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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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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/

Thursday, September 28, 2006

International Cruise Victims.org and Safecruise Ask Americans to Support Congressman Shay's bill HR 5707 to Improve Cruise Ship Security

The International Cruise Victims Association, Inc. (ICV), a not for profit corporation formed by victims and families of victims of cruise crimes, is calling on all Congressional leaders to support cruise line reform in response to reports of another passenger going missing from a Carnival cruise ship earlier this week.

Since the year 2000, according to www.Cruisejunkie.com, a total of 62 indviduals have gone overboard on cruise ships. In addition there have been a significant number of sexual assaults and other crimes.

On June 28, 2006, members of ICV joined Congressman Christopher Shays (R-CT) in Washington, D.C. as he announced the introduction of the Cruise Line Accurate Safety Statistics Act (CLASS Act), which seeks to improve the reporting and handling of cruise ship crimes. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was also an original co-sponsor of the CLASS Act. Nine members of the House of Representatives from numerous states have since signed on as co-sponsors of the CLASS Act.

Among other requirements in the bill, this legislation will require that any missing passenger or crime be reported within four hours to the Department of Homeland Security. Given the disappearance of the latest cruise passenger, and the disappearance of twelve people plus other crimes just since the beginning of this year, ICV urges all Congressional leaders to protect their constituents who choose to vacation or work on cruise ships by contacting Congressman Shays’ office to support the CLASS Act.
We urge all Ameircans to support this new requirement to require cruise lines to report all missing passengers and crimes in a prompt manner by contacting their congressional delegation to ask for their support of this important legislation known as the Class Act (HR 5707).
For more information about the ICV Association, please visit www.internationalcruisevictims.org or write to info@internationalcruisevictims.org, phone 425-753-7711, fax 206-374-2944.

  • Write to your Senators and ask them to support HR 5707

  • Contact your Congressman and ask them to support HR 5707
  • Saturday, September 23, 2006

    Another Cruise Ship Death - Aspiring Actress Dies Under Mysterious Circumstances

    cbsnews.com 48 Hours Mystery Saturday September 23 @ 10 PM EDT
    Ashley Barnett, a 24-year-old aspiring actress, took a romantic weekend cruise with her boyfriend. But 24 hours later, she was dead. Correspondent Bill Lagattuta reports on the case, which is being investigated by the FBI

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Cruise Ship Death Due to Rough Seas - Same Ship That Sank the Andrea Doria 50 Years Ago

    British man dies aboard cruise ship

    Nova Scotia RCMP are investigating the death of a 70-year-old British man aboard a cruise ship that docked recently in Halifax. The man is thought to have fallen down a stairway aboard the MV Athena during rough weather. No foul play is suspected. The 482-passenger Athena was travelling from Falmouth, England, to St. John’s, N.L., but docked in Halifax because of rough weather, including some heavy seas with nine-metre waves.


    Published: September 23, 2006
    Among its oceangoing sisters, the S.S. Stockholm has always been infamous as the ill-fated vessel that struck and sank the Italian liner Andrea Doria in dense fog off Nantucket 50 years ago. The collision — on July 25, 1956 — resulted not only in 51 deaths and the daring rescue of hundreds from the swells of the Atlantic; it also assured a name for the Stockholm as “the death ship” of the high seas.
    Steaming out of Falmouth last week, the 16,000-tonner built in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1948, lived up to its past, encountering weather that the British aboard described by turns as “frightful,” “a spot rough,” “very heavy” and “bloody terrifyingly bad.” “Everybody was buffeted around,” said Katharyn Anderson, a homemaker from Devon traveling with her brother, Brian Thomson. “Plates were flying, cups, glasses, everything. They had to take the glass tables down and lay them on the floor.” Ms. Anderson and other passengers said the 40-foot swells and gale- force winds were in fact so strong that an unfortunate 70-year-old doctor was knocked to the floor on Tuesday night and died. It just happened,” he said with a shrug. “A lot of bad things happen on the sea.”

