One of the main concerns you might have when taking a cruise is knowing how safe or unsafe your experience may be. Security is always a top priority, whether you’re traveling alone, with family, or with friends. However, when it comes to cruises, it has not always been so easy to figure out what kind of risks are at play.
As passengers, trusting your life to a cruise line, you deserve to have all of the necessary information before you embark on your journey. After all, it’s much better to be informed than to be in the dark. And it seems that U.S. Department of Transportation finally agrees.
Just this year, reports of on-board crimes compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation were made available to the public.
The reports offer reliable crime statistics that are designed to raise public awareness regarding what really goes on at sea. In the past, individual cruise lines would voluntarily report crimes on their own. Then, in 2010, with Congress passing the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act, this reporting became mandatory. Our firm was thrilled with this federal law.
Cruise Crime Stats May Raise Eyebrows
In the first half of 2016, sexual assault on cruise ships jumped 550%. The number of cruise ship crime reports also rose 408% this year.
Sexual assault is the most highly reported crime aboard cruise ships, and this information is useful for individuals and families planning to take a cruise in the future. Just because the threat exists does not mean that it will happen. So, as always, we advise passengers to be safe, but to not be afraid of having a good time.
These statistics should be a tool to increase awareness of cruising passengers of the real risks that they face at sea. This does not mean that you should not cruise, but it does mean you should be aware of the threat and act accordingly.
Kendall Carver, founder and chairman of the International Cruise Victims Association believes that making this information available to the public is a great step forward. He explains, “If you go back three years ago, when we raised the question with the FBI: ‘What are you going to do if someone is raped on the high seas?’ The answer was, ‘Nothing’…Now they are doing something.”
And for all cruise passengers, that is certainly much better news.
Good news is also making its way through legislation, where Rep. Doris Matsui introduced cruise ship safety provisions in Congress as part of the Cruise Passenger Protection Act.
The moral of the story? Cruise lines are now more transparent about the crimes taking place on them, which means that you can feel safer than ever about boarding a cruise by having this knowledge. And, with the potential new legislation making its way through congress, the future of cruise ship safety looks very bright.
A Cruise Ship Rape Lawyer Can Help
However, even with increased security and firmer laws, accidents have the potential to happen. Our attorneys have experience with a wide range of maritime legal issues and understand how to navigate complex cases.
So if you have experienced cruise ship rape, sexual assault, or other personal injury, know that we are here to help. When you contact us, we will set up an initial consultation to help you take the next step forward.