, but unfortunately, they sometimes do. To make matters worse, many times the victim doesn’t report the crime and ends up stuck at sea with the offender.
Before 2010, trying to pursue a legal claim for a crime committed aboard a cruise ship was extremely difficult, as various laws made it possible for crimes like rape and assault to go unreported to authorities. However, the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 requires that all violent crimes be reported to the authorities and establishes security and safety protocols on vessels. This federal law requires video surveillance, access logs, video storage rules. It also requires vessels to carry rape kits and anti-viral medications as well as security procedures to protect evidence.
All cruise lines are also required to report all sexual assaults and rapes to the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. These incident reports are published by the U.S. Department of Transportation on a quarterly basis. They show the rates of serious and violent crimes on major cruise lines. Some of these crimes include:
- Sexual Assault
- Suspicious deaths
- Missing persons
- Assault with serious bodily injury
- Theft greater than $10,000
The new requirements of the federal law make it easier for victims to seek justice and receive compensation for their injuries. However, not all law firms are knowledgeable of maritime law, and some cruise lines restrict what states lawsuits can be filed.
If you or a family member have been the victim of a crime aboard a cruise ship, speak to us as soon as possible. We have decades of experience in fighting for passengers and those employed in the commercial maritime industries, and we stand ready to fight for you. Fill out the form for more information.