We have previously blogged about disappearances on cruise ships, and the associated jurisdictional issues that arise as to who will take charge in the investigation. A British family is running up against the same frustrations the family of George Smith faced when their son went missing on a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship, the Brilliance of the Seas.
The family of Rebecca Coriam is trying to find out what happened to their 24 year old daughter who was working on a Disney cruise line ship, the Disney Wonder when she was reported as missing. The family received different accounts of what occurred, including suggestions of suicide. In my almost 30 years of handling cruise ship cases, suicide is the most common reason advanced by the cruise lines when someone disappears during a cruise. This assumption on their part takes place even when the evidence doesn’t support the conclusion of a suicide.
It was with the George Smith case, and the crusade our firm led with the Smith family, that national attention was brought to the cruise ship industry about incidents involving disappearances and other crimes that happen on cruise ships, and the lack of concrete regulations and laws governing the cruise ship industry. Eventually, this led to the passage of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act signed into law by president Obama.
The family of Rebecca Coriam is trying to see that Britain passes similar legislation that applies to incidents involving their citizens who are possible victims of criminal activity on a cruise ship.
Our firm continues to be safety advocates for both passengers and crewmembers injured at sea.