HANNAH SAMPSON/Miami Herald – Addressing concerns over cruise ship safety and transparency, President Barack Obama this week signed into law new measures that mandate crime reporting, require aid for rape victims and force all ships to have cabin peep holes and guard rails of a certain height.
An industry group said most cruise lines already abide by the rules, but that the law brings welcome consistency.
The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act touches on safety design features as well as practices of reporting and dealing with allegations of crime, including:
• Requiring 42-inch guard rails and peep holes in the cabin doors of every passenger and crew member, on-deck video surveillance and an emergency sound system.
• Forcing ships to maintain a log book that records deaths, missing people and allegations of crime.
• Requiring rape kits, medications to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and a trained forensic sexual assault specialist to be aboard each ship.
• Mandating training of crew members in preventing and detecting crime, preserving evidence and reporting crimes in international waters.
Cruise Lines International Association, which includes the nation’s major cruise lines, released a statement supporting the law. So did the International Cruise Victims Association, which helped spur legislation.
Source: HANNAH SAMPSON/Miami Herald