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Cruise Ship Rape and Sexual Assault Lawyers

Ports of Everglades, Canaveral, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Miami
Call Today. Do Not Delay 866-608-5529
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Cruise Ships, like everyday life, present bad actors, mischievous neighbors and even sexual predators of the worst kind in your daily routine. Don’t drop your guard while aboard ship, watch out for your friends and family, and stay safe.”

- LT Commander Robert Whittel USNNR - Retired

When you book a cruise, you are looking forward to having fun and relaxing. Your mind is on vacation mode, and you are certainly not thinking about being the victim of a crime, like rape or sexual assault. While travelling via a cruise line is generally safe, it is important to point out that crimes on board these vessels can and do happen, and perhaps more often than you think.

Victims of Sexual Assault, Rape, Sexual Battery Lawyers for Passengers of all Cruise Lines including: Disney Cruise Line, Virgin Voyages, Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Cruise Line Incident Reports, cruise ships that sailed all over the United States reported 137 major crimes in 2019. Between July-September of 2019 there was an uptick in the number of sexual assault allegations on cruise ships leaving or arriving to the U.S. Six cruise lines reported 35 incidents involving sexual assault. Of these, 27 were allegedly committed by passengers, 5 by crew members, and 3 by people who were not classified as crew or passengers.

Most of the above sexual assaults were reported by Carnival Cruise Lines, the largest cruise line with headquarters in Doral, Florida. Carnival reported 20 alleged assaults with 17 of these allegedly committed by passengers, one by a crew member and two by people who were not classified as crew or passengers.

Royal Caribbean Group based in Miami, Florida had 8 reports of sexual assault, 4 allegedly committed by passengers, 3 by crew members and one by a person who was classified as a crew member or passenger.

How do Federal Laws and Maritime Laws Apply to Cruise Ship Rapes and Sexual Assaults?

In July 2010 the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) was passed by Congress to help improve safety and security aboard cruise ships. The CVSSA is also intended to give accurate numbers in regards to crimes reported on board cruise ships, like homicide, missing persons, kidnapping, sexual assault, and violent crimes.

In November 2019, new legislation was introduced by The House of Representatives called the Cruise Passenger Protection Act (CPPA) which is intended to strengthen passenger safety aboard cruise ships. This law builds upon the parameters set forth by the CVSSA through added crimes reporting measures and video surveillance guidelines, having a trained physician on board, and holding cruise lines accountable for their role in contributing to any deaths, sexual assault, or other violent crimes that may occur at sea.

This bill introduces the first changes Congress has issued since 2010 and requires cruise lines to notify the FBI within 4 hours of a crime report, report an incident that happened in a U.S. port to authorities before the ship leaves, report the allegations to the U.S. Consulate in the next port of call, and indicate if the crimes involved minors, among other requirements.

Maritime law applies when there are situations of a crewmember assaulting a passenger. The enforcement of such law results in cruise lines being liable for sexual assaults carried out by their crewmembers. This means that a cruise line can be held liable for its crew member's actions and the only thing that must be proved is that the crime in question actually happened.

However, when dealing with a passenger assaulting another passenger, the situation is different. In this circumstance, it must be demonstrated that the cruise line had “notice” of the alleged dangerous condition, referring to the propensity of the perpetrator to commit the rape or sexual assault. This can be shown by either demonstrating:

  • Red Flag Conduct of the offender - any conduct that would have raised an alarm to the crewmembers or cruise line about a potential risk of harm to any person aboard
  • The cruise line created a dangerous condition - an example of that could be the excess service of alcohol, lack of security, etc.
What Is Sexual Assault and/or Rape?

Sexual assault is any sexual conduct or behavior that occurs to another person without their consent. This can be hard to fully understand, but to break it down - rape is a type of sexual assault, but not all sexual assault is classified as rape. Sexual assault can be many things, like attempted rape, forcing another person to perform a sex act like oral sex, fondling or sexually touching another person without their consent, and rape - the sexual penetration of another person’s vagina or anus with a body part or other object without their consent.