    Monday, September 11, 2006

    Ohio woman feared lost overboard on Carnival cruise from Mexico to Miami

    www.orlandosentinel.com 9/11/206

    www.contracostatimes.com 09/11/06

    A 37-year-old passenger on a cruise ship was reported missing overboard as the liner cruised from Mexico to the Port of Miami over the weekend, the Coast Guard said on Monday. The woman, who was not immediately identified was last seen aboard the Imagination around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, Lt. Cmdr. Chris O'Neil, Coast Guard spokesman, said. The Coast Guard said the woman is from Minnesota but the FBI, the investigating agency, later said she is from Ohio. The Miami-based cruise line said relatives last saw the passenger Saturday night, but did not report her missing until Monday, when the ship docked. FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said she was not aware of any delay in reporting the disappearance. Coast Guard spokesman Dana Warr said Monday that there were no planes or vessels launched to search for the woman because it had been nearly 36 hours since anyone had last seen her.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the missing woman.

    62 people have now gone overboard and died on cruise ship vacations since the year 2000. This does not even include the number that have died from accidents, disease, fires, assaults, and other crimes on board or during shore excursions. See http://www.cruisebruise.com/ a list of some of the deaths and http://www.cruisejunkie.com/ for list of person's overboard, outbreaks of disease, and other events. I would encourage all victims and their families contact http://www.internationalcruisevictims.org/ for guidance, support, and to prevent future tragedies. And refer to http://www.projectsafecruise.blogspot.com/ for a possible solution that could be implemented quickly. This recent case highlights the need to have independent law enforcement or "Sea Marshals" on each cruise ship.
    We are concerned with the high number of cases that go unsolved either due to the negligence or incompetence of the cruise lines and their employees are due to incomplete investigations by the FBI and/or Coast Guard. This is another case involving a delay in reporting. Many questions still remain in the case of Elizabeth Galeana, the 60th person overboard. See our posting for August 23, 2006: "Cover-Up Alleged in Threatening Emails Sent to Cruise Web Site by Person Claiming to be Member of Galeana Family." The threatening emails have been reported to the Tampa FBI office. Carol Michalik, the FBI spokesperson, has not yet stated whether the investigation into the disappearance or the threatening emails is still open. A person covering the case reported that the family flew back to Detroit rather than to Italy to identify the body and they asked a PR firm to handle the publicity. The Italian officials were disappointed and then had to wait for dental records to be sent over which delayed the case for several weeks. News coverage then dropped off. When the autopsy report was finally released the PR firm and the cruise line were both prepared with news releases stating there was no foul play. The FBI agreed and said they were closing the case with no interrogations planned. Yet, they could not say whether it was an accident or a suicide. It seems like the only way to find what happened would be to interview the crew, family, and possible eyewitnesses. . Cruise ships should be as safe as Disney World. What would happen if Disney World had 62 missing persons, many unsolved, in the last six years. This adds to the increasing number of unsolved missing person cases on cruise ships. The only way to prevent future tragedies and to determine if the cruise lines are liable in any way is to demand that the FBI investigations are thorough and complete. And it is the job of the press to demand it.
    The Detroit News had no coverage of this tragedy except for the AP stories. We are concerned that they are not doing their job. We have contacted Executive Editor Caesar Andrews and asked him to have a reporter investigate the case. The newspapers in Detroit get substantial income from auto dealer ads. In the past the Cruise Lines have also been known to use there advertising coffers to limit news coverage. The papers in Florida had extensive local coverage and at least did some investigative type work. Go to http://www.naplesdailynews.com/ and search for stories on "Galeana." Elizabeth's uncle, Carl Galeana, is president of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA), an organization that represents more than 240 new car and truck dealers in the metro Detroit area. Mr. Galeana is Daimler Chrysler’s dealer representative to the company’s Motor Sports/NASCAR division. He is also a co-chairman of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), held at Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan every January.

    Saturday, September 09, 2006

    How & Why Did Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Help Liberian Dictator, Charles Taylor Brutally Kill over 300,000 Individuals in Africa in the 1990's?

