.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

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.

My Photo
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/

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Carnival Cruise Ship Passenger in Coma after Fight


Man talks about altercation on ship
By Keith Darcé
September 29, 2007
A cruise ship altercation nearly two weeks ago that left San Diego grocer Scott Boney in a coma fighting for his life began as a random encounter between Boney and Kade McRae, 21, a construction worker from Ogden, Utah. The FBI is investigating the incident. McRae was confined to his stateroom for most of the cruise but has not been charged with any crime.
Boney, 50, has been unconscious since the incident, which occurred about 11:30 p.m. Sept. 17. He has undergone two surgeries at Scripps Memorial Hospital-La Jolla, one to relieve pressure from brain swelling and another to remove a blood clot, family friends said. He remains in an induced coma on life-support systems.

Congressional Hearing: Sparring over crime at sea

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Scandal on the High Seas? - Congress Holds Hearing on Cruise Ship Safety Amid Assault Allegations


After complaints of onboard assaults, thefts and even mysterious disappearances, Congress investigated today how safe these vacations are. A House Transportation subcommittee conducted a hearing on cruise safety this morning. Congress heard testimony from passengers with stories about poor security, and little accountability, in this $30 billion-a-year industry.

"Until it is more profitable to make the ships safe than to settle lawsuits, I don't believe that all of the necessary changes will come at the hands of the cruise industry," said Susan DiPiero, whose son, Daniel, was lost at sea from Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Sea May 15, 2006. Some lawmakers agreed. "A common theme in this panel was that you still didn't get it," Matsui told cruise line officials. Attorney William Sullivan — whose unnamed client, asleep in her cabin this past March, was allegedly raped by a crew member, and then had ship's doctors give her Lorazepam, a drug that can cause forgetfulness — called on lawmakers to take action. "It doesn't seem to me that Royal Caribbean is interested in prosecuting criminals or predators," Sullivan said, "because it exposes them to liability, and that's not something they're interested in. ... It's time for legislation, time for Congress to step in and mandate."
Orlich just hopes that no other women will be subjected to the same horrors that she was.

"I'm here in Washington," she said, "to help out other women, to make sure it doesn't happen to them." Today, Orlich and other victims had lawmakers aiding their cause.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sen. John F. Kerry plans to write legislation that would mandate that staff on cruise ships immediately notify the FBI about all incidents

The Republican

U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., said he plans to write legislation that would mandate that staff on cruise ships immediately notify the FBI about any untoward activity aboard their ships including crimes, suicides and disappearances. Staff would be required to develop better protocols for collecting evidence. Kerry, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, said he made his decision after meeting this week with the Kendall Carver, the father of Merrian L. Carver. Carver said his daughter, a Cambridge investment banker, went on a cruise off the coast of Alaska in 2004 and has never been heard from since.

Other cruise passengers testified before a House panel earlier this week about crimes or disappearances and the cruise line's failure to report the incidents to law enforcement authorities or seal rooms to protect evidence.
Cruise ships that leave U.S. land are mandated by law to report disappearances and crimes to the FBI and Coast Guard, said U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, but crews don't always follow a standard procedure. Neal and U.S. Rep. John W. Olver, D-Amherst, signed legislation this week that would require cruise lines to maintain adequate security levels and to give passengers full disclosure about risks.
Kerry will work with U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., the FBI and the cruise lines to develop legislation to "create clear rules for cruise lines."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bill targets cruise lines on crime issue


We need clear rules for all cruise ships so that we can improve security for the millions of Americans each year who take cruises," Kerry said. "Voluntary steps are not enough." Critics have long contended that the $32-billion industry flies under the regulatory radar. Most ships are registered in foreign countries, operating under so-called "flags of convenience." As a result, cruise lines pay little corporate income tax, hire largely foreign crews and are not required to abide by U.S. labor laws."After the hearings this week, to have John Kerry introduce this in the Senate could not send a stronger message to the cruise lines and the industry that it's time for change," said Kendall Carver, president of International Cruise Victims.Carver's daughter, Merrian Carver, disappeared during a cruise in 2004.kimi.yoshino@latimes.com