If you have experienced a rape or sexual assault while on board a cruise ship, we urge you to protect yourself and your rights. Call our Florida Cruise Ship Rape and Sexual Assault Lawyers at Whittel & Melton right away at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation.

What Should I do if I Was Sexually Assaulted or Raped on Board a Cruise Ship?

Our Florida Cruise Ship Rape and Sexual Assault Lawyers at Whittel & Melton recommend taking the following precautions if you have been sexually assaulted while on board a cruise ship:

  • Do not shower until you have been examined by a medical professional. We know this can be difficult, but this only protects critical evidence that will be useful in your case. Keep any clothing or bedding that may have evidence on it as well and do not wash it. You can keep these items in a paper bag until you can give it to the FBI or U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Report the incident to the ship’s security officer right away.
  • Get help from the cruise ship’s medical doctor on board so that your physical injuries can be treated and so that they can perform a rape kit examination.
  • Do not wait to contact the FBI and U.S. Coast Guard. You need guidance on how to proceed. Here are important numbers to have:
    • FBI headquarters (Washington, D.C.): (202) 324-3000
    • Emergency numbers for the U.S. Coast Guard:
    • (1) Atlantic Area Command Center (for Great Lakes, Gulf and East Coasts): (757) 398-6390;
    • (2) Pacific Area Command center (for the Hawaiian, Alaskan and Pacific Coasts): (510) 437-3701.
    • (3) Miami FBI Office: (754) 703-2000
    • (4) Orlando FBI Office: (407) 714-2000
    • (5) Tampa FBI Office: (813) 253-5000
    • (6) Jacksonville Office: (904) 248-7000
  • Get the names of EVERYONE involved in the crime, which includes the perpetrators, ship security, investigating officers, and all witnesses.
  • You will want to gather the names and information of anyone on board that has information that could prove helpful to your case. Your neighboring passengers may have seen something suspicious or know of someone who saw something important.
  • Take pictures of your injuries and of the crime scene, if you can.
  • Once you arrive at the next port of call or disembark from the ship, seek help from the closest rape treatment center. The FBI or local law enforcement should meet the ship once it arrives at the next port of call.
  • Keep a record of all your physical and psychological injuries.
  • Once you are able, call our Florida Cruise Ship Rape and Sexual Assault Lawyers at Whittel & Melton right away at 866-608-5529.
What Types of Damages can I Recover From a Cruise Ship Sexual Assault or Rape?

Being a victim of rape or sexual assault on a cruise ship can bring about physical harm, as well as emotional, psychological and physiological injuries. With that said, the damages typically sought in a rape or sexual assault claim often include:

  • Physical injuries
  • Past, present, and future medical bills related to the injuries suffered in the sexual attack
  • Past, present, and future lost wages
  • Mental anguish and emotional pain and suffering, which may include PTSD, post sexual violence depression, anxiety, etc.
  • Any future rehabilitation or medical expenses related to the sexual attack
Let our Florida Cruise Ship Rape and Sexual Assault Lawyers at Whittel & Melton Help You

Our Florida Cruise Ship Rape and Sexual Assault Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know that there is nothing we can do to erase what has happened to you. We also know that there is no amount of money that can ever minimize the pain you have endured following a sexual attack. However, by holding a cruise line accountable for their negligence in the form of a civil lawsuit, we can help you achieve some sense of closure and justice. Our Florida Cruise Ship Rape and Sexual Assault Lawyers at Whittel & Melton may be able to help you recover financial compensation related to your sexual assault or rape on board a cruise ship, so call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online to learn more.

Florida Cruise Ship Sex Assault and Rape Attorneys for Victims aboard Disney Cruise Line, Virgin Voyages, Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises.

Having us on your side will give your case the best chance of recovering a full and fair financial award to help you move forward with your life. We want to hold responsible parties liable for their role in your sexual assault or rape and prevent future tragic experiences from occurring.

Our Florida Cruise Ship Rape and Sexual Assault Lawyers at Whittel & Melton offer free consultations to victims of sexual assault or rape who are interested in pursuing a sexual assault or rape injury lawsuit. We welcome you to call us at 866-608-5529 or contact us online so that we can answer all of your questions.

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