Cruise ships: Proposed US safety bill passes key step

shamrock
9th July 2009, 12:31
Legislation to increase passenger and crew safety on cruise ships unanimously passed a U.S. Senate committee Wednesday.

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009 would require all crimes that occur aboard cruise ships to be reported to the Coast Guard and Federal Bureau of Investigations. The bill also mandates that cruise ships install security latches and peep holes in cabin doors and sets standards for how ship physicians should be trained to handle sexual assault exams.

"Murky lines of jurisdiction are no longer an excuse for risking the safety of millions of Americans who will board cruise ships this year," said Sen. John Kerry, the bill's sponsor, in a statement. ....cont../..

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/sfl-cruise-safety-bill-070909sbjul09,0,1573063.story

Pompeyfan
9th July 2009, 17:52
We had plenty of sexual crimes back in the 'line voyage' era, crew caught with passengers or crew sexually assaulting Bell Boys etc. None of us were trained specifically for that in the medical department, but we dealt with it, and the offending person logged and sent home. I have also spent hours talking to those affected being self trained in Psychiatry. We had to deal with many things beyond our training, and coped pretty well I think. [=P]

I would not have thought that crime aboard ships were any different during the 'line voyage' era than modern cruising except perhaps there are more cruise ships around today.

Also, having sailed on cruise ships recently, I do not see the same amount of security that we had i.e. Master of Arms etc. We also had a Welfare Leading Hand who looked after the European crew especially as guardian if you like to Bell Boys. We also had Chief Serangs for Asian crew, and a Chief Pantryman for the Goan crew. The latter has long gone from P&O ships.

Cruise ships nowadays are all about entertainment. So perhaps they have got a bit lax with crew and passenger safety when they got rid of crew who dealt with this sort of thing both below and above decks?.

David

shamrock
9th July 2009, 17:59
All cruise ships have security officers...usually ex Gurkhas...they tend to stay out of view unless required. I have met a few on NCL, Olsen & Costa through the various bridge visits, crew chats that are given (along with the usual 'meet the crew' events and cocktail parties).

Ross Klein is in the process of putting together a spreadsheet of all assaults (sexual and otherwise) across all the cruise lines over the last 10-15 years. He is collating it from information gained from the FBI a few weeks ago. He will be sending a draught through to me once done...should be an interesting document, especially since cruise lines are not entirely happy about coming clean about such events.

shamrock
9th July 2009, 18:03
Initial tables for RCI and Celebrity are available on these links...

http://www.cruisejunkie.com/SA-RCI.html

http://www.cruisejunkie.com/SA-Celebrity.html

A harrowing account of a crewmember attacked by a fellow crewmember is here...NCLA's Pride of America...

http://www.cruisejunkie.com/SA-NCLA.html

Pompeyfan
9th July 2009, 20:12
Ally

I think you find that there were more in what is now known as security during the 'line voyage' era, than now. I know this from my trips as passenger talking to crew especially deck department including the chief security man who on Oriana and Aurora both of which were ex navy. Many of the ranks in the deck department, all European have been cut to the bone, no bosun's and no master of arms. And Safety Leading Hands as they used to be have gone completely on P&O ships at least. I worked with them all because those who did wrong ended up in my lock up cabin, and those injured in my hospital if crew, and passenger hospital if passenger. If Asian crew, the Serang was involved, if Goanese the Chief Pantryman was involved. If European ratings, the Welfy was involved. All these ranks have now gone.

It is possible that companies realize they cut too deep, and bringing back ranks that dealt with problems aboard ship like master of arms etc many who were also ex RN etc?.

David

Pompeyfan
9th July 2009, 20:26
Ally

Once again sexual assaults, and crew assaults were common place during the 'line voyage' era. They were far higher in just one outward 'line voyage' than the figures in the links above. I had victims in my hospital all the time. And it was not just ratings, they were all at it. One officer even died on the job!. It was very very rife. The only difference then to today is that there was no Internet to report such things, and no media like it is today.

Believe me, it was a major problem in the past, possibly far worse than today. I know, I had to treat them, or lock them up. And many Bell Boys were chased by low life who will not be found aboard ships today.

David

shamrock
9th July 2009, 20:41
I am following a case at the moment on a Princess ship that has me very disturbed...not so much about what is said to have happened but what IS happening to the crewman as a result.

A few months ago a Portugese crewman was arrested on board a Princess ship after a female guest alleged sexual assault.

Basically the female guest invited the crewman to join her in an after hours drink in the dining room. He accepted and allegedly he assaulted her and then he placed himself tween her and the exit and prevented her from leaving the table.

