A Brief Look At The Cruise Vessel Security And Safety Act Of 2010

In 2010, President Obama signed into law the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 (the Act), which is geared toward making cruise vessels safer and more secure for passengers who set sail to and from the United States. All of the cruise ship lawyers at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. are well aware of the fact that crime onboard cruise ships and other vessels is more common than most people realize. However, under the Act, cruise lines are required to utilize basic security, safety and reporting procedures that are similar to those that tourists generally expect from the hotel industry. Our firm is prepared to help passengers and their families understand the Act and how its provisions might apply to them, should they experience an incident while onboard a cruise vessel.

Things You Should Know About the Act

The subject of cruise ship safety and security was actually moved to the forefront of lawmakers’ minds back in 2005 and 2006. In fact, the International Cruise Victims Association (ICV) pushed for congressional hearings on the matter. Then in 2007, a Los Angeles Times story came out that revealed that there had been 250 sexual assaults on Royal Caribbean Cruises within a 32-month period of time. More congressional hearings were held, during which time cruise line representatives attempted to reassure Congress that the vessels were safe and that legislation was unnecessary. Ultimately, the legislation moved forward for a few years until it reached the Senate, which is where it was put on hold by several senators in 2009. It took almost a year for the senate to resolve their objections, but in the end, the law was signed.

The Act provides for certain general safety regulations to be followed, such as equipping staterooms and crew cabins with doors that have peepholes or other ways to determine one’s identification without having to open the door. Additionally, any railings placed along the vessel must be located no less than 42 inches above the cabin deck; however, this might or might not keep an individual from falling overboard. Cruise lines are also required under the Act to provide passengers with information that details specifics regarding security and medical personnel onboard the ship. Moreover, vessel owners are required to keep logbooks of all crime complaints that occur on any trip that embarks or disembarks passengers in the U.S.

Working with a skilled cruise ship lawyer from Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. is important when dealing with cases that may involve violations of the Act because even if a cruise line complies with the Act, that does not mean the cruise line has acted reasonably or safely to deter cruise ship assaults or other crimes that take place onboard cruises.

What an Attorney Can Do for You

It should come as no surprise that cruise line owners who are involved in personal injury cases often pick and choose when to report incidents that take place onboard their ships. But the Act requires cruise lines to report certain crimes to the Department of Transportation. Nevertheless, crimes are severely under-reported by cruise lines, but crime victims should know that they do not have to handle their cases on their own

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a cruise ship accident and you have questions about what role the Act might play in your particular case, contact a cruise ship lawyer at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. right away to get the help you deserve.