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Proposed bill aims to improve passenger safety on cruise ships

WESH Orlando logo WESH Orlando 11/14/2019
a large ship in a body of water: port canaveral cruise ships © Provided by Hearst Television, Inc. port canaveral cruise ships

There’s no law enforcement on the high seas, so how safe are you on a cruise ship?

From accidents, to heart attacks, to sexual assaults, bad things sometimes happen on cruise ships and new federal legislation is aimed at protecting people in one of Central Florida’s key industries.

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Safety measures, in many cases, are left up to cruise operators, and some do better than others.

Congress is now considering the Cruise Passenger Protection Act, which would require cruise ships to have adequate medical staff; to practice timely crime reporting; and to install systems for detecting and recording overboard falls.

“I feel pretty safe, but I guess you always want measures in place for when things go not so well or different things happen,” cruise passenger Emily Hatwell said.

The new legislation requires crimes such as sexual assaults to be reported before a ship leaves port. If a crime happens at sea, the bill requires reporting to the FBI within four hours.

The bill would give cruise passengers the same rights as airline passengers to file lawsuits and hold cruise lines responsible for a death at sea.

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