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Old June 25th, 2008, 06:04 PM
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Default Cruise Safety Bills

Today the california state legislative panel defeated a bill that would have put "ocean rangers" onto cruise ships. I personally think the bill was half-baked and deserved to go down in flames. Basically, it was written by a state senator who apparently saw an easy way to gain favor with all people who identify with "victims" by taking on a corporate bad guy (the cruise industry).

The bill called for putting people who are dual-certified as investigative forensic experts and marine biologists on every ship to:

1) monitor what ships do environmentally in the California waters
2. serve a peace-keepers (policemen) onboard and also assist in investigations whenever there is an allegation of crime.

The vote was two "for" and two "against" and three abstentions. I assume it needed a mojority to get onto the floor. Why three lawmakers abstained is not known, but their votes essentially worked as "no" votes.

Meanwhile - John Kerry held his congressional hearings last week. And I just watched the two-hour video of it. I have to admit that based on his initial statements in press releases by Kerry before the hearing I expected a hatchet job from him of the sorts we saw with Matsui and Shay in the house hearings last year.

Instead, I found Kerry to be very balanced and reasonable in the way he conducted the hearings, and I believe he will not come up with any outlandish proposals such as putting robo-cops on cruise ships.

The usual anti-cruise-aders were there; Kendall Carver and Ross Klein. Why the U.S. Senate would allow a Canadian to testify before a US committee on "cruise ship crime" is beyond me.

To summarize Klein's testimony, lets just say he ran through the same litany of spurious "statistics" which by all indications he spends hours bending and refining, like a prism, to make his case look most colorful instead of giving the facts any real "light of day" exposure.

It was obvious by Kerry's response to him that no one was impressed with the way he was able to present his case because he so obviously obfuscated his presentation with arcane interpretations of what should have been simple facts.

Meanwhile, the only new case to even come up for discussion was the one about the woman on NCL who slipped while trying to cross balconies. Kerry quickly shot them down for bringing that up by saying "wasn't there a video of her slipping?" to which they all said "yes."

What gets me about these anti-cruise-aders is that it is the same cases as have been presented in all the hearings for the last three years. Yet they keep insisting the cruise industry is rampant with crime and cover-up. If it is, where are all the new cases?

I must give Kerry a great deal of credit, unlike Shays and Matsui, for not jumping on the sympathy bandwagon and really keeping everything in perspective. He never criticized the cruise industry at all. He did ask them to admit that the specific cases of the "anti-cruises-aders" had been handled badly, which Terry Dale of CLIA did. But beyond that, he expressed respect for the industry and said he hoped he could come up with a solution that was workable for everyone.

What is obvious is that the "cruise victims" truly seem to be more hell-bent on payback than aiding victims. Just like Ross Klein's books where he does nothing to present both sides of any story, they seemingly only want to play a "tattle-tale" role where the cruise industry is always the bad guy" "liars, criminals, self-interested."

The problem is that they have nothing new to add to any of their claims whenever these hearings come along. How many times do we have to hear about Laurie Dishman, whose case is tragic, but is but one case in the last three years when some 35,000,000 people have cruised from the U.S, alone?

California Congresswoman Matsui gave Ms Dishman a medal of honor for her role in "exposing the criminal underbelly of the cruise industry" just a few months ago, yet the California anti-cruise bill still went down in flames.

I am sorry these people had unfortuante incidences concerning cruise lines. But these are but a few cases out of millions of people.

The latest person to join "International Cruise Victims" is the mother of Ashley Barnett who died on a cruise ship when she apparently accidentally drank her boyfriends methadone. OK, she dies on a cruise ship, but HOW is that the cruise line's fault? Her boyfriend smuggled it on board in a nyquil bottle. She apparently drank it herself, either by mistake or on purpose. How could the cruise line have prevented this from happening?

Carnival responded within 3 minutes once notified she was found not breathing. They held the boyfriend in custody until the FBI interviewed him. They apparently turned over all kinds of materials to her mother to aid in any investigation she wanted to do, and they flew her mother to Miami to do so.

And now this woman is on the political bandwagon to place the cruise industry in the role of "ne'er-do-wells" Where is the logic in that?

