Late last month legislators introduced a bill meant to help strengthen passengers’ protections aboard cruise ships.
The legislation, which was introduced by Representatives Doris Matsui, D-Calif., Ted Poe, R-Texas, and Jim Himes, D-Conn., is meant to provide cruise ship passengers with much needed rights. According to a FoxNews.com article covering the bi-partisan legislation, the bill “strengthens crime reporting and video surveillance requirements, improves medical standards, and holds cruise lines responsible for deaths at sea.”
The last major congressional action relating to the cruise industry was the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act. While that bill did provide passengers with some added protections, such as requiring cruise lines to install peep holes in cabin doors, many complained that the legislation did not go far enough.
Rep. Poe was quoted in the FoxNews.com piece, explaining that “the reality is that crime does not disappear simply because people are on vacation. Unfortunately, American passengers sometimes go missing or become victims of sexual and physical assault while sailing the high seas."
The new bill will:
- Require cruise ship authorities to notify the FBI within four hours of reported crimes
- Require cruise authorities to notify the FBI before leaving port, of incidences which occur while ships are in U.S. ports.
- Install and operate surveillance cameras in all common areas
- Require cruise companies to keep surveillance video for at least 30 days
The article also says that Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Edward Markey, D-Mass. were planning to submit companion legislation in the Senate.