    How and Why Did Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Help and Liberian Dictator, Charles Taylor Brutally Kill over 300,000 Individuals in Africa during the 1990's? Did the fees they paid also allow Taylor to assist terrorist groups like al Qaeda? 1.5 million individuals were made homeless or became refugees.
    Charles Taylor has been described, as the third most wanted war crimes suspect in the world -- after Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic
    In recent years the region, particularly Liberia, has harbored al Qaeda operatives, senior Hezbollah financiers and a plethora of transnational criminal organizations. Hezbollah might not be as strong as it is today if not for Charles Taylor and fees paid by Cruise Lines.
    [ http://www.douglasfarah.com/articles/conflict-diamonds.shtml ]
    Would you do business with or be a customer of a corporation who provided money for a regime who supported terrorist groups like al Qaeda and Hezbollah whose history of horror may be second only to Hitler's. And
    Why it is important to pressure Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) to allow "Sea Marshals." independent law enforcement officers, on each of their cruise ships:
    61 people have now gone overboard and died on cruise ship vacations since the year 2000. This does not even include the number that have died from accidents, disease, fires, assaults, and other crimes on board or during shore excursions. America's worst serial killer, the Green River Killer Gary Ridgeway, had 48 victims. This last week, Robert Charles Browne's claimed 49 killings. rockymountainnews.com July 28, 2006See http://www.cruisebruise.com/ a list of some of the deaths and http://www.cruisejunkie.com/ for list of person's overboard, outbreaks of disease, and other events. I would encourage all victims and their families contact http://www.internationalcruisevictims.org/ for guidance, support, and to prevent future tragedies. And refer to http://www.projectsafecruise.blogspot.com/ for a possible solution that could be implemented quickly.The American Public should demand that Cruise ship deaths be given as much attention as a serial killer case. There are about 200,000 beds on the cruise ships. If there were 6 disappearances in six years, or about 9 per year in the same neighborhood and no changes were made in security, we would quickly fire the police chief and people would no longer go to that neighborhood. In fact, there is a serial killer on cruise ships; it is the total lack of independent law enforcement and regulation. Currently, cruise lines rely on private security guards whose first loyalty is to the cruise company. Law enforcement should treat 60 disappearances like they would a serial killer case. They should cross-check all available data to see if there are any common elements such methods, circumstances, or the same passengers or crew members being present. Any thread of commonality could help solve some of the disappearances and prevent others.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. cruiselinelobbyistrelatedtoabramoff blog That along with many thousands of dollars of campaign contributions has kept congress from passing any meaningful regulations. Cruise ships 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 money, but with over 60 individuals missing or gone overboard, fires, and viruses since the year 2000, you could lose your life or your health. Imagine if Disney World had 61 disappearances and/or deaths in the last 6 years. Would anyone want to go there? 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.
    War, corruption, murder in Liberia fueled by revenues from companies wishing to register their vessels in Liberia & save $ & avoid regulations -
    for details.

    Sunday, September 03, 2006

    Demonstration Project for Enhancing Security and Safety by Using an Independent Law Enforcement Officer or "Sea Marshal" on Each Ship

    PROJECT SAFE CRUISE - A Win/Win Solution to Cruise Disappearances and other Crimes

    Are Cruise Ships Safe? Not Yet, But We're Working on it!
    Here is the Challenge we wish to direct towards the cruise lines,

    Now posted at http://www.projectsafecruise.blogspot.com/ and www.safecruise.blogspot.com

    In memory of all families and individuals that have suffered any type of loss
    while on a CRUISE VACATION, we Challenge
    All cruise line companies,
    The International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL),
    All media organizations,
    Interested members of the public,
    Members of Congressman Shays subcommittee and related government agencies,
    And all related business; including but not limited to travel agents, hotels, airlines, suppliers, tourist groups, gift shops, restaurants, tour companies, and advertising firms