In any case - now Kerry is looking into the industry, and as noted, I was happy to see he was very balanced. He got both sides to admit that they could be less confrontational. He got Terry Dale of CLIA to admit there could be a better system in place for preserving forensic evidence on a cruise ships, and he also told the victims group that he frankly was not impressed with their statistics.

For the first time, I am encouraged that someone with some sensibility is looking into this issue. And at the same time, I can almost guarantee you that no matter what he decides to do, the "cruise victims" will say it is not enough.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:20 AM
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Okay what was the bill number and who was the senator? I want to go have a look at the bill.

BTW old bill don't die they just get introduced again in the next session. So see ya in Legislative session 09-10 cruise safety bill. Sessions in California are two years long and always start in the odd year, which kind of makes sense if you think about it.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:51 AM
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Here is a link to the California Bill:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/po...uthor=simitian

CURRENT BILL STATUS


MEASURE : S.B. No. 1582
AUTHOR(S) : Simitian and Maldonado (Coauthors: Assembly Members
Evans and Lieber).
TOPIC : Ocean resources: ocean rangers.
+LAST AMENDED DATE : 06/19/2008


TYPE OF BILL :
Inactive
Non-Urgency
Non-Appropriations
Majority Vote Required
Non-State-Mandated Local Program
Fiscal
Non-Tax Levy

LAST HIST. ACT. DATE: 06/24/2008
LAST HIST. ACTION : Set, first hearing. Failed passage in committee.
Reconsideration granted. Set, first hearing. Failed
passage in committee.
COMM. LOCATION : ASM PUBLIC SAFETY
COMM. ACTION DATE : 06/24/2008
COMM. ACTION : Set, second hearing. Failed passage.

TITLE : An act to add Section 410.15 to the Code of Civil
Procedure, to add Section 780 to the Penal Code, and to
add and repeal Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section
72435) of Division 38 of the Public Resources Code,
relating to ocean resources.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:53 AM
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Nevermind, I find it SB 1582 author Senators Simitian (I don't know that one). This bill made it to the Assembly and died in the committee on Public safety . If anyone is like me (I think I have issues) here is a link to the bill. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/po...uthor=simitian There are seven versions of this bill it was introduced 2/22/08.

This is from the last version of this bill it's always intereting when the legislature declares things. The point of a bill is to change the law when the legislature declares stuff it just likes the sound of it own voice. I put in red the states I question.

SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the
following:
(a) The cruise industry provides significant economic benefits
to California’s cruise ports and their communities. In 2008,
California cruise ports will welcome 628 cruise ship visits carrying
nearly 2.2 million passengers. According to California cruise ports,
economic benefit from passengers in California is estimated to be
four hundred fifty million dollars ($450,000,000) in 2008 with
continued growth anticipated annually. California cruise ports are
committed to enhancing the experience of each and every passenger
and to ensuring that such passengers continue to return to California
cruise ports year after year.
(b) More cruise ships are calling upon California ports of call
every year. The cruise ship fleet is increasing in size and carrying
capacity and producing increasing volumes of solid and liquid
waste.
(c) Improperly treated wastes released into the environment can
significantly impact California’s aquatic ecosystems and the people
and industries that depend upon them.
(d) The cruise ship industry has a poor record on self-policing
environmental practices.
Based on what?
(e) California’s zero-discharge law for cruise ships does not
provide independent oversight of the industry or verification of
the zero-discharge requirement.
(f) Millions of American citizens travel on cruise ships every
year and numerous documented cases exist of serious crimes
against passengers by other passengers and crew members.
How much is numerous?
(g) The physical safety of the passengers and crew should be
the highest priority of the cruise line industry. The industry, through
its trade organization has appeared before the United States
Congress and the Legislature and asserted that there is no crime
problem onboard large passenger vessels. The industry testified
that the Federal Bureau of Investigation supports the industry claim
that the incidence of violent crime onboard large passenger vessels
is .01 percent. The Federal Bureau of Investigation directly refutes
this number and clarifies that .01 percent is what is reported to
them by the cruise line industry.
(h) Independent crime statistics presented before the United
States Congress show that one has a 50 percent greater chance of
sexual assault on a large passenger vessel as compared to the
United States generally. The rate of sexual assault in the United
States is 32 per 100,000 population. The rate of sexual assault on
large passenger vessels was 48 per 100,000 in 2007. That rate was
17.6 per 100,000 from 2003 to 2005, inclusive
. This is more than
a 170 percent increase in the sexual assault rate on large passenger
vessels between 2005 and 2007.
Who presented these Independent Crime Statistics? They compare the rate from 03-05 to 2007 this is a clever way to spin the numbers. What was the rate in 2006? Why wasn't that year used? Maybe it didn't support the bill? No that couldn't be it.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:10 AM
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Paul I think you put this up just for me. Cause I have been reading this bill and committee analysis for an hour. Okay here is the list of support and oppose for this bill also from the link put up by me and Paul.

