Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

20 Dec, 2014

International Cruise Victims Applauds Legislation to Increase Public Access to Cruise Safety Info

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–December 15, 2014 – International Cruise Victims (ICV) is pleased to announce the passage of new legislation which will require a numerical accounting of missing persons as well as requiring that all applicable alleged crimes committed on cruise ships be reported publicly regardless of the investigative status of the incident.

In a bipartisan fashion, Congress passed the Coast Guard reauthorization bill. This bill included a provision that was one of several cruise passenger safety provisions in the Cruise Passenger Protection Act (CPPA). In the House, Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Congressman Ted Poe served as co-sponsors of the CPPA.

Today, Rep. Matsui indicated, “This is an important victory for cruise victim advocates and for the millions of Americans who have taken a cruise or are considering one in the future. The passage of key provisions will ensure that anyone considering a cruise can easily view a more accurate number of crimes that occurred on each cruise line, and the nature of those crimes. This is a huge step forward toward transparency and ensuring the safety of cruise passengers.”

On the Senate side, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who chairs the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, led the way to a bipartisan passage of this legislation. Sen. Rockefeller, who has been responsible for holding several Senate Commerce Committee hearings over the past three years, exposed many issues and concerns regarding cruise ship passenger safety. His skill and determination were essential in moving this legislation forward.

Sen. Rockefeller said in a July hearing that the cruise lines have spent tens of thousands of dollars fighting regulations and he believed strongly that tying these provisions to the Coast Guard reauthorization bill was the only way to hold the cruise line industry accountable. “(They) have circled the wagons and reflexively fought all efforts to provide consumers with more information about the risks of cruise-ship vacations,” he said at the hearing. “If you separate (the bills), the Coast Guard bill will pass. The cruise-ship bill will get flushed down the toilet. You don’t let that happen. You hold them accountable.”

For those who have lost family members or have otherwise been victimized at sea, this is a historic day we will not forget. The public reporting of crimes is a victory, but our journey isn’t over. A measure of justice somewhere means hope for justice everywhere.