    To participate in, support, and/or sponsor Project Safe Cruise.
    Project Safe Cruise:
    A Demonstration project for enhancing security and safety procedures on cruise ships by having an independent law enforcement officer or "Sea Marshal" on each ship.
    Project Safe Cruise will consist of a one week cruise in 2007 that will showcase the type of security and safety system that could be put in place by cruise lines to insure the safety and security of all passengers and crew and at the same time preserve evidence of crimes and/or accidents. On this Maiden Voyage we hope to offer short entertaining seminars and panel discussions by various security experts and perhaps some celebrities, on missing persons, identity theft, date rape, kidnapping, teenage and young child safety, security, and general health and safety issues while in other countries or at sea, investment scams for seniors, how to buy art work, etc. We must focus on a positive solution that will benefit all parties involved and prevent future tragedies. With the help of former FBI and NYPD law enforcement experts, we ask you to do this as a way of honoring the 61 people who have gone overboard since the year 2000. Most of whom are presumed dead.
    We believe the cruise lines are able and are in fact obligated to invest in a project that could pay dividends to all parties involved in the cruise ship safety and security issue, including the cruise companies and related business, victims and their families, government oversight agencies, and all future passengers and crew. We acknowledge that cruise lines have security and safety procedures in place. However, we also believe that there is an urgent need to enhance them for the following reasons: *The number of people overboard has increased significantly in the last five years. *A common element of each disappearance and in other cruise ship crimes and safety incidents is the lack of good evidence and/or successful investigations. Few if any crimes have been solved or prosecuted. *Overnight cruise ship operators carry close to ten million passengers on over 90 ships that call on hundreds of ports worldwide. *While on a cruise vacation, American citizens have a right to have an independent law enforcement person on each ship so they can immediately report crimes and safety problems.
    It has been suggested that cruise ships are small floating cities. They should have law enforcement available just the same as small cities, and not just private security personnel. The need for enhanced security will grow over time as the number of "first time" passengers increase. They, especially, should be informed about the rights and protections available to them while on the open sea or on foreign soil. There currently are no reliable, in-depth, or up-to-date statistics on the number, type and frequency of cruise crimes and accidents among passengers or crew. These must be devloped so that trends can be monitored and improvements put in place to reduce the number of tragedies.
    There are growing threats in the form of bird flu and other illnesses, terrorist threats, natural disasters, fires, equipment failures, and pirate attacks that underscore the need to have personnel in place that have the expertise, the experience, the training and authority to act, communicate, investigate, and monitor incidents quickly and effectively. Mysteries may be good for books, movies, and television but they offer no comfort or closure to those who have lost loved ones. We offer our support and prayers to all families as they struggle to resolve the tragedies of the past. Although we will never be able to prevent all deaths, crimes, or safety incidents that occur on cruise vacations, we can make a difference. And we can at least put a system in place that offers assurance to each and every American passenger that everything humanly possible was done to protect and/or save his or her friends and family while on a cruise vacation. A brief description of Project Safe Cruise is provided below. Specific dates, details, and additional information will be posted at http://www.projectsafecruise.blogspot.com/ when it becomes available.
    Project Safe Cruise could be a win-win solution for parties on both sides of the cruise ship safety issue. Look at it as an outside the box idea, a partnership if you will. Even though focusing on prevention is less glamorous and less dramatic than solving crimes, it is more efficient and gratifying, especially if we save one life or reduce the suffering for one family. We must work with the cruise lines to set up a cadre of independent contract employees that would act as security ombudsman (Sea Marshals) who would –
    - Know how to deal with a terrorist situations, fires, natural disasters, equipment failures, crime, and health and safety
    Develop and maintain a security and safety action plan for each ship, which would provide guidelines and procedures to follow for different threats and incidents.
    Have the authority to lock down crime scenes and secure the chain of evidence.
    - Help passengers file complaints with local authorities when there is theft or assaults, missing persons.
    Act as liaison and reviewer of safe and unsafe shore excursion operators, establishments and neighborhoods at all ports of
    - Maintain and inspect fire/safety/security equipment on ships and on piers.
    - Develop working relationships with global and local authorities for recent threats, incidents, watch lists, etc. Be Prepared.
    - Act as a trusted, friendly cop on the beat providing peace of mind for customers and crewmembers.
