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,
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"www.house.gov/shays/news/2006/june