ASSIGINING RESPONSIBILITY Congress introduces Cruise Passenger Protection Act

Posted on 05/08/2017 | About Caribbean,

New regulations were introduced to US Congress this week. Democratic representative from California, Doris Matsui, Republican representative from Texas, Ted Poe and Democrat representative from Connecticut Jim Himes, introduced a bill to make cruise liners responsible for deaths at sea. Congress was urged to pss the legislation by families of people who have been victims of health or safety incidents while cruising.

The Cruise Passenger Protection Act (CPPA) will expand on the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) by giving cruise passengers the same rights as those of airline passengers.

Democratic senator from Connecticut Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey (D-MA) are introducing companion legislation in the Senate.

Matui’s office issued a statement saying the CPPA would ensure a cruise vessel owner notifies the FBI within four hours of an alleged incident; ensure that if an alleged incident occurs while the vessel is still in a US port, the FBI is notified before that vessel leaves the port; require vessel owners to also report an alleged offense to the US Consulate in the next port of call, if the alleged offense is by or against a US national; clarify that vessels must have video surveillance equipment in all passenger common areas, and other areas, where there is no expectation of privacy.

The CPPA will:

• Allow individuals access to video surveillance records for civil action purposes
• Mandate that all video records are kept for 30 days after completion of the voyage Direct the Coast Guard to promulgate final standards within one year detailing requirements for the retention of video surveillance records
• Require that the internet website of alleged crimes on cruise ships indicate whether the reported crimes were committed against minors
• Direct the Department of Transportation to conduct a study determining the feasibility of having an individual charged with victim support services on board each passenger vessel
• Require integration of technology that can both capture images and detect when a passenger has fallen overboard.

Furthermore, the CPPA will require a qualified physician and sufficient medical staff to be available for passengers and life support training would be given to all crewmembers.

Automated defibrillators would be accessible throughout the ship, and the initial safety briefing includes important emergency medical and safety information.

Next of kin would be notified of the death of a loved one with the authority to request the vessel to return the deceased back to the US.

Families of victims can seek fair compensation after a death at sea.