Okay this is funny the County of Los Angeles, Sheriff's Department supports the bill and Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs opposes it.

Okay now I have that song struck in my head. "I shot the sheriff but I did not shoot the deputy."


REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION :

Support

American Association of Retired Persons
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees
American Maritime Officers Union
California Church Impact
California Coastal Protection Network
California Coastkeeper Alliance
California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
California League of Conservation Voters
California State Sheriffs' Association
California Statewide Law Enforcement Association
California Teamsters Public Affairs Council
County of Los Angeles, Sheriff's Department
Crime Victims United of California
Earth Island Institute
Environment California
Environmental Defense
Environmental Defense Center
Heal the Bay
International Cruise Victims
International Cruise Victims Association
International Longshore and Warehouse Union
Marine Engineers Beneficial Association
Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO
National Center for Victims of Crime
National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children
Natural Resources Defense Council
Ocean Conservancy
Oceana
Planning and Conservation League
San Francisco Bay Area and Vicinity Port Maritime Council
Sierra Club California
Surfrider Foundation
United Food and Commercial Workers Union
17 private individuals

Opposition

Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs
California Coalition of Travel Organizations
California Fraternal Order of Police
California Trade Coalition
California Travel Industry Association
Carnival Cruise Lines
Cruise Lines International Association
Holland American Line
James Alan Fox, Ph.D., Northeastern University
Long Beach Police Officers Association
Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association
Pacific Merchant Shipping Association
Pacific Merchant Shipping Association
Peace Officers Research Association of California
Princess Cruises
Royal Caribbean Cruises, Inc.
Traveling Times Inc./Travel Center of Santa Clarita
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Who presented these Independent Crime Statistics? They compare the rate from 03-05 to 2007 this is a clever way to spin the numbers. What was the rate in 2006? Why wasn't that year used? Maybe it didn't support the bill? No that couldn't be it.
it was our old friend Ross Klein from CruiseJunkie whom I refer to in my first post. He gave the same skewed statistics in the Comgressional hearings with John Kerry just last week.

The International Cruise Victims (ICV) have been spouting these skewed stats for years now. It is really laughable how Klein presents himself as a statistician, but it is obviously his stats are so mangled to reach the conclusion he wants.

To Kerry's credit, he was not impressed with Klein's rambling on and the repeated insinusations about the cruise lines lying.

It kills me how one US Representative in particular, Matsui of California, has swallowed everything this group of disgruntled people has to say. My theory is that people like congressmen(women) Matsui and Shays know nothing about the cruise industry and see it as an easy target for making themselves look like the have a cause.

But what they don't realize is how many people like us are very familiar with cruising and we don't buy the statistics these goofballs keep spouting at all.

The truth is, there have been a few very sad cases in the cruise industry, and they have all found one another at the ICV web site, and their goal is to make a few cases lool like the tip of an iceberg and that the cruise industry is covering up. That just isn't so. If the cruise lines were really covering up you would be hearing about new cases all the time.

The ICV kept bringing up Mindy Jordan at Kerry;s hearing until Kerry said "Isn't there a video of that case?" The video clearly shows she was stupidly trying to cross balconies outside during a storm and lost her grip.

I just don't understand these people who think the cruise lines are responsible for people's own Darwinian actions. These people have our sympathy, but don't denigrate an industry I love because some of the passengers did stupid things.

You can access a video of last week's Senate hearing online at John Kerry's web site.

They said "she was in an abusive relationship!" as if that is the cruise line's fault. As if they would even know her personal life at all.

