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Brett Rivkind, Speaker in Congress and Safety Advocate, Representing Passengers and Crew Worldwide Who Have Been Injured or Victimized on Any Type of Vessel at Sea, Including:
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Winner of the Verdicts Hall of Fame Award: $6.3 Million Verdict Dolcin v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD Learn More

Cruise Vessel Security Act

In almost 30 years of handling Maritime cases, I have seen an increased number of reported rapes, sexual assaults, disappearance and other crimes aboard cruise ships which sail in and out of the United States. After several Congressional hearings, mainly prompted after the disappearance of George Smith during his honeymoon cruise, President Obama signed into law the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010.

This Act provides important protections, and states, and in part: “to enhance the safety of cruise passengers, the owners of cruise vessels could upgrade, modernize and retrofit to safety and security infrastructure of such vessels in installing peep holes in passenger room doors, installing security video cameras in targeted areas, limiting access to passenger rooms to select staff during specific times and installing acoustic hailing and warning devices capable of communicating over distances.”

Brett Rivkind was an invited Maritime legal expert during Congressional hearings, being questioned about security measures and safety aboard passenger cruise ships. During the Congressional hearings one aspect of concern that was addressed was the lack of mandatory reporting requirements in the cruise ship industry when a crime does occur onboard the ship. The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 addresses this problem, and now requires cruise ship companies to maintain logs which records: (i) all complaints of crimes… (ii) all complaints of theft of property in excess of $1,000 and (iii) all complaints of other crimes.

Cruise ship owners also must make these log books available upon request of any agent of the FBI. The shipowners have to report to the FBI any incident involving a homicide, suspicious death, a missing United States National, kidnapping, assault with serious bodily injury or theft of monies or property in excess of $1,000.

In order to better educate the public, the cruise ship owners shall also “furnish a written report of the incident to an internet based portal maintained by” the U.S. Coast Guard and “each cruise taking or discharging passengers in the United States shall include a link on its internet website to the [USCG] website.”

Although following short of all that is required to address cruise ship safety, we applaud the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 as a positive movement towards increased safety legislation applicable to the cruise ship industry. The organization International Cruise Victims Association, with its President, Kendall Carver, should be applauded for their efforts in pursuing the passage of this safety legislation.

Cruise Ship Passenger Resources
Maritime Blog Cruise Brett Rivkind is dedicated to bringing boaters and cruisers the latest industry news and informative articles. In his blog, Mr. Rivkind shares his vast knowledge and experience in the maritime legal field, reporting on cruise ship and boating law issues.Learn More
8 THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE INJURED OR
HARMED ON A CRUISE SHIP
Cruise
  1. The rules of the international maritime organization apply
  2. Assumption of the risk forms
  3. Be careful what you say
  4. Be careful what you write
  5. Be aware
  6. Be investigators
  7. Report immediately
  8. Month deadline so contact a maritime lawyer ASAP
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