Two of the cruise industry’s most fervent critics have also proven to be its most tenacious adversaries. The parents of missing cruise worker Rebecca Coriam have been fighting the industry for six years, since their daughter went missing in March 2011. Now, the Daily Mail newspaper cites Coriam’s disappearance and asks if it represents a more sinister trend of cruise ship murder going unpunished.
After Coriam went missing on March 22, 2011 her parents, understandably upset, spoke to cruise officials about their daughter’s disappearance. Cruise officials speculated that Coriam had perhaps been washed away from the ship by a “freak wave”. But, Frank and Ann Coriam found the explanation too outlandish to believe, and decided to launch an investigation of their own.
During their investigation, the Coriams discovered that their daughter had confided in her friends that she suspected that at least one of her fellow coworkers may have been planning to sexually assault her. This revelation led the Coriams to develop the hypothesis that perhaps their daughter had been sexually assaulted, and later tossed from the ship.
According to the Daily Mail report, approximately 200 people have gone missing from cruise ships since the year 2000. In response to reports of missing passengers, cruise companies have often devised unlikely explanations, such as the freak wave which supposedly washed Rebecca Coriam away, and the numerous cases in which cruise companies blame passengers for having jumped from cruise ships, as opposed to having fallen overboard.
Another important point made by the article is that, because many cruise ships are registered in countries such as the Bahamas and Panama, when a passenger goes missing in international waters the police force in the country under which the ship is flagged must investigate. For Rebecca Coriam, her case ultimately fell under the jurisdiction of investigators for the Bahamas, the country under which the Disney cruise ship where Rebecca worked is flagged.