Cruise Crime Report Features Suspicious Deaths and Sexual Assault

Illustration for article titled Cruise Crime Report Features Suspicious Deaths and Sexual Assault

Ted Bettinger* of the Board of Cruise Travel tried to convince us to all to make cruising our main mode of transportation — need a lift to band practice? The Carnival Celebration will get you there! Later! — but recent reports of crime on the high seas might make you question whether the midnight buffets is worth it.

The cruise lines have agreed to share data on alleged onboard crimes, and the categories cast a wide net of horrors. We've got missing U.S. citizens, kidnapping, tampering with or setting fire to a ship, rape, sexual assault, suspicious deaths, and more. In fact, since 2011, Norwegian Cruise Line Holding, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival have recorded 247 serious criminal allegations, according to the Miami Herald.

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Here's Carnival:

They disclosed eight alleged incidents of rape or sexual assault, with accusations made against six passengers and two crew members. The company also reported one alleged theft over $10,000 and a suspicious death of a passenger. Over the three months, Carnival notes, it carried nearly 6.7 million passengers and more than 48,000 crew on its four North American lines—an overall crime rate that would be the envy of even remarkably safe big cities like New York. “Very few crimes happen on board our ships, especially when you compare it to the crime rates on land,” spokesman Roger Frizzell wrote in an e-mail.

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It's just kinda sad that we live in a world where it's a necessity to be all "Don't look at us, land, the sea only had eight alleged rapes! OCEAN RULES!"

*With some help from our own Madeleine Davies.

[Business Week]

Image via Getty.

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DISCUSSION

A friend of mine's niece was assaulted by a worker on a cruise ship. She'd chatted with the guy a few times and he got the 'wrong idea'. He cornered her in an alcove and tried to physically keep her there and kiss her. She managed to get away and find my friend, who immediately reported it. She had bruises on her upper arms where he had kept her pinned against the wall.

My friend never got the feeling that the cruise line was trying to bury the matter. It was the FBI that kept ignoring them.

The ship immediately fired the individual and reported the event. Because it happened on international waters, the FBI had to step in. Their attitude? "Oh, well, she wasn't really raped because she got away from him, so this isn't really worth our time. I mean, we're the FBI, you know? Oh, she was a minor? Yeah. Still don't care."

The cruise line did everything they could to make good, but their power was limited. They comped the cruise and kicked the guy off the ship, but they didn't have the authority to arrest him.