A provision of the reauthorization bill for the U.S. Coast Guard will require reporting of all alleged crimes on cruise ships, even if investigations have not concluded.
The idea was one of several advocated by retiring U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) , who held several hearings on cruise safety matters as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.
The provision, labeled Section 321, calls for the Secretary of Transportation to maintain a website that provides a numerical accounting of missing persons and alleged crimes on cruise ships “without regard to the investigative status of the incident.”
It says the figures should be updated quarterly, identify each cruise line by name and include the approximate number of passengers and crew carried by each line during the quarterly period.
The rule also requires the site to be in a “user-friendly format,” that employs off-the-shelf technology.
Cruise crime data is currently published on a U.S. Coast Guard site, based on FBI statistics that do not include cases still under investigation. Rockefeller has argued that the figures underrepresent the number of crimes the agency tracks. Cruise lines have begun independently reporting the number of alleged crimes on their own.
CLIA has argued either figure shows that cruise lines are relatively safer than jurisdictions on land that report crimes.
The main purpose of the omnibus reauthorization bill is to fund Coast Guard activities for 2015 and 2016.