3 major cruise lines to reveal reported incidents

Disney Cruise lines will not participate

Published On: Jul 25 2013 06:12:12 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 25 2013 06:33:08 PM EDT
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A day after the "big three" cruise lines announced they would voluntarily reveal on their websites the number of all reported major crimes on their ships, Disney Cruise Lines said it is not ready to announce any change in its practices.

Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian cruise lines will reveal the reported incidents on their websites beginning Aug. 1, Royal Caribbean President Adam Goldstein announced at a Senate hearing in Washington Wednesday. The statistics will include all serious crimes reported since the last quarter of 2010.

Currently, only crimes investigated and closed out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation are accounted for in publicly released statistics.

A Senate investigation released at Wednesday’s hearing found 75 percent of major crimes, and at least 97 percent of all crimes, are never accounted for in the public statistics, which include only closed FBI investigations.

The FBI failed to close or begin 99 investigations into 130 crimes reported on cruise ships in 2011 and 2012.

Wednesday's hearing included a reference to one case, the molestation of an 11-year-old girl on the Disney Dream last year, a case that the FBI did not investigate because Disney Cruise Line failed to properly report the crime, which occurred in dock hours before the ship left Port Canaveral.

A Local 6 investigation revealed Disney Cruise Line decided to leave U.S. waters after a security officer confirmed through video cameras that a crew member fondled and forcibly kissed the 11-year-old victim.

By not reporting the crime until the next day, Disney Cruise Line allowed the crime to be investigated in the Bahamas, where the employee admitted touching the girl. He was then allowed to fly home to India after the girl’s grandmother said she did not want to press charges.

Had Disney properly reported the crimes, Brevard County law enforcement sources told Local 6 they would have boarded the ship and likely arrested and prosecuted the suspect for a crime that could have resulted in a life sentence.

The Senate hearing was held in conjunction with proposed legislation that would force all cruise lines to report all major crimes publicly.

Major crimes include homicide, suspicious death, missing Americans, kidnapping, serious assault, sex crimes, tampering with a vessel and theft of anything above $10,000 in value.