Crimes on the high seas are extremely common, but unfortunately, only a fraction of incidents are reported. While some are undocumented, others are covered up by the cruise lines themselves for fear of having to accept responsibility for the incidents and the costs associated with them. Cruise ship operators are responsible for keeping passengers and crewmembers safe from harm, including keeping free of crime and making sure the vessels are as safe as possible to avoid cruise ship accidents. However, crimes and accidents continue to happen regularly.
Recently, three men from New York City were arrested and jailed for a crime onboard a cruise to the U.S. Virgin Islands that involved stiffing the cruise line nearly $60,000. The suspects, Sam Gross, Joseph Herskovitz and Jacob Eisenberger pleaded guilty in June to racking up thousands of dollars onboard a Carnival Cruise Line vessel using courtesy charge cards and then abandoned the ship without paying. They were later arrested by the FBI and briefly jailed. After sentencing, the suspects were ordered to pay restitution ranging from $1,860 to $32,283. Their jail terms range from 15 days to three months. Another man was also charged in the cruise fraud scam and is scheduled to be sentenced in December.
While this crime did not directly harm the physical well-being of other passengers, many cruise ship crimes involve aggressive behavior or even violence. Passengers themselves are often the victims of theft, along with aggravated assault, manslaughter, and the number one cruise crime, sexual assault. When a crime onboard a cruise line occurs, it is imperative that victims report the incidents immediately to cruise personnel. However, this doesn’t always guarantee that something will be done about the situation. Many crimes do not get taken care of by the cruise authorities, who often fail to notify the FBI or Coast Guard within a reasonable amount of time. If the incident isn’t reported immediately, it will rarely be taken care of. Waiting too much time to investigate a crime on the high seas can not only lead evidence to be corrupted, but assailants will have plenty of time to make a getaway.
Aside from crimes on the high seas, many passengers are also victims of cruise ship accidents. These incidents often result from negligence or wrongdoing by the vessel’s operators and crewmembers, including incidents that involve slip and falls, assault, sexual harassment, injuries from failing to navigate the ship along safe routes, and several others. When a cruise line does not provide a safe environment for those onboard, they may be held liable for accidents and injuries that ensue. Luckily, victims and their loved ones can seek immediate help with our firm. Our cruise ship injury lawyers have been representing cruise accident victims since 1971 and fight to protect your rights.
Not only do we handle cruise ship injury cases ashore, but with our new, innovative “Cruise Ship Lawyer” app for iPhone and Android Smart phones, passengers can now fully document incidents as soon as they occur onboard so no evidence is ever lost and no detail ever goes unrecorded. Our attorneys care about your needs and will help you obtain justice for your pain and suffering. Call Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. today to discuss your options and get started on your case.