Now that the cruising season is in hot demand, millions of travelers are very eager to embark on their one of a kind vacations. However, little do many of these people know that they could very easily fall victim to sexual crimes at sea.
The FBI says that sexual assaults are the leading crimes that are committed on cruise ships in the past few years. Just in March, a 42-year-old female on a Coral Princess says that a Portuguese crew member had sexually assaulted her during the cruise. The woman says that she had met the 38-year-old crew member for drinks in a dining room on the boat. However, the nice encounter quickly turned into something terrifying as the crew member blocked the doors and forced her into performing oral sex on him.
A Miami, Florida lawyer, Charles Lipcon, said that travelers on these ships think that they are in a special cocoon that nothing bad can happen to them. Thus, they leave themselves wide open to attacks. On these ships, many women are walking around in swim suits and fancy dresses, and they do not know what other passengers or crew members may be thinking about. Charles has represented over one hundred cruise assaults in the last decade.
Many of these cruise line crimes have made headline news over the past few years. One such story was of the Connecticut newlywed who had went missing in 2005 during her honeymoon cruise on board a Royal Caribbean cruise.
Although cruise companies will not report any kind of crimes like these to the public, they are required to report all crimes to the FBI. Between 2002 and 2007, the FBI had over 184 cases opened on crimes that happened on cruise ships. However, the cruise lines point out that these numbers are small when compared to how many passengers sailed during that time span.