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Safe Cruise

Project Safe Cruise Press Release: See www.projectsafecruise.blogspot.com & details below. Leave a message if you have experienced incidents involving poor security & safety practices of cruise lines. Hearings are scheduled; we will provide them to Congress. We must act to insure passenger safety. The current lack of safety & security is not acceptable especially after 9/11. On 5/12/05, we were on the Carnival Destiny near Aruba when an elderly couple disappeared without a trace.

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Location: Michigan, United States

Government could save $50 billion per year by having two shifts of white collar employees work each day. Office space costs $50,000/year for each employee yet we only use space 30% of time. We can no longer afford to have banker's hours for all. With over 2 million federal employees this cost-free paradigm change could avoid lay offs/furloughs and reduce pollution. See new plan at http://whitecollargreenspace.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 30, 2006

Royal Caribbean Tries to Divide & Conquer Families of Victims by Settling Only With George Smith's Widow and Not Entire Family

Royal Caribbean and wife of George Smith reach settlement
BY AMY MARTINEZ June 30, 2006 aemartinez@MiamiHerald.com

Royal Caribbean (RCCL) seeks to divide and conquer critics and families of victims by not settling with George Smith's entire family. If they really cared about the families of victims and future passengers, they would settle with all of his family and one time and "they" would offer a reward for information that would help solve George Smith's death. They do not seem to care if it is solved. Mr. Fain from RCCL said on Fox News last night that he is not sure when the last time RCCL and the FBI communicated about the case.

Cruise lines have little or no legal obligation to settle because they are not regulated. RCCL is incorporated in Liberia and for many years they flagged their ships in Liberia. A country with a dysfunctional legal court system and no regulations or laws to protect cruise line employees, customers, or stockholders. The Cruise lines have poured millions of dollars into lobbying efforts, at times using lobbyist closely connected to Jack Abramoff and we know what kind of tactics he used. That along with many thousands of dollars of campaign contributions have kept congress from passing any meaningful regulations.

Remember, they are giant gambling operations. Kind of like a floating crap game. And I have never known anyone who ran a crap game to be concerned with those gambling. Its used to be the only thing you could lose is your life, but with over 50 individuals missing or gone overboard, fires, and viruses since the year 2000, you could lose your life or health. Imagine if Disney World had 50 disappearances and/or deaths in the last 6 years. The only significant actions taken by the cruise lines in the last year was to spend more money on public relations efforts and issue new sets of talking points to their employees answering the phone when the subject of safety and security come up. They do like to suck as much money from their customers as they can. They also suck as much blood, sweat, and tears from their employees as possible by offering low wages and few benefits.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Family Of Missing Honeymooner Sues Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Local6.com - Orlando,FL,USA June 29, 2006

The family of a Connecticut man who disappeared from his honeymoon cruise a year ago sued the ship's operator Thursday, accusing the Miami-based company of trying to cover up the incident. George Allen Smith IV, 26, of Greenwich, vanished July 5 from a Royal Caribbean ship in the Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey after an apparent late night of drinking. The FBI has been investigating, but no one has been charged and no body has been recovered. "The cruise line deliberately and intentionally portrayed the incident as an accident, and hampered a full-blown, appropriate investigation into the facts and circumstances of George A. Smith's death," the lawsuit states.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bill Introduced by Congressman Shays Requires Cruise Lines to Report All Crimes in a Timely Manner

It is imperative that any reporting system also include mandatory reporting of all incidents where cruise line employees or contractors are victims of crimes, accidents, or threats. Passengers are only as safe as those who serve them.

floridatoday.com June 28, 2006
Bill gets tough on cruise crime
Legislation requires reports of missing passengers


U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and the International Cruise Victims are the forces behind the proposal, which they are calling the Cruise Line Accurate Safety Statistics Act.

"We still have a long way to go, but this is a first positive step to make the cruise ships safe for all concerned," said Son Michael Pham of Seattle. His parents disappeared without a trace off the Carnival Destiny on May 12, 2005, and he said the circumstances regarding their disappearance are still unknown.
"For many of us who are involved, it is not easy to keep telling the stories over and over, but we are committed, and we feel the obligation," Pham said. "If we don't tell the story, we can't help the next people who step on the cruise ship."

