Heightened Ship Safety Measures Floated In Congress

Cruise ships have the size and populations of smaller American towns and, at times, their problems such as accidents, medical emergencies and crime. Cruise ship accidents and crimes at sea have led to deaths and serious injuries while laws have not mandated adequate law enforcement, emergency services and remedies for passengers and their families.  Safety organizations such as the Internationale Cruise Victims and the Florida cruise ship attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz PA have been lobbying for tougher safety measures for the protection of cruise ship passengers.

Now, Congress is taking steps to address this problem and prevent further tragedies with introduction of the Cruise Passenger Protection Act. If passed, the bill would strengthen measures that were imposed in the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act by requiring improved and streamlined crime reporting and video surveillance on ships, mandating better medical standards and public reporting requirements and imposing responsibility on cruise line operators for deaths at sea.

Under the CPPA, families of victims could seek fair compensation following a fatality at sea. If enacted, cruise passengers would finally have the same rights afforded to airline passengers.The bill also addresses the problem of passengers falling overboard. It mandates technology that would capture images and detect a passenger falling overboard. Dealing with crime is an important component of the CPPA. The cruise vessel must notify the FBI of an alleged crime within four hours or before the ship goes out to sea for incidents occurring in port. Offenses involving a U.S. national would have to be reported to this country’s consulate located at the next port of call.

Video surveillance equipment would be installed in all passenger common areas. Any surveillance records would be kept for 30 days after the voyage. Individuals would have access to these records in civil legal actions.  The internet website of alleged cruise ship crimes would state whether an offense was committed against a minor. The Department of Transportation would perform a study on the practicability of having a person designated in charge of victim support services on each ship.

This bill requires better medical standards. Ships would have a qualified physician and sufficient staff. Basic life support training would be mandatory for crew members and automated defibrillators would have to be accessible throughout the vessel. The initial onboard safety briefing will include emergency and safety information. The cruise line would have to return a deceased passenger back to this country at their family’s request.

One of the bill’s sponsors credited a family in his Connecticut district with its advocacy. They fought for improved safety and protection after a family member was lost and listed as missing during his honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean Sea. Versions of the bill were introduced this session in both houses of Congress.

Experienced cruise ship lawyers in Miami may help assure that cruise ship accident victims and their families can pursue their right to fair and just compensation. If you were injured by cruise line negligence, contact a cruise ship lawyer at the Miami Florida personal injury law firm of Gerson & Schwartz, PA who specializes in these cases. For a free case consultation, call (877) 475-2905 today.









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