After the long cold winter, many in Northeast Ohio are eyeing a warm, tropical vacation. For some, that includes a cruise.
The popularity of a luxury liner vacation continues to grow.
Since 1980, the cruise industry has had an average annual passenger growth rate of 7.6 percent. And since 2011, over 16 million passengers traveled aboard cruise vessels worldwide. But how safe are you and your family once you board the luxury liner?
About 10.9 million of these passengers traveled from U.S. ports. Media reports about passenger personal safety while aboard cruise vessels, combined with the increasing number of cruise vessel passengers and the January 2012 Costa Concordia cruise vessel grounding off the coast of Italy, which claimed 32 lives, raised questions about personal security and passenger safety when aboard cruise vessels.
Here is a chart from NewsChannel5 Scripps sister station WPTV.com regarding cruise ship crimes comparing what cruise lines reported and what WPTV found.
After the Concordia incident, a 10-step safety plan was enacted by the Cruise Lines International Association to ensure another incident like that off the coast of Italy wouldn’t happen again. The procedures were adopted by cruise line companies around the world. The plan continues to be a work in progress.
According to the CLIA, ship accidents happen less frequently than personal crime.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), from 2005 through 2010, sexual assaults and physical assaults on cruise vessels were the leading cruise vessel crimes investigated and reported by the FBI. However, the public was often not aware of these crimes because the federal government did not require information about them to be published.
Coming up Thursday on NewsChannel5 at 6, a closer look at cruise ship crime and what you need to know if you’re taking a trip on the high seas. Plus, we’ll give five 5 On Your Side Cruise safety weblinks.