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Taking a Cruise Might be about as Safe as Partying with the Duke University LaCrosse Team

dailytelegraph.news.com.au Cruise chief breaks silence, July 04, 2006
Mr Dobjeckie yesterday told The Daily Telegraph that – even three years after Mrs Brimble died – the Pacific Sky was a "drunken shemozzle" after dark.
"You had bar tenders depending on everyone at the Legends Bar and the Starlight Disco getting blind drunk so they could claim commissions," Mr Dobjeckie (pictured) said.
"They would call last drinks at 5am and you would have four blokes buying 20 tequilas between them," he said.
The former security specialist, who left the cruise ship in March after an altercation with a colleague, also said drugs and drink spiking were a regular occurrence.

dailytelegraph.news.com June 15, 2006
ONE of the men implicated in the death of Dianne Brimble on the cruise ship Pacific Sky offered to pay a 15-year-old female passenger to dance for him in his cabin, a court heard yesterday.

The Sidney Morning Herald - June 24, 2006
WITHIN two hours of the humiliating death of Dianne Brimble, 42-year-old mother of three, officers of the cruise liner Pacific Sky made two crucial decisions. One requested a police investigation, the second crippled it before it began, despite the objections of the ship's security chief.
Two former Pacific Sky security officers told the Herald of violent incidents. In those, they believed the officers' decisions were influenced by a culture that seeks to protect passengers' expectations of sun-drenched luxury, a pleasure cruise on the Pacific beyond the cares and dangers of everyday existence.
"They're [the passengers] paying for a good time, we're not supposed to spoil the image," the other security officer said. "In February, we had a situation of violent assault, a woman and her husband fighting in their cabin. She was choked, he was badly slashed by a broken bottle, there was blood everywhere. They both needed medical attention.
"We were told to clean the cabin. My partner, who had more than 20 years' experience as a policeman, protested it was a crime scene. We were told: 'You're not paid to think. You're paid to obey orders.' The cabin was cleaned, they were allowed to re-occupy it, nothing was done."
He gave two other instances in which the ship's commanders had rejected recommendations by the security staff that passengers who had assaulted security officers be disembarked at the next port.
So what, if anything, went missing when D182 was evacuated? One female passenger told the inquest that Mr Silvestri, who had oral sex with Mrs Brimble, told her he had brought cocaine and ecstasy on board. "They were obviously drug dealers," she said.
Mr Kuchel, another occupant of D182 allegedly offered a liquid he said was fantasy to four women. They gave evidence they refused, Mr Kuchel drank the liquid and passed out. Mr Wilhelm was photographed naked in the corridor, wearing only a lifejacket.
But neither former security guards found this surprising. "It's not just men who wander naked - it's women, too," one said. "The problem is too much alcohol. If the nightclub is jumping, they'll keep the bar open to 5am.
"By then, they're making love all over the place, not actually in front of people, but in public places … What can we do? Ask them politely to get dressed and do it in their cabins, not on the deck."

Maritime attorney Charles Lipcon Warns:

The use of alcohol on cruise ships can get out of hand. There are no authorities to enforce rules about under age drinking. The bartenders and waiters work mostly for tips so they want you to buy as many drinks as possible. Many sexual assaults and other crimes are alcohol involved. It is a good idea to make sure that you and your children know proper drinking guidelines including no drinking for minors.

Recently ABC News reported on a 15 year old that was served 9 drinks in 90 minutes on a cruise ship operated by Costa Cruise Lines. The minor then fell overboard and the ship delayed in searching for her.

Charles Lipcon of Lipcon, Margulies and Alsina, P.A. was recently featured on CBS's The Morning Show and Inside Edition shows covering drinking on cruise ships

Despite such warnings and the fact that hundreds of assaults, rapes, accidents, and deaths have occured on cuise ships, the industry contiues to encourage an environment that contributes to such tragedies:

Regent Seven Seas Cruise Lines based in Ft. Lauderdale, was formed in 1992 as a result of the merger between two one-ship lines -- Radisson Cruises and Seven Seas Cruises. Mark Conroy, president of Regent, recently made this announcement:

"As part of our re-branding to Regent in March, we're instituting an inclusive liquor policy across the fleet for all 2007 cruises," "Our World Cruises already have this inclusive liquor policy, and our guests have told us how much they like it. In fact, we've noticed how the policy has contributed to the air of conviviality aboard, with more people getting out of their suites socializing. It's this open, intimate spirit of camaraderie we wish to foster on all Regent voyages."

