Post Info TOPIC: ICV Press Release - April 20, 2011

News Editor

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Date: 04:37 PM Apr 20, 2011
ICV Press Release - April 20, 2011


April XX, 2011(916) 319-2057


Asm. Roger Hernández Authors Legislation to Protect Cruise Ship Victims


(Los Angeles, CA) Assemblymember Roger Hernández (D West Covina) has introduced legislation that would ensure the rights of cruise ship patrons when a crime is committed against them while they are at sea.  Assembly Bill 1060 would allow California law to apply to crimes committed at sea, and would require every cruise line to provide notification to passenger victims that they can pursue additional avenues of recourse when reporting a crime.  


Cruises are intended to be a vacation at sea, and when crimes are committed on cruise ships, victims are basically held captive with their perpetrator until the ship docks, said Assemblymember Hernández.  AB 1060 provides relief for cruise ship victims who may otherwise not be able to find justice today.


There are approximately 200 overnight, ocean-going cruise ships worldwide, which carries 2,000 passengers with a crew of 950.  Most crimes that occur on cruise ships are sexual in nature.  In 2006, cruise industry executives testified that 178 passengers on North American cruises reported being sexually assaulted between 2003 and 2005 during their stay on a cruise ship.  During the same period, 24 people were reported missing and 4 others reported being robbed.  Under United States federal law, cruise lines are not legally required to report crimes to the government officials unless they occur within the 12-mile territorial waters of the United States.


Merrian Carver disappeared from a cruise ship vacation in 2004, and to this day, her disappearance is unexplained.  Her father, Kendall Carver, and others founded the International Cruise Victims Association (ICV), and, with its mission to improve cruise ship safety, has been able to pass legislation at the federal level that improved the safety and security measures aboard cruise ships.


ICV commends the leadership of Assemblymember Roger Hernández with the introduction of historic legislation to further protect the passengers arriving in California ports that have been a victim of a crime on a cruise ship, said Mr. Carver.  This important legislation will provide even greater protection and options for passengers to make sure that justice takes place when they are a victim of a crime on a cruise ship.  


Cruise ships are foreign registered, falling under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and are not subject to the same laws by which land-based corporations or U.S. flag vessels must comply.  In addition, the FBI does not maintain current data of the total number of alleged crimes reported by cruise lines.  As a result of non-comprehensive record keeping and ambiguous enforcement laws, many violent crimes that occur at sea result in little consequence to the offender.  From 2008 to 2009, of the 72 reported crimes at sea, only 5 convictions were made.  


Assemblymember Hernández proudly serves the cities of Azusa, Baldwin Park, City of Industry, Covina, Irwindale, La Puente, West Covina and the unincorporated communities of: Avocado Heights, Bassett, Charter Oak, Citrus, East Arcadia, Hacienda Heights, North Wittier, Ramona, Valinda and Vincent.



-- Edited by News Editor on Wednesday 20th of April 2011 04:47:43 PM

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