Unsafe at sea- and it’s not Coronavirus.
Dr. Elinor Garely is a Reporter with eturbonews.com
eTurboNews Reporter is based in New York City. Today she is interviewing Jamie Barnett, the President of the International Cruise Victims organization. ICV represents victims of crimes on cruise ships, their families and friends, as well as individuals concerned with the problems of victimization and disappearance on cruise ships.
The organization is an advocate for legislative reform that could protect cruise ship passengers from crimes and increase the rights of victims of crimes that take place on ships.
As a voice for the voiceless the organization focuses on bringing transparency to the cruise line industry in order for passengers and crew to travel and work in a safe and secure onboard environment.
The cruise industry is unencumbered by the accountability and consumer protection Americans expect from other industries. Because the ships do not carry the flag of the USA, they are not required to follow the labor laws and practices required by companies doing business in this country and they do not pay taxes in the United States.
Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian comprise nearly 80 percent of the cruise industry. For the millions of travelers who spend their holiday time and money aboard one of the big three cruise lines each year, it is likely that their fate will be in the hands of the Bahamas, Panama, Bermuda or Malta with 70 percent of cruise ships registered in these nations known as Open Registries or Flags of Convenience. The flag states benefit from this arrangement in the form of registration fees and tonnage tax.
SeaDream I left port on November 7, 2020 in Barbados for a 7-day cruise, the first West Indies departure since the Covid 19 embargo. It returned early because of a Covid 19 outbreak onboard. The ship was carrying 66 crew and over 50 passengers, with most of the passengers from the United States. During the first 2 days of the cruise, passengers and crew were not required to wear masks. After a passenger tested positive, Barbados health officials boarded the ship and tested passengers, confirming that 9 individuals tested positive for Covid 19 and were sent to Harrison’s Point with one person medically evacuated out. The remaining passengers, testing negative, went back to their homes using commercial airlines.
Representatives from Barbados and the Caribbean Tourism Organization were invited to comment on this ongoing story and declined the opportunity