P&O Cruises has been forced to apologise for an advertising campaign that featured bikini-clad women with the catchphrase "Seamen wanted", which ran the year following Dianne Brimble's death.
Mrs Brimble was on board the P&O-owned Pacific Sky in September 2002 when she died from toxic levels of gammahydroxybutyrate, otherwise known as the party drug 'G'. It is also known as a drug used in date rapes.
The Sidney Morning Herald - June 14, 2006

Cruise Ships: The Perfect Place To Commit A Crime? internationalcruisevictims.org

Was a passenger on Carnival Cruise Lines Celebration the victim of a spiked drink?
Tim Sears offers a rare but still mysterious look at what can happen when a passenger goes overboard. While taking a five-day cruise on the Carnival Celebration on April 13, 2003, the 33-year-old Michigan man went overboard at night in pitch-black sea as the ship was heading to Cozumel, Mexico. He swam for 17 hours before being saved by a cargo ship. He was exhausted, badly sunburned and sick from consuming salt water during the ordeal.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Cruise Lines Adding Cell Phone Service, A Step Forward for Safety and Security

FLORIDA TODAY - June 23, 2006

Miami-based Carnival, the world's largest cruise line, announced a deal Thursday to introduce this technology fleetwide by early next year. The cellular phone service requires no additional software or special dialing procedures. Cruise passengers make and receive calls, as well as transmit text messages and photos, as they would on land. In the past, cruisers generally have had to use e-mail and relatively expensive ship-to-shore communication to keep in contact. "The idea behind this is people use their cell phones, they've come to rely on them, and we like to provide the same convenience for our passengers that they have at home," Carnival Cruise Lines spokesman Vance Gulliksen said.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Abramoff tried to fraudulently purchase casino cruise ship company & his PAL is TIED TO MOB MURDER

ABRAMOFF tried to fraudulently purchase casino cruise ship company & his PAL is TIED TO MOB MURDER

Friday, June 09, 2006

Ferry Report Blames Owners, Corruption

Egypt Today - Cairo,Egypt June 2006

“The responsibility of the ship’s owner and his sons has been determined in this crime because the ferry was operating with major deficiencies that should have prevented it from sailing,” the report says, adding that negligence went further because Al-Salam company did not dispatch two other nearby vessels it owned that could have arrived at the site of the sinking within two hours to help rescue operations.

W ith unprecedented bluntness Parliamentary report released last month blamed a “wicked collaboration” between the ship’s owners and corrupt safety inspectors for the sinking of the ferry Al-Salam Boccaccio 98, which claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people

The Parliamentary Committee investigating the February 3 sinking, the worst maritime disaster in Egyptian history, also faulted maritime rescue officials for failing to promptly launch the rescue operation, which began 10 hours after the ship sank, although it noted that the ferry’s owners, Al-Salam Maritime Transportation, had concealed the sinking for several hours before calling authorities.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Investigation launched as Norwegian Crown hits reef

Royal Gazette, Bermuda 6/8/06:
An investigation has begun to find out why a 34,000 ton cruise ship ran aground on a reef between Spanish Point and Dockyard temporarily stranding more than 1,600 passengers and crew.It is thought the reef struck by the Norwegian Crown early yesterday morning has most likely been ruined.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A luxury cruise ship hit by a virus which led to "a holiday from hell" for many Britons is setting sail again after having been disinfected

BBC News 6/3/2006:

The Sea Princess docked in Southampton a day early on Friday, missing out the intended destination of Lisbon, after 200 passengers caught a vomiting bug. Many of them were disappointed after having been stuck in their cabins for much of the seven-day European tour. A spokeswoman for Princess Cruises parent company Carnival UK said passengers had been told to stay in their cabins to avoid further spread of the illness. The company admitted there had been a smaller outbreak on the last two days of the boat's previous cruise, but it does not believe the two outbreaks are linked.The virus is suspected to be the Norovirus, which is a common cause of stomach bugs and lasts 48 hours.

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