    Participate in regular training sessions and network with other Sea Marshals at quarterly conferences, sharing incidents,
    problems, solutions, and heads up items on a searchable intranet web-based database.
    - Monitor passengers, crewmembers and related contractors for suspicious activity.
    - Learn how to handle various medical emergencies including contagious disease and contamination.
    - File immediate and periodic reports with the FBI, Coast Guard and other appropriate authorities as outlined in the CLASS
    - Develop and keep up to date various training methodologies for passengers and crewmembers.
    Have available a means of communicating directly with law enforcement and emergency service personnel, such a satellite
    Maintain crime scene equipment including DNA kits, a safe for effective storage of evidence, temporary holding rooms,
    cameras, etc.
    Have centralized independent legal staff available for consultation 24 hours a day when local authorities are not available.
    Monitor whether was crewmembers are applying responsible service of alcohol, appropriate security measures, and not serving minors.
    Deal immediately and directly with the FBI, Coast Guard, and other agencies and organizations in all ports of call.
    Provide ongoing security and safety training to crew and travel agents and organizers including shore excursion groups.
    Present short entertaining presentations outlining safety and security guidelines and resources for all passengers, including the design of a laminated security overview card for each cabin, similar to the ones used by air lines before each flight.
    Monitor training given to crew members and contract employees to verify they are fully trained and competent before reporting for duty, including surprise inspections and safety/security drills.
    Record and maintain a database of safety/security/crime incidents and health inspections and develop some analysis of current procedures and conduct of parties involved and recommend improvements for all.
    Based on information from Internationalcruisevictims.org, we could develop agreements with the countries where the ships are flagged and major ports of call to temporarily deputize the onboard Sea Marshals, so they can consult, cooperate with, and act on behalf of the relevant authorities until their permanent staff could arrive and take over. They could stabilize the situation and begin investigations immediately. They would preserve evidence, maintain crime scenes, and interview crew members and passengers in a timely manner. The cadre could be staffed by ex-military and ex-law-enforcement personnel who would get salary and/or some free cruise or vacation packages for their work, kind of like how many campgrounds have frequent campers act as hosts. What works good on land should work good on the water including a Neighborhood Watch or Guardian Angel type system that could include frequent customers, crew members, contract employees, travel agents, etc. Design an Amber Alert system for use on ships, when passengers go missing. The use of this and an independent cadre perhaps named Sea Marshals would provide the most important factor or element for preventing and solving crimes: TIME. We sent information for a cruise ship security plan to the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations. Congressman Shays' subcommittee has introduced the "Shays/Maloney Cruise Line Accurate Safety Statistics Act"
    Establishing independent "Sea Marshals' on cruise ships is a real possibility as Carnival Australia's P&O lines have recently agreed to allow undercover liquor agents aboard as noted below. Also noted below is the idea that funding mechanisms are available to pay for "sea marshals" since Alaskans recently voted for a $50 head tax on cruise ship passengers.
    According to the Sidney Morning Herald
    Carnival Australia/P&O Cruises Australia have greed to Undercover Liquor Agents:
    THE State Government plans to send liquor and gaming inspectors on covert inspections of P&O Cruises after the Dianne Brimble affair, but the inspectors will be powerless to do anything if cruise staff fall out of line.
    Staff and patrons will not be told of the inspectors' presence, but the company in charge of P&O, Carnival Australia, will know the inspectors are on board. It will pay their fares. The Government admits there is no way for sanctions to be placed on P&O if alcohol is not served responsibly because of travel in international waters. The Minister for Gaming and Racing, Grant McBride, said the inspections would allow the Government to see whether P&O was applying responsible service of alcohol and appropriate security. He said: "While it is at the company's invitation, officers will be going in undercover and crew members and patrons will be unaware of the operation.
    "We are keen to do all we can to ensure citizens on cruise ships departing from NSW are protected."
    Mr McBride is preparing to propose at the next meeting of state and territory ministers that the Federal Government be responsible for the safety of Australians on international cruise ships.
    In a state primary election ballot held on Tuesday, Alaskans passed a citizen initiative that will assess a $50 tax on each cruise passenger and tax the cruise lines' corporate earnings and gambling revenues reaped when the ships are in Alaska waters. The initiative also requires cruise ships to obtain wastewater discharge permits while operating in Alaska and to pay increased fines for any wastewater violations.

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