A California woman has filed suit against Princess Cruise Lines this week because she was sexually assaulted by a crew member. The victim, M.F., says that this cruise line had a sexual predator working aboard one of it’s ships. According to Ms. F., one day (during the wee hours of the night), a crew member on the “Island Princess” grabbed her, pulled her against him and forced her to a deserted part of the ship, where he proceeded to lift her skirt and touch her private parts. Subsequently, the victim managed to fend off her attacker and run away. She reported the attack to the ship’s authorities and claims that the man had “a prior, similar incident” of misconduct.
Attacks and Other Crimes are Common at Cruise Ships
We take vacations to relax from our daily stressful lives. For those of us who live in large cities where crime rates are high, sexual assaults and other crimes just add to the stress. Therefore, the last thing on our minds when vacationing on a cruise ship is to be concerned about such criminal activities. Yet, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports, life on board a cruise ship can be as dangerous as anywhere else, plagued with crimes that range from minor theft to sexual assaults.
An agreement between the F.B.I., the U.S. Coast Guard and the Cruise Lines International Association (C.L.I.A.) sets standardized protocols for member lines to report serious incidents committed aboard cruise ships in violation of U.S. Law. According to the F.B.I., who investigates the most serious offenses, 207 reports had been received from C.L.I.A. members in less than four months, from April 1, 2007 (when the agreement was reached) to August 24 of the same year.
Stay Alert While Cruising
As stated before, serious crimes are part of the daily life aboard a cruise ship. As the same F.B.I. report shows, these crimes occur both aboard the ship and while visiting places of interest ashore.Therefore, taking a cruise will not help us “escape” from reality: we must remain alert to our family’s activities while vacationing. Unfortunately, having a criminal record is no impediment to buy a ticket and although it should be an impediment for employment aboard a cruise ship, the F.B.I.’s report shows that some crew members can be as dangerous as any common criminal in our streets.
If you or a loved one have been the victims of serious crimes while on a cruise ship vacation, you may be entitled to financial compensation by the cruise line. Please note that these cases are often governed by the conditions set in the cruise lines’ ticket, which usually establish a term of one year to bring action against the company. Therefore, we urge to immediately contact an attorney with experience handling these cases. The Cruise Lines Injury Attorneys of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have handled many such cases over the years and can help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to. Please visit our website to learn more about us and contact us today.