Forbes Article Echoes What We Have Been Saying for Years: Cruise Companies Put Profits over Safety

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Jill Hammer Malott and Kelly Hammer Lankford, the daughters of two cruise ship passengers who died on a Peruvian Amazon cruise last year, published an article in Forbes magazine earlier this month which criticized the cruise industry.

(Photo courtesy of Forbes.com)

The heartbreaking tale began when their parents, Drs. Larry and Christy Hammer, set off for a cruise of the Peruvian Amazon a year ago with International Expeditions, an eco-tour company. On the first night of the cruise aboard the Amazon Star cruise ship, the Hammers became trapped inside their cabin after the cruise ship caught fire. The Hammers were killed by the blaze.

According to the article, a recently released report by the Peruvian Navy:

“reveals the shocking details of that night. No alarms sounded anywhere on the boat. Electrical equipment supplied by the boat started the fire. The bedding was flammable. The ineffective crew, who lacked certifications and training required by Peruvian law, wasted over 20 precious minutes before extracting our father—but he was already gone.”

The sisters’ mother was extracted alive six minutes after their father, but died hours later.

The article says that the sisters fear that another tragedy like this will happen, as International Expeditions continues to operate as if the tragedy never happen. This, despite the fact that the Peruvian Navy report cited “litany of violations of the nation’s maritime regulations.”

The sisters conclude, after the tragic death of their parents, that “The cruise industry’s priority is clear: Profits over passenger safety.”