Monday, September 17, 2007

International Cruise Victims Association (ICV) Members to Testify on September 19, 2007

Congress Issues "Protect Americans from Crimes on Cruise Ships" Resolution MIAMI, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congress has scheduled a hearing on September 19, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. on "Cruise Ship Security Practices and Procedures." The hearing will be conducted by the Committee on Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation, and will be held at the Rayburn House Office Building (Room 2167) in Washington D.C. Congress has invited a number of members of the International Cruise Victims Association ("ICV")to testify regarding their experiences. These individuals include Kendall Carver, Susan DiPiero, Lynnette Hudson, and Angela Orlich. ICV has scheduled a press conference before the hearing at 9:00 a.m. in the Concord Room of the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, located at 400 New Jersey NW, in Washington DC. ICV will discuss a Congressional resolution called "Protect Americans from Crimes in Cruise Ships." The resolution acknowledges the lack of federal regulation over the cruise industry and the need for Congressional oversight to ensure the safety and security of American passengers. The following ICV members will be discussing proposals to enhance passenger safety, reduce shipboard crime, and protect the victims from poor treatment by the cruise industry: Kendall Carver of Arizona lost his daughter on the Celebrity cruise ship Mercury, owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Following her disappearance, the cruise line failed to notify family members or law enforcement and engaged in a cover-up of his daughter's disappearance, Mr.Carver alleges. Mr. Carver is the President and one of the founding members of the ICV. Families of victims created this organization as a victims advocacy group to protect passengers, who choose to travel on cruise ships.The group now has members around the world, including sixteen countries and a separate chapter in Australia. Susan ("Sue') DiPiero of Ohio lost her only son, Daniel on the Mariner of the Seas operated by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Ms. DiPiero and her husband, Ron DiPiero, received a telephone call from the cruise line saying" ... we cannot find your son ..." Daniel's disappearance was caused by inadequate security standards on the ship, including only a few security guards, excessive alcohol served on the ship, security cameras which were not monitored, and a delay in reporting and responding to the emergency,according to the DiPiero family. Ms. DiPiero will address her family's recommendations to avoid future tragedies to other families. Lynnette Hudson of Delaware lost her father, Richard Liffridge, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, on the Star Princess, owned by Carnival Corporation, during a cruise with his beloved wife, Victoria Liffridge of Georgia. Ms. Hudson will testify regarding her family's experience following the fire. She will explain that one of the greatest threats to the safety of passengers on cruise ships is fires at sea. Ms.Hudson created the Richard Liffridge Foundation to educate and to bring awareness to this issue. For information, go tohttp://www.RichardLiffridge.com. Angela Orlich of Massachusetts was on a vacation cruise aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines's Nordic Empress, when she was sexually assaulted during a cruise sponsored scuba excursion in Cozumel, Mexico. The cruise line did not provide her with any assistance nor did they timely report the incident to law enforcement authorities, according to Ms. Orlich. She was required to travel to Mexico and initiate legal proceedings alone. She will testify regarding her efforts to seek justice for the crime,notwithstanding the lack of cooperation and assistance from the cruise line regarding their excursion. For more information about the ICV, please contact us at: -- Web: http://www.internationalcruisevictims.org

-- E-mail: info@internationalcruisevictims.org

-- Telephone: (425) 753-7711 -- Facsimile: (206) 374-2944

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Family of Cruise Ship Victim to Appeal to Congress This Week