Two other crewmembers entered the dining room during this time, she did not indicate that she was in any distress. The crewman who she was drinking wine with did admit to becoming aroused by her but he denied assaulting her. What he did admit to was making himself more comfortable due to the arousal.

He is now facing a court case after the FBI investigated the case and the prosecutor decided there was a case to answer.

The crewman had an unblemished work record with Princess, he had been with the firm for over 20 years, working up from steward to senior staff in the restaurant. Being Portugese he will, if found guilty, be deported after any prison term given.

My problem with this case is that neither party should have had after hours drinking sessions, that was a stupid mistake by both of them. My gut feeling is that the female MAY have regretted the drinking session since she did not report the assault until the next morning and was not interviewed by ship security for a further 24 hours as she was said to be too distressed.

Now to me, leaving things so long before that interview allowed a certain amount of fudging to be done, especially if she did infact regret her liason of the night before and rather than walk away from it, she decided to cry rape instead.

The crewman has an immaculate record and was time served, he had way too much to lose by committing this sort of offence...but he did leave himself open to problems by his accepting the wine from the female guest.

With him being a foreign national in the US and without the backing of Princess legal team, I do feel that he will be convicted and tbh I am not 100% sure he was completely at fault....it feels alot more like a 50/50 to me.

Pompeyfan
9th July 2009, 21:05
I am following a case at the moment on a Princess ship that has me very disturbed...not so much about what is said to have happened but what IS happening to the crewman as a result.

A few months ago a Portugese crewman was arrested on board a Princess ship after a female guest alleged sexual assault.

Basically the female guest invited the crewman to join her in an after hours drink in the dining room. He accepted and allegedly he assaulted her and then he placed himself tween her and the exit and prevented her from leaving the table.

Two other crewmembers entered the dining room during this time, she did not indicate that she was in any distress. The crewman who she was drinking wine with did admit to becoming aroused by her but he denied assaulting her. What he did admit to was making himself more comfortable due to the arousal.

He is now facing a court case after the FBI investigated the case and the prosecutor decided there was a case to answer.

The crewman had an unblemished work record with Princess, he had been with the firm for over 20 years, working up from steward to senior staff in the restaurant. Being Portugese he will, if found guilty, be deported after any prison term given.

My problem with this case is that neither party should have had after hours drinking sessions, that was a stupid mistake by both of them. My gut feeling is that the female MAY have regretted the drinking session since she did not report the assault until the next morning and was not interviewed by ship security for a further 24 hours as she was said to be too distressed.

Now to me, leaving things so long before that interview allowed a certain amount of fudging to be done, especially if she did infact regret her liason of the night before and rather than walk away from it, she decided to cry rape instead.

The crewman has an immaculate record and was time served, he had way too much to lose by committing this sort of offence...but he did leave himself open to problems by his accepting the wine from the female guest.

With him being a foreign national in the US and without the backing of Princess legal team, I do feel that he will be convicted and tbh I am not 100% sure he was completely at fault....it feels alot more like a 50/50 to me.

Ally

This was a common problem on 'line voyages' as well. Female passengers were willingly smuggled into cabins almost every night, ratings and officers. Some even got married later keeping in touch when the passenger reached their destination.

It certainly seems this Portuguese crewman was set up, and yes he should have known better. But such goings on is nothing new. Some crew did not only have a girl in every port, they did not do badly on board either despite being told we should not have woman in my cabin?!. And oh yes, I knew it was going on if only by the medical conditions crew were coming to us with [=P]

I brought my ex wife back with me from Australia on Canberra. She was in my cabin every day.

David

shamrock
9th July 2009, 21:12
I guess I am disturbed that the Princess crewman is about to be railroaded due to his own lack of judgement and cos he is a foreign national in a country that is currently trying way too hard to cover up or at least make their cruise ship security/safety whatever look squeaky clean. I am almost certain he was set up by a female guest who had too much to drink and allowed things to go too far and then regretted it the next morning....he didn't stay in her cabin, she wasn't in his cabin, they had a bottle of wine in the main dining room after the last sitting had finished...all the lights were on cos it was being cleaned at the time....

He was stupid to have accepted her invite but if she was coming onto him, well...he is only human afterall and she is as much to blame as he is.

Ross and I have had long conversations about cases like this by email for months...he says/she says...but a foreigner in the 'victim's' home country doesn't stand a snowball in a furnace's chance, cos they will get a public defender who wouldn't know what life on a cruise ship is like if it got up and bit him on the stern.