The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act signed into United States law in July 2010 seems to be firmly in place, not that it can totally prevent crimes or personal injury.
As the Act requires, Royal Caribbean recently reported an alleged rape aboard one of its ships to the FBI and BSO, and allowed both to investigate the ship and port. The ship’s ‘guest care team’ also offered the alleged victim assistance including medical care and counseling, according to a statement from the cruise line’s manager of Global Corporate Communications, as reported in the Sun Sentinel.
The Sentinel article says that a 15-year-old girl from Iowa said she was lured from a teen dance club on board to a private room, where a 15-year-old boy said there would be a party. Instead, she said, there was only another man there, and the two of them raped her.
Both males live in Brazil, are being held in Broward, and appeared in court last Wednesday. The elder, a 20-year-old, was accused of one count of committing a lewd and lascivious act, ordered not leave the tri-county area and denied access to his or a replacement passport. The younger was charged with lewd and lascivious battery and held at the Broward Juvenile Assessment Center.
The International Cruise Victims Association (ICV) represents victims of crime on cruise ships, their families and friends, and individuals concerned about the problems of victimization and disappearances on cruise ships. The organization advocates for legislative reform to protect passengers from crimes and increase the rights of victims of crimes that do occur on cruise ships, and provides support to victims of crimes occurring on cruise ships.
The National Association for Victims of Crimes and the Rape, Assault, and Incest National Network (RAINN) have joined ICV in the effort to promote reform to the Cruise Line Industry.
The National Crime Victim Bar Association is a network of attorneys and allied professionals dedicated to facilitating civil actions brought by crime victims. Crime victims may be able to file civil lawsuits against perpetrators and responsible third parties for the damages the victims suffered as a result of the crime. Personal injury attorney John Elliott Leighton serves on the Advisory Board of the National Crime Victim Bar Association.