Cruise Ship Safety Bill

Cruise Ship Safety Bill

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Cruise ShipCongresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Senator John Kerry (D-MA) today introduced the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009.  Nearly 10 million passengers took cruises from the United States in 2007 and that figure is expected to grow to more than 12 million passengers in 2009. 

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act would require cruise lines to report all deaths, missing individuals, alleged crimes, and complaints regarding theft, sexual harassment, and assault. The bill would also mandate peepholes in stateroom doors as well as security latches. Such safety features are standard in hotels, but do not always exist on cruise ships. 

In addition, the bill would authorize the Coast Guard to deploy officers to monitor cruise ship waste discharges.  According to the EPA, a single cruise ship can discharge more than 70,000 gallons of human sewage per day per vessel.  Cruise ships are currently allowed to discharge raw sewage as close as three nautical miles from shore.  This sewage, along with other wastes dumped from cruise ships, can infect fish and shellfish, harm surfers and other water-sport enthusiasts, and kill coral.

Media Release | Fact Sheet