This website is about aiming to change laws regarding jurisdiction in international waters, this area of maritime law is to the lay person (majority of people who now become crew members or board cruise ships) a totally confusing and little understood area, if they should ever become involved in a incident at sea, while in international waters.
We are also campaigning for an independent police force to be installed and run independently on cruise ships. With onboard powers of arrest, scene of crime, and forensic responsibility, and no connection at all with the cruise industry.
Reasons for The Initiative
The seeds to this website were sown, on the fateful day of the 22nd March 2011 at 10:45pm, when we received a devastating phone call direct from the Disney Wonder cruise ship, that are youngest daughter Rebecca Coriam ,a crew member on board the ship,was ” missing at sea” . The instant shock and trauma that we went into are too difficult to describe and explain in words. For us there was no pastoral care or police family support officer ,there was no help for us, we were on our own. We had entered into the maritime world,for which we knew little of how it operates.
The next few days were spent arranging to travel to the ship for when it arrives back in Los Angeles, and trying to find information as to what has happened to our daughter, and reporting her officially ” missing ” to the UK police , contacting are MP and the Foreign Office, and trying to get “police authorities ” to investigate what had really happened on the ship, we were told that because the ship is registered in the Bahamas they will be doing the investigation. We arrived in Los Angeles on the Friday evening met by a Disney official and a member of the British Consulate. Saturday was spent around the port where the ship docks ,asking port and ship workers for any information.
The Sunday morning we met with the Detective from the Royal Bahamas Police Force, who had been flown out to do the investigation. After the meeting we were due to board the ship,and thinking the officer would be coming on board with us,we were shocked to find out,he was flying back to the Bahamas,after only a day and a half onboard ,he informed us he had completed his investigation on the ship, and would continue it back in the Bahamas. Over two thousand people on the ship and this one detective on his own had spent a day and a half on the ship. Is this the way the Flag States operate ? We were begining to understand what this system of registering ships and Flag States was going to mean for us, a case of different authorities being involved with little or no jurisdiction . During the meeting with the Police Officer from the Bahamas, he also informed us that he will conclude his investigation in about two/three weeks, and his report would go to his Attorney General and then to the Coroner for a inquest. To this day we are still waiting for his report and the inquest. A interim report was sent to Cheshire Police with the instructions from the Bahamas not to disclose to the family the contents of the report,and the FOIA does not apply in this case. Since then we have met with the Minister for Shipping, been in contact with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Office , the Home Office ,are MP and we have been past from pillar to post by them all.
Even the FBI in the USA, refused to co-operate with us. And a letter has gone to President Obama of the United States of America, with no reply to date from him.
While we were on the ship,we met with the Captain, and we asked him what does he think happened? His reply was ” he thinks Rebecca was sitting on the side when a large wave came, hit the ship, caused it to rock, and she slipped “!!
During the course of our investigation we made contact with a Mr Bill Anderson,
MNM, FOC, Shipping Inspector,who became are Maritime Investigation Co-ordinator here in the UK,and working in conjunction with are lawyer in the USA, to assist us in finding answers to what happened to are daughter.
Sadly what we have experienced since are daughter went missing,is all too common in the maritime world, you are on your own, jurisdiction becomes the big issue,with nobody taking full control. So this website was founded, to help people who find themselves,sadly in a similar position like us,or have other maritime issues, we aim to help, advise and put you in contact with people and organisations which maybe of help to you.
Are ultimate aim is to campaign for the law to be changed,in honour of are daughter Rebecca Coriam, and a independent police force be put in place on these ships. Please feel free to offer support in any way you can, and leave a comment if you so wish to.
Thank you for taking the time to visit our website.
Mike & Ann Coriam, Bill Anderson MNM.