For most people, a cruise is an experience that does not happen every day. Because of this, it is exciting to have the opportunity to get away from the daily grind and just relax. However, for employees on a cruise ship, the time at sea is all just a part of the hustle and bustle of daily life. While passengers have the chance to sit back and relax, crewmembers must be prepared to handle whatever is thrown their way.
As with any job, it is likely that there are moments aboard a cruise that can be more stressful than others. However, at the end of the day, it is unlikely that the situation ever gets so unbearable that an employee would feel the need to desert the ship. Cruise desertion almost sounds like a bad joke. And yet, as a recent story explains, cruise ship desertion is a very real crime, punishable by law.
Three Former Crewmembers Found
Last week, three former crewmembers were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) of Field Operations officers in Arkansas. The cruise ship employees were Indonesian nationals who had deserted several different international cruises over the last three years, while the ships were docked in U.S. ports.
The CBP originally learned of the desertion earlier this year. According to reports, the ship notified CBP officers in Mobile, Alabama when crewmembers did not return to the ship after it left shore. Once the alert went out, a series of investigations began to uncover what had happened to the missing crewmembers. Law enforcement assisting with the investigation efforts included U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection already removed the crewmembers aboard the ship that had helped the deserters to escape, leaving only the deserters to be found. After an extensive search and thanks to the cooperation of many law enforcement teams, the deserters themselves were successfully located and arrested.
Cruise Crimes: More Common than You Think
Although many people would not expect it, the truth is that crimes aboard and related to cruise ships are far more common than anyone would like. Accident and injury can take place anywhere in the world–even at sea. So guests and employees of all cruise lines should remember to keep safety as their first priority.
As maritime lawyers with a combined 100 years of experience in the industry, we understand the challenges that many individuals face after an accident or injury at sea. That is why we are here to help. We have the breadth and depth of experience in maritime law that you need to bring your case to a successful resolution. Having have helped countless clients navigate their claims against many major cruise lines, and we are prepared to do the same for you.
So before your legal burden gets out of hand, you owe it to yourself to find a team you can trust. At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., you can rest assured that you will always be in good hands. Are you ready to move forward with your life? When you are, do not hesitate to contact us.