When you depart on a cruise vacation, there is a high chance that you are looking forward to a few days of relaxation and unwinding, free from the hassles of everyday life. After all, that is why most people set out on a cruise, as these kinds of trips allow individuals to travel relatively stress-free. Instead of dealing with the challenges of planning an itinerary, scheduling your own transportation and keeping yourself on schedule, a cruise company does all of that for you. Moreover, as an added bonus, you get to enjoy the best of the land and the sea.
All of this sounds idyllic and most of the time, it is. However, as a maritime law firm, we believe cruise passengers should know that a cruise is not always the paradise you may be expecting. After all, there is still the chance of accident and injury on the water. Delayed or changed Itineraries and other unexpected events can emerge. A recent story out of Vancouver reminds us of this.
On Wednesday May 10th, three crewmembers aboard the Princess Cruise, Island Princess, were taken into police custody during a search of the cruise ship. The Canada Border Services Agency and Vancouver Police Department’s Canine Unit discovered an undisclosed quantity of drugs in the crewmembers’ possession.
A communication officer in the Canada Border Services Agency explained that, “The CBSA routinely conducts vessel searches – it is a regular part of officer duties.” Therefore, the search of the ship was not out of the ordinary. The discovery of narcotics, however, was.
Ultimately, Princess confirmed that although the event delayed the ship’s departure by several hours, the delay would not disrupt the rest of the ship’s scheduled itinerary. Princess further suggested that, due to their zero tolerance policy for drugs, the crewmembers in question would lose their jobs.
Our Advice: Obey the Law
In the wake of this event, we remind all our readers of the importance of following all rules and regulations while aboard a cruise ship and while traveling in general. This is not the first incident involving individuals smuggling drugs onto a cruise. While no passengers were involved in this particular event, it has happened in the past and may happen again in the future.
Cruise lines and law enforcement agencies have become extremely adept at finding narcotics in and around vessels, so choosing to smuggle drugs is a weighty risk.
Our team has handled a variety of cases involving cruise ship passengers, so we know what is at stake when your situation becomes a legal matter. That is why we always advise cruise passengers and crewmembers to abide by the law, regardless of how tempting other alternatives may be.
Despite your best efforts to stay out of harm’s way, it may still occur. If it does, you can rest assured that we are here to help. A maritime lawyer on our team is prepared to listen to your story and help you get back to living your life. So if you are ready to take the next step, do not hesitate to contact us.