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.