Why don't people understand that just because you go on a cruise you don't sign away personal reponsibility for your own actions?
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:15 AM
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Default Re: Cruise Safety Bills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
The vote was two "for" and two "against" and three abstentions. I assume it needed a mojority to get onto the floor. Why three lawmakers abstained is not known, but their votes essentially worked as "no" votes.
Paul did you get this part from a news article? This is not correct.
There were (AYES 2. NOES 3.) (FAIL)

AYES
Ma and Leno

NOES

Aghazarian, Anderson, and De La Torre

ABSENT, ABSTAINING, OR NOT VOTING
*********************************

Solorio, and Portantino
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:19 AM
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I got it from the LA Times.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:21 AM
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Paul if you read the introduced verison of this bill it has a little about the ocean rangers but mainly it's all about the "environmental impact California’s aquatic ecosystems." which isn't surprising for California as the bill moved the ocean rangers sections were increased and co author's were added.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:25 AM
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Introduced versions.
72435. For the purposes of this chapter, “ocean ranger” means
an employee of the Department of Justice who is a marine engineer
licensed by the United States Coast Guard and certified to perform
environmental monitoring, has successfully completed all training
required pursuant to Section 832 of the Penal Code, and is a peace
officer as described in subdivision (v) of Section 830.3 of the Penal
Code

Last Version
(e) “Ocean ranger” means either of the following:
(1) An investigator specified in subdivision (b) of Section 830.1
of the Penal Code or a peace officer of a public law enforcement
agency in the state if the department entered into a contract with
the public law enforcement agency for the provision of this
personnel.
(2) An environmental marine ranger provided by an entity
pursuant to a contract with the department under Section 72435.2.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
I got it from the LA Times.
See this is why I don't trust the news.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:29 AM
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It is interesting to see the unions backing the bill. I am sorry to say the maritime unions in the country are VERY anti-cruise industry. And obviously they contribute a lot to political campaigns.

Another antagonist is Oceana (of which Ross Klein was and still may be on the advisory council). Read this article about Google banning their ads:

http://www.businessweek.com/technolo...1592_tc047.htm

It is obvious Klein is not pro-victim, he is simply anti-cruise industry.

It is also interesting to see so many police groups opposed to the bill. Frankly I am glad for their support, but I wish I knew the exact reasoning behind it. Did they see it as a threat to their power, or just a waste of resources?

By the way, at Kerry's hearing the ICV kept saying the cruise lines threatened to stop cruising out of California if the bill passed.

Isn't it interesting that the ICV thinks the cruise industry is nothing but a blight, but if they threaten to stop cruising the ICV calls them unfair. Now, I am not saying the cruise lines ever threatened to do that. The CLIA spokesperson said they never made such a threat, it was untrue.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:38 AM
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I'm guessing the police have a problem with the way the jurisdiction is stated in the bill. It's a confusing mess. It's defined in both the Civil Code of Procedures (CCP) and the Penal Code.

"(c) The special maritime criminal jurisdiction of California
extends to acts or omissions onboard a ship outside of California
under any of the following circumstances"

Then the bill puts a long list of cirumstances. But this seems to say if an act or omission occurs on the ship in a Mexican port then California may have juridiction. This may cause a workload increase and additional costs to the Sheriff and CHP.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:44 AM
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It is interesting to talk to you about this. Because I do legisature analysis for a living and you know the cruise industry inside out. Between the two of us we can understand what's really going on here.

I'm glad this bill died it's bad for California plus, I like driving to the California ports it's so much easier then flying. I don't want the legislature chasing the cruise lines out of California.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 10:31 AM
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Normally more people follow this discussion, but anyway, here is more.

John Kerry's Web site shows he has written up a cruise safety bill. Also working with him are those (excuse me) idiots Matsui and Shays, neither of which knows anything about the cruise industry. But here is the Kerry Press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John Kerry today introduced legislation that would improve cruise ship safety and accountability. The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2008 would require crimes aboard cruise ships to be reported to the Coast Guard and FBI. Cruise ships, which operate under foreign flags of convenience, are not currently required under U.S. law to report crimes that occur outside of U.S. territorial waters.

In addition, the legislation would require cruise ships to maintain medications used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases after assault, as well as equipment and materials for performing a medical examination to determine if a victim has been raped. A United States licensed medical practitioner would be on every ship to perform the necessary examinations and to administer treatment.

