When crime happens at sea, cruise lines don’t like it one bit. Traveling via cruise ship offers one of the safest ways to vacation. But isolated stories of drug smuggling, crew members being inappropriate with minors and even a rogue cruise ship captain accused of grounding his ship are reasons for concern that cruise lines would just as soon we not know about. When crime happens at sea, cruise lines spring into action and ships are often swarmed by the FBI, US Coast Guard, Immigration officials and others to handle situations quickly.
This week, a variety of crime at sea events are in the news. Let’s take a look.
Captain, My Captain
Francesco Schettino, 51, the captain of Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that crashed into an Italian reef appeared in court Monday to hear the evidence against him. Outside the Italian courtroom, hundreds of passengers who survived the tragic/avoidable shipwreck and the families of those who died in it showed up just “to look him in the eye,” said an NBC News report.
The case has so many people with a legitimate claim to be at the proceedings, that a theater had to be turned into a courtroom in the Tuscan city of Grosseto.
In the next few days, Schettino who is accused of manslaughter , will learn if he will face charges over the deaths of 32 people after his ship run aground off Giglio island on Jan. 13. Schettino, also accused of abandoning his ship, recently changed his account of leaving the listing vessel to “I fell off“.
Somehow Booze Smuggling Does Not Seem All That Bad
Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas is back in the news. Two crew members were arrested and accused of smuggling cocaine when the ship docked at Port Everglades on Sunday.
Winston Hyman and Jimmel Thom, both 25, were stopped during a routine crew inspection as they attempted to disembark the Allure of the Seas about 2 p.m, says a Sun Sentinel report. The cruise ship had just returned from scheduled stops in Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico, according to Special Agent Shawn Stone with the Department of Homeland Security‘s investigation division.
Hands Off The Kids Please
Finally, a former Norwegian Cruise Line employee accused of having sex with a 16-year-old female passenger sentenced to nine years in prison Monday.
Senad Djedovic, 29, a resident of Bosnia and Herzegovina, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a charge of possession of child pornography, said a TampaBay report. Djedovic had been accused of soliciting and accepting sexually explicit images from the girl he met on a cruise.