U.S. CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS
MARCH 7, 2006
International Cruise Victims Association, Inc.
*** INCREASING SECURITY & PASSENGER SAFETY ***
BACKGROUND CHECKS (Crewmembers/Officers)
a) Tighter security checks and screening of all employees
b) Although the cost of vacation cruises may increase, reliable personnel should
be stationed on all decks and all the time.
a) Such authority should not be affiliated with the cruise line or its’ crew.
b) U.S. Marshals to be present on cruise ships.
c) When a crime is not reported to the appropriate authorities by the cruise lines, and in a timely manner, substantial fines should be imposed.
e) Require protocol for filing any form of incident and to be immediately processed through specific channels.
SECURITY – Crime Scenes
and check-off lists in place for the following:
Roping off/securing the crime scene
Securing surveillance videos
Taking pictures of the crime scene
Avoiding physical handling of evidence
Properly bagging and securing such evidence
Immediately interviewing and obtaining names of witnesses
Documenting statements and details from witnesses
Recording time frames for each step of the investigation
Requiring a sign-off for each step
Distributing photos of missing passengers (Recent photos, not video)
Inspecting all cabins and all compartments throughout the ship
Contacting authorities immediately (Coast Guard, FBI, etc.)
Higher glass walls
Other design changes
Upgrade existing surveillance systems and increase the number of cameras:
Strategically place cameras in all areas, where passengers may frequent, i.e.
decks, outside railings, non-glass elevators, etc.
Monitor system and cameras 24/7
Ensure and install proper lighting for image quality
Require daily inspections and monitoring to ensure proper functionality
a) Designed to include microchips
b) Worn by passengers throughout the entire cruise (onshore & offshore)
c) Bear the name of the ship and identifying each passenger; thus, if an individual is missing, falls overboard, etc., their location will be detected (similar to those on house arrest, microchips for our dogs, our children, and our vehicles).
q MISSING or OVERBOARD PASSENGER(S)
a) Rail alarms to go off if an individual should go overboard.
b) Station 24/7 lifeguards on each side of the ship’s decks.
c) Require a full accounting of the # passengers who board vs. exit
NOTE: The airlines do not permit someone to be missing from their seat on an
aircraft without accountability, and flights are only for hours, not days.
a) Doctors, who have a license to practice medicine, must be available 24/7.
b) No requests should be refused or taken lightly.
c) Written documentation to be provided, signed, and issued to the patient.
q EXCURSIONS – SOLD & PROMOTED
a) Since the cruise lines select and promote various excursions, they should be held accountable for the safety of their passengers, who purchase such excursions through them.
b) Weather conditions should be verified, prior to allowing passengers to purchase excursions, such as sightseeing tours, scuba diving adventures, water-skiing etc.
q CRUISE LINES’ ACCOUNTABILITY & U.S. CONGRESS INTERVENTION
Maritime Law was intended to protect countries and jurisdictions during wartime and boundaries of these countries. It was NEVER the intent for individual cruise line companies to hide under this Law and not be held accountable.
a) Agree to move forward with Congress to make changes for the safety of all passengers, as the cruise line industry continues to become the number one vacation preference for many thousands of people.
b) Create consequences that are stricter for those who engage in foul play and for those who dismiss it, including these cruise ship companies, which are just shrugging their shoulders at the expense of so many families.