The legislation follows last week’s hearings on cruise ship safety, chaired by Sen. Kerry. Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Christopher Shays (R-CT) held similar hearings last year in the House. Kerry was compelled to hold hearings in the Senate after meeting Ken Carver, whose daughter Merrian disappeared on a cruise in 2004. Merrian was a resident of Cambridge, MA.

“Millions of Americans will board cruise ships this year and they should know that they are safe,” said Sen. Kerry. “The tragic loss of Ken Carver’s daughter Merrian should serve as a reminder that security and crime reporting regulations need to be tightened. Murky legal jurisdictions in international waters are no longer an excuse for failing to report serious crimes so that they may be effectively prosecuted. If U.S. passengers are at risk, then U.S. law should hold the industry accountable for their safety.”

“Over the past year our organization and other victims of cruise crimes have met numerous times with cruise lines executives in an effort to have them voluntarily take the necessary steps as outlined in our proposals,” said Carver, President of International Cruise Victims. “The cruise line industry has failed to step up to the challenge and make any significant changes to improve safety. That resistance to change is a clear signal to us that the only alternative left is for the United States Congress to move forward with legislation. I’m grateful to Senator Kerry and Rep. Matsui for their support in this endeavor.”

“It is absolutely appalling that the cruise industry does not have basic reporting and prevention mechanisms in place to keep their patrons safe,” said Rep. Matsui. “When a goliath like the cruise industry will not act in the best interest of the customers who are entrusting it with their personal well-being, then Congress has a responsibility to step in and shed some sunlight on the problem.”

“It’s important we continue the efforts to improve cruise ship safety which began in the last Congress, when I chaired the National Security Subcommittee,” said Rep. Shays. “The bottom line is, the crime statistics provided by the cruise industry are inaccurate and inadequate. This must change.”

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2008 will:

- Improve Ship Safety. The legislation would mandate that: guard rails reach 54 inches in height; entry doors of each passenger stateroom and crew cabin have peep holes, security latches, and time sensitive key technology. Ship owners would be required to implement fire safety codes as well as technology to detect when a passenger falls overboard. Procedures would be established to determine which crew members have access to staterooms and when.

- Provide Transparency in Reporting. The legislation would establish a reporting structure based on the current voluntary agreement in place between the cruise industry, the FBI, and the Coast Guard. Additionally, each ship would be required to maintain a log book, which would record all deaths, missing individuals, alleged crimes, and passenger/crewmember complaints regarding theft, sexual harassment, and assault. The log books would be available to FBI and Coast Guard electronically, as well as to any law enforcement officer upon request. Statistical information would be posted on a public website maintained by the Coast Guard.

- Improve Crime Scene Response. Each ship would be required to maintain anti-retroviral medications and medications used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases after assault, as well as equipment and materials for performing a medical examination to determine if a victim has been raped. A United States licensed medical practitioner would be on every ship to perform the necessary examinations and to administer treatment. Private medical information would be protected, and would require written authorization for release. Additionally, all passengers would be given free, immediate, and confidential access to a National Sexual Assault Hotline and the FBI.

- Improve Training Procedures. The legislation would establish a program designed by the Coast Guard and the FBI, and certified by the Administrator of the Maritime Administration, to train appropriate crewmembers in crime scene investigation. Each ship would be required to maintain one crewmember trained and certified under such a program.

- Enforce Safety and Environmental Standards. The Coast Guard is authorized to dispatch personnel to monitor discharge of waste, to verify logbook entries related to waste treatment and disposal, and to act as public safety officers by securing and collecting evidence of alleged crimes. The bill also establishes fair and equal remedies for persons injured in boating disasters. Additionally, the Secretary of the Coast Guard shall conduct a study of passenger security needs and report findings/suggestions to Congress.


Now, I see this as a win for the cruise industry and passengers, and unfortunately, not for the ICV (for the 10-point ICV plan and my opinion go here: http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/...ate-050908.cfm

Getting back to Kerry's bill. It really mandates most things the cruise lines have not already agreed to do - but it should spur them to do it more quickly.

They a;lready agreed to put peepholes in doors, they can already track who enters a room and when, most ship rails are already about 54 inches (not so high you have to look through bars).

