Sen. John Kerry: Cruise Ships Should Have Laws

Sen. John Kerry knows a thing or two about boating safety. He actually drove one around during some stupid war in Southeast Asia. Now he's trying to bring more safety to the cruise liners, which apparently are floating anarchies. Ship staff don't have to report the crimes that occur outside U.S. territorial waters; that responsibility lies with whatever nation's "flag of convenience" happens to have dibs on the portion of sea where a crime occurs. Not exactly an easy case to investigate or prosecute, which must be why people are always dropping off cruise ships or having unromantic encounters that sound an awful lot like assault.

Says Kerry:

"The term 'duty free' does not apply to the safety of passengers -- the industry needs to act responsibly. Cruise ships need to report crimes so that justice can be served and criminals can be held accountable. All crimes, regardless of a cruise ship's shifting international jurisdiction, must be reported, investigated, or prosecuted. We owe it to law-abiding citizens like Ken Carver who have lost loved ones on these ships to hold the industry's feet to the fire and make sure this never happens again."

Carver's daughter disappeared during a cruise in 2004. Kerry's bill, the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act, was introduced March 11. It would require ships to report crimes on American vessels to the FBI or U.S. Coast Guard.

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