Liffridge sole casualty of cruise ship fire
By Johnny Jacksonjjackson@henryherald.comRelatives of a Locust Grove man who died of smoke inhalation last year while on a Caribbean cruise are pushing for increased scrutiny of what they say are insufficient cruise ship safety procedures. Lynnette Hudson is scheduled to appear at a Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, when she will testify in front of a committee on Coast Guard and maritime transportation. Hudson’s father, Richard Liffridge, died during a fire aboard the Star Princess cruise ship on March 23, 2006, at the age of 72. His wife, 62-year-old Victoria Liffridge, was aboard the ship with him. “Shortly after 3 a.m. — Richard and I were both asleep — we both heard the sound of a steady alarm ringing softly,” she said. The alarm alerted them to a fire on the ship. Victoria Liffridge said that by the time she and her husband were able to get to the hallway outside their cabin to evacuate, smoke had already filled their part of the ship. “Flames were shooting above our heads,” she said. “The sprinklers hadn’t turned on, no lights in the hall or fire extinguishers. I’m not sure if there were smoke detectors in the hall.” Liffridge said she held on to her husband’s T-shirt as they crawled through the smoke-filled hallway trying to find their way out, but they were separated when the ship was jolted. She suspects the jolts were from shifting gears on the ship. She was eventually able to find someone to help her to safety, but her husband did not make it. He was the only reported casualty in the fire.“It was something very devastating to us to have caused her family grief,” said Julie Benson, a spokeswoman with Santa Clarita, Calif.-based Princess Cruises, which operates the Star Princess. “We have been closely working with members of the Liffridge family and their attorney.” Jim Walker, a maritime attorney from Miami, represents the Liffridge family. “The Liffridge family’s story is compelling,” Walker said. “They will be discussing their recommendations to prevent future tragedies and their goals ... regarding the safety of passengers on cruise ships.” The hearing, known as the Cruise Ship Security Practices and Procedures hearing, is the fourth such hearing in two years. “There is very little regulation of the cruise industry,” Walker said. “Mr. Liffridge’s situation was more of whether they had appropriate safety protocols. None of the balconies had heat detectors or fire suppressers. And they are a part of a larger issue in cruise ship safety. “People should know that some of the cruise lines have implemented changes and most of them have not,” he said. The Liffridge family has created a foundation in Richard’s name to push for cruise ship safety improvements. The committee hearing begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday.—On the Net: www.RichardLiffridge.com

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Rapes rife on cruise ships, says professor

Passengers on cruise ships are nearly twice as likely to be sexually attacked as Americans who stay at home, a professor who has studied crime rates on the high seas told a conference in New Zealand, a newspaper reported Monday. Members of the ships' crew are mainly to blame, Professor Ross Klein, a sociologist at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada, told a conference at the Auckland University of Technology, the New Zealand Herald said.
The rate of sexual assaults on cruise ships was 59 per 100,000 people compared with a norm in the US of 32 per 100,000, according to figures submitted by the industry last year to the US Congress, Klein said. There were another 53 cases per 100,000 of sexual harassment.
Klein told the conference that nearly 70 per cent of sex assaults were carried out by crew members against passengers and 10 per cent on fellow crew members. "On some ships you have crew members organizing contests between themselves to see how many passengers they can sleep with," he said. "The younger the passenger, the more points they score."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Schedule Hearing on Cruise Ship Security for September 19,2007

Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Schedule Hearing on Cruise Ship Security for September 19,2007 [developing]


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Israeli Ship Sinks after Collision with Cruise Ship

Swissinfo - Switzerland - August 31, 2007

Ship collision kills Ukrainian and Indonesian sailors. JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli forces retrieved the bodies on Friday of two Ukrainian and Indonesian sailors who died when an Israeli freighter sank following a collision with a Cypriot cruise ship off the coast of Haifa, police said.
The forces had rescued 11 crew from the Israeli-owned "Shelly" cargo vessel, but the freighter had sunk and its captain and crew member had gone down with it, officials said. Some 700 passengers and crew of the "Salamis Glory" cruise ship were unharmed by the collision near the northern port of Haifa and a spokesman for the company said they would be flown to Cyprus. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. Kofteros said experts from the shipping department would leave for Israel later on Friday to help authorities with the investigations.

h2 class="sidebar-title">Links