They will require medical personnel to be US-certified Some cruise lines already do this, but not all. It is a good thing for passengers. But if he really wanted to help, he would require the health insurance companies and Medicare to cover treatment on cruise ships.

He also asks for a crime logbook that will be reported to the Coast Guard electronically. I think this is a good idea as well, because now the public will finally understand that just because a cruise "reports" a crime it doesn't mean a crime occured.

I have seen lists of so-called sexual assaults on cruise ships, and most of the complaints are things like "a waiter touched me innapporpriately when placing my napkin on my lap".

There is also an alarm (or detection system) to notify the ship if someone goes overboard. I think this is a good idea.

In all, as I predicted, I hd a good feeling the Kerry was the first Senator to understand the REAL issue of so-called crime on cruise ships, and has made sensible recommendations.

None of the crazy ICV ideas like ankle bracelets to monitor where everyone is on the ship at every moment, and 24-hour manned survellience of cameras throughout every inch of the ship.

(Sorry Kendall, no offense, but I just feel that just because a few bad cases occured, it is no reason to continue condemning an entire industry for eternity. enough is enough).
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Old June 27th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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By the way - the one thing I should add is that I do see one problem, the fact that the ships are required to make a "public" crime reporting log. The problem with this is it asks them to make all "allegations" of crime public - unvetted. This is like reporting before you get the facts.

Not only is this a problem in the sense that it could show a lot of "crimes" that in the end are not crimes, but even worse, the cruiselines themselves are usually not privy to the outcome or ongoing staus of any case under investigation.

The one thing everyone seems to be missing is the problem isnot with the cruise lines - it is with the follow-up. What they need is a government authority (within the FBI or hatever) dedicated to solving these reported crimes.

In fact, the problem is not lack of reporting in the vast majority of cases, it is lack of follow-up by the FBI.

Why doesn't the ICV mention this even once during a hearing? Because they care more about their vendetta against the cruise lines than they do about actually making ships safer and getting any victims true resolution when the rare crime does occur.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 10:58 AM
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Upon re-reading this, I see the crime log itself is not public, it is only avalable to the coast guard and FBI. But the Coast Guard will maintain a public web site with statistical data. I hope this means that web site will have meaningful data, that is limited to cases that merit investigation, (not just allegations).

The more I read this bill the more I would support it. I see some things the cruise lines will object to on a cost basis, but I believe they are worth it to make these unrealistic allegations of ships as havens for crime go away.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 12:58 AM
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Okay I found bill number S.3204

"A bill to amend title 46, United States Code, to establish requirements to ensure the security and safety of passengers and crew on cruise vessels, and for other purposes."

It was introduced by Kerry on my birthday 6/26/08. When I tried to read the text I got this message.

"The text of S.3204 has not yet been received from GPO
Bills are generally sent to the Library of Congress from the Government Printing Office a day or two after they are introduced on the floor of the House or Senate. Delays can occur when there are a large number of bills to prepare or when a very large bill has to be printed."

So I guess I will have to check back on this one. I don't trust newspaper accounts of legislation and Federal Legislation is more confusing because they don't print the whole law if they are amending a code section. They just print the changes. So you have to pull up the code section to understand the changes. Insert they remove that just doesn't make sense if it's not in context.

Here is a link to the bill for when they do add the text.
http://thomas.loc.gov
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Old June 28th, 2008, 01:06 AM
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Here is text of Ms. MATSUI cruise bill H. RES. 652 introduced 9/17/07.
It looks like she spent a lot of time and effort. She doesn't amend a code section so she wrote a bill that didn't change the law. What a waste of taxpayer money. BTW there are 34 co-sponsers jumping on the bill that does nothing. This is so they can go on TV and say "we co sponsered a bill about cruise safety."

Okay I admit it's not a bill that is why it doesn't change the law it's a "resolution" the congress will write a bill to change the law.

RESOLUTION
Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the importance of protecting American cruise ship passengers against crimes on the high seas and ensuring that the perpetrators of such crimes are brought to justice.

