Many look forward to the chance when they can get away with a dream cruise. Fortunately there are many choices with carriers and one can travel at any time of the year. Unfortunately, with the increase in the cruise business comes an increase in issues that can create liability for the negligent cruise companies. Add to these issues the legal conundrums created when in international waters and you can understand how many lawyers around the world are kept busy with these problems.
Because cruises travel on international waters, they are governed by the maritime laws of each country. There is also an International Maritime Organization (IMO), an agency of the United Nations, which standardizes any industry that uses international waters, such as shipping and the travel cruise industry. The goal is to encourage safety standards for these industries. Additionally, the Cruise Lines International Association targets the industry specifically to promote safety and to cooperate with government entities for those who have been injured by the cruise industry. The new standards make it easier to report a crime that happens and to provide aid to victims. These new standards mirror the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of the United States. This Act protected Americans while traveling for leisure on waters. A popular measure was the requirement that all ships sailing to or from ports in the US to report any crimes or suspicious activity to the FBI. Surveillance systems are required onboard ships to protect passengers and cruise employees alike. Additionally it is mandated that medical staff trained in a variety of common medical disciplines to be aboard and to be able to treat victims of sexual assault, the most common crime reported. Finally, cruise employees are trained on how to handle and preserve criminal evidence.
One issue especially for foreign travel companies coming to serve US customers is that they are still hesitant to share information with American authorities because their governments are reluctant to trust us. Thus, many crimes either go unreported or it takes a long time for victims or their loved ones to obtain justice.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not rely on the above information as all cases are different and different laws apply to different cases. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured on a cruise ship call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.1800askalawyer.com.