Post Info TOPIC: ICV Press Release - July 27, 2010

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Date: 03:13 PM Jul 27, 2010
ICV Press Release - July 27, 2010


CONTACT:  Jodi Seth/Whitney Smith, (202) 224-4159

President Signs Kerry Cruise Ships Safety Bill Into Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, President Obama signed Senator John Kerry
(D-Mass.)'s Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act, which will increase
security, law enforcement, and accountability on cruise ships in
international waters.  The Senate unanimously passed this legislation
earlier this month.  Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) sponsored the companion
legislation in the House of Representatives.

"We have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the millions of Americans
who will board cruise ships this year," said Sen. Kerry.  "This law will
finally do away with the murky lines of jurisdiction that have put American
cruise ship passengers at risk in the past.  I applaud President Obama, Rep.
Matsui and my colleagues for helping to ensure that security, safety, and
accountability be strengthened to hold criminals accountable and end the
cycle of serious crimes on these vessels."

"Today marks the beginning of a new accountability for any crimes that are
committed against passengers on cruise ships," said Kendall Carver, Chairman
of International Cruise Victims (ICV), whose daughter Merrian Carver, a
constituent of Senator Kerry's, disappeared on a cruise ship. "This came
about because a small group of victims joined together four and one-half
years ago to form ICV.  From just a few families, ICV now has membership in
over 20 countries.  The lesson learned from this is that no one should ever
underestimate the power of organized victims, who all are volunteers, to
make changes.  The passage of this legislation would not have happened
without the dedicated support of Sen. Kerry and Rep Matsui, who joined our
efforts to pass this historic legislation.  This legislation will protect
millions of passengers in the coming years and we are deeply indebted to all
of those who helped make this happen."

"The Cruise Lines International Association is pleased that the Cruise
Vessel Security and Safety Act is now law," said Cruise Lines International
Association President and CEO Terry Dale.  "We appreciated the opportunity
to work with Senator Kerry and Congress to ensure that the new law would
bring greater consistency and clarity of security laws and regulations for
our industry."

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act will:

*   improve ship safety by requiring forty-two inch guard rails, peep
holes in every passenger and crew member's door, on-deck video surveillance,
and an emergency sound system;

*   provide transparency in reporting by establishing a structure
between the cruise industry, the FBI, and the Coast Guard, including
requirements that each ship maintain a log book, which would record all
deaths, missing individuals, alleged crimes, and passenger/crewmember
complaints regarding theft, sexual harassment, and assault;

*   improve crime scene response by requiring rape kits, anti-retroviral
medications, and a trained forensic sexual assault specialist be aboard each
ship; and

*   establish a program designed by the Secretary of Transportation in
consultation with the FBI to train appropriate crew members in crime
prevention, detection, evidence preservation, and reporting of criminal
activities in the international maritime environment. 

# # #


Whitney Smith

Press Secretary

Senator John Kerry

(202) 224-4159

News Editor
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