Whereas there are approximately 200 overnight ocean-going cruise ships worldwide, and the average such ship carries 2,000 passengers as well as a crew of 950 people;

Whereas approximately 12,000,000 passengers are projected to take a cruise worldwide in the year 2007 alone;

Whereas few vacationing passengers on cruise liners fully appreciate their potential vulnerability to crime while on an ocean voyage, and those who are victimized often do not know their legal rights or who to contact for help in the immediate aftermath of the crime;

Whereas sexual violence, the disappearance of passengers from vessels on the high seas, and other serious crimes have occurred during luxury cruises on numerous occasions, as evidenced by the congressional testimony of the President of the International Cruise Victims Association, Kendall Carver, and Ms. Laurie Dishman during a March 27, 2007 hearing before the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives;

Whereas crimes at sea can involve attacks by both passengers and crewmembers on other passengers and crewmembers;

Whereas no Federal statute or regulation explicitly requires cruise lines to report alleged crimes to United States Government officials unless such crimes occur within the territorial waters of the United States;

Whereas it is not known precisely how often crimes occur on cruise ships or exactly how many people have disappeared during ocean voyages because cruise line companies do not make comprehensive, crime-related data readily available to the public;

Whereas obtaining reliable crime-related cruise data from governmental sources can be difficult, because multiple countries may be involved when crime occurs on the high seas, including the flag country for the vessel, the country of citizenship of particular passengers, and any countries having special or maritime jurisdiction;

Whereas due to the absence of law enforcement officials on ocean voyages, it can be difficult or impossible for criminal investigators to immediately secure an alleged crime scene on a cruise ship, recover evidence of an onboard offense, and identify or interview potential witnesses to the alleged crime;

Whereas the adequate collection and preservation of evidence relating to a crime on the high seas frequently depends upon the ability and willingness of cruise officials to manage an alleged crime scene, identify possible witnesses, and provide aid to the victim until law enforcement officials arrive on the ship;

Whereas most cruise ships that operate into and out of United States ports are registered under the laws of another country and subsequent investigations and prosecutions of crimes against passengers and crewmembers may involve the laws and authorities of multiple nations;

Whereas perpetrators of sexual violence and other violent crimes on cruise ships are rarely brought to justice in light of the jurisdictional uncertainties and the absence of law enforcement authorities employing standard police investigative procedures on voyages;

Whereas sexual assault and physical assaults on cruise ships were the leading crime reported to and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the high seas over the last five years, but cruise line personnel do not consistently provide sufficient access to readily available, confidential support services, such as the crisis intervention services that are available through the National Sexual Assault Hotline or the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, for American passengers who become victims of sexual violence while vacationing on cruise ships;

Whereas consumers who book a cruise generally do not receive information at the point of sale about their legal rights as a cruise passenger and who to contact for help in the event a crime occurs during their oceangoing voyage; and

Whereas groups such as the International Cruise Victims Association, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network have voiced concern about the safety of passengers and crewmembers traveling on ocean voyages: Now, therefore, be it


Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--

(1) the members of the International Cruise Victims Association, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network are to be commended for their leadership in highlighting the problem of crimes against American citizens on cruise ships;

(2) cruise line passengers and crewmembers who become victims of crime while traveling on the high seas are often denied access to justice and support services, and Americans who are victims of crime on a cruise ship should have ready access to justice and additional steps should be taken to ensure that the perpetrators of such crimes are brought to justice;

(3) the cruise industry should provide comprehensive information to passengers about security risks and maintain necessary security personnel on each ship; and

(4) Congress should provide oversight to ensure the safety and security of American passengers.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 02:56 PM
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Are resort hotels required to do this stuff? If not, why should cruise ships?

The only part of it I agree with is that crimes committed onboard should be reported to the Coast Guard and/or FBI if the ships sail from American ports with predominantly American passengers.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 06:04 PM
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I would still take that job.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
Whereas groups such as the International Cruise Victims Association, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and the Rape, Abuse & baby diaper National Network have voiced concern about the safety of passengers and crewmembers traveling on ocean voyages: Now, therefore, be it


Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--

(1) the members of the International Cruise Victims Association, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and the Rape, Abuse & baby diaper National Network are to be commended for their leadership in highlighting the problem of crimes against American citizens on cruise ships;

(2) cruise line passengers and crewmembers who become victims of crime while traveling on the high seas are often denied access to justice and support services, and Americans who are victims of crime on a cruise ship should have ready access to justice and additional steps should be taken to ensure that the perpetrators of such crimes are brought to justice;

