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Jim Lewis
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Problems at sea spark requests on new legislation for cruise ships

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The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009 were introduced to keep Americans aware and safe on cruise ships. Ship safety has been a concern for years, but with recent media coverage on mysterious deaths, sicknesses and accidents aboard cruise ships has made consumers more aware of possible problems at sea.

The legislation would mandate that: guard rails would reach 54 inches in height, passenger stateroom and crew cabins entry doors have peep holes, security latches and time sensitive key technology. Technology would also be added to detect when a passenger falls overboard. It would also limit the number of crew members who have access to staterooms.

A reporting structure which is based on a current voluntary agreement would be established between the cruise industry, the FBI and the Coast Guard. The FBI, Coast Guard and local law enforcement would also have availability to ship log books which would document all deaths, accidents, thefts, assaults, harassments, and missing individuals.

To improve crime scene response each ship would be required to provide anti-retroviral medications and medications that prevent sexually transmitted diseases after a sexual assault as well as other equipment to determine sexual assault. A United States licensed medical practitioner would also be aboard each ship.

Each cruise ship would have a crew member who would be trained in crime scene investigation. This crew member would be trained trough a program which would be designed by the US Coast Guard and the FBI. This training program certified by Administrator of the Maritime Administration.

To enforce safety and environment standards the Coast Guard would be authorized to dispatch personnel to monitor discharge of waste. They also would act as a public safety officer who would collect and secure evidence in alleged crime scenes. This bill would also establish fair and equal remedies for people injured in boating disasters and would amend the Death on the High Seas Act for persons who die from negligence.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper,Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.