(3) the cruise industry should provide comprehensive information to passengers about security risks and maintain necessary security personnel on each ship; and

(4) Congress should provide oversight to ensure the safety and security of American passengers.
Does it really say that part about baby diapers? You're kidding, right?
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Old July 1st, 2008, 06:38 PM
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I quoted directly from the bill. But it must have been a mistake because the bill hasn't been amended but the it changed to:
Whereas groups such as the International Cruise Victims Association, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network have voiced concern about the safety of passengers and crewmembers traveling on ocean voyages: Now, therefore, be it


Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--

(1) the members of the International Cruise Victims Association, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network are to be commended for their leadership in highlighting the problem of crimes against American citizens on cruise ships;

(2) cruise line passengers and crewmembers who become victims of crime while traveling on the high seas are often denied access to justice and support services, and Americans who are victims of crime on a cruise ship should have ready access to justice and additional steps should be taken to ensure that the perpetrators of such crimes are brought to justice;

(3) the cruise industry should provide comprehensive information to passengers about security risks and maintain necessary security personnel on each ship; and

(4) Congress should provide oversight to ensure the safety and security of American passengers.
Take a look.http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.RES.652:
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 05:38 PM
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Marjmehl asks, "Are resort hotels required to do this stuff? If not, why should cruise ships?"

No and here's your anwser. Its not the same thing at all.


"Whereas obtaining reliable crime-related cruise data from governmental sources can be difficult, because multiple countries may be involved when crime occurs on the high seas, including the flag country for the vessel, the country of citizenship of particular passengers, and any countries having special or maritime jurisdiction;

Whereas due to the absence of law enforcement officials on ocean voyages, it can be difficult or impossible for criminal investigators to immediately secure an alleged crime scene on a cruise ship, recover evidence of an onboard offense, and identify or interview potential witnesses to the alleged crime; "

If one of yours was a victim of a crime at sea, would you wnat it to be properly investigated or not?
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
the Rape, Abuse & baby diaper National Network Take a look.http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.RES.652:
Okay, I know what happened now. Oops there are certain words that can not be said on this website. the site changed it to baby diaper National Network. So no the bill never said diaper. If you click on the link and read the bill you can see the word. Sorry to the mods I didn't mean to do that. That is what happens when you copy and paste.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 01:53 PM
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katlady,
You can't say, "Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network?" Why on earth not? That's nuts.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richstacy
katlady,
You can't say, "Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network?" Why on earth not? That's nuts.
Why? Because it was used by spammers in their links for pornographic websites. By changing the word it made the link inoperable. Also, on a cruise website the use of the word isn't too relevant to normal conversation.

Since the major spam problem has been alleviated I removed the word censor.

There are a number of other words that remained censored.

Take care,
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Old July 5th, 2008, 12:59 AM
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Oh, O.K. I understand Mike. Thanks.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 12:02 PM
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This is the part that gets me...

Whereas sexual violence, the disappearance of passengers from vessels on the high seas, and other serious crimes have occurred during luxury cruises on numerous occasions, as evidenced by the congressional testimony of the President of the International Cruise Victims Association, Kendall Carver, and Ms. Laurie Dishman during a March 27, 2007 hearing before the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives;

Ummm... who exactly qualified these people to be experts on what happens on cruise ships. Yes, they have their own personal experiences, but how does that make them experts on the entire industry?

It's congressional showmanship - publicity-seeking. What congress person wouldn't want to say "we stood up to foreign entities in the interest of American sex crime victims?"

The problem is they don't understand the first thing about the cruise industry or how it works. They don't get that cruise lines are American companies that contribute 35 billion to the US economy yearly.

When Matsui and Shays, both of whom admitted they had never been on a cruise, envision a cruise ship they see Johnny Depp as the captain.

No matter what, these "honored" people were still the victims of just two incidences, only one of which was a crime (which was never prosecuted due to lack of evidence). And both occured years ago. Since then some 30,000,000 people have cruised. Where are all the subsequent reports of rampant crime? Don't you think that of there were even 100 cruise crime victims in 2007 that we would be hearing from them? Even 10? Where are they?

You would think a congressperson would be smart enough to recognize the difference between a few isolated incidences and a crime wave. Apparently not.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:38 PM
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Politicians are better at pandering than at looking at facts objectively and rationally.
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