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SKAOLboy

Mysterious Disappearance Spurs Cruise Ship Probe

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WASHINGTON (Dec. 14) - The mysterious disappearance of a Connecticut man during a honeymoon cruise is drawing congressional attention to a seamy side of the glitzy cruise industry.

"Like small cities, cruise ships experience crime - from petty to profoundly tragic," said Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., chairman of one of two congressional subcommittees hearing testimony Tuesday.

George Allen Smith IV vanished from a Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. ship in the Mediterranean 10 days after his wedding last summer. His family says he was a victim of foul play covered up by the cruise ship line to avoid bad publicity.

Company officials say the cruise line acted properly following Smith's disappearance.

Authorities agree the case is suspicious, saying blood stains were found running from the balcony of his cabin to life boats and a hand print was discovered on the side of the ship.

Industry officials estimated 13 people have disappeared from cruise ships in the past two years. But Shays and other lawmakers question such statistics because they said the industry supplies its own data to the FBI and might be playing down crime.

Smith's wife, Jennifer Hagel Smith, says ship officials forced her from the vessel after her husband's disappearance and abandoned her in Turkey, where she ended up at a police station and later a hospital with no food, money, clothing or ticket home.

Shays read aloud some of the testimony by Smith's wife, who sat at a front row seat at the hearing, surrounded by her late husband's family.

"There was no compassion, sympathy or sensitivity shown by the cruise line," she wrote, adding that ship officials would not let her call her family immediately after her husband's disappearance. "Initially, the cruise line issued a statement attacking George, stating that it was just an accident and suggesting it was all George's fault."

Lawmakers expressed outrage.

link to artical:

http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/article.ad...213213409990004

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Thanks for the news article SKOALboy I honestly believe some take others on crusies to dump the body....What I dont see is how they cant come up with any solid suspects.....is the soulution more cameras? I dunno

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This is very scary news. However, I'm not the least bit deterred. I'd be very interested in hearing more about the 10 cases I heard nothing about and what cruise lines they were on. I wonder if there's a pattern?

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im intrested in the other cases aswell, im just suprised the cruise line just left them high and dry... im going on my first cruise in july and from what everyone tells me they have excellent customer service, i just find it hard to belive... and i agree with mebert this won't deterr other from cruises and i'd think they'd have security cameras after all they security at airports why not ports aswell? and ships?

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Because the cruise industry is so important, here in South Florida, both to our tourist-based economy and having most cruise lines headquartered here, no news about cruising escapes our local media, print, TV and radio.

Instances of people "disappearing" off cruise ships are covered in detail.

There was one instance where a Carnival passenger was "last seen" by his friends, very drunk and standing on a balcony railing....duh!

Most of you have been on a ship. The railings are fairly high, and it is virtually impossible to accidentally fall overboard. This fact, taken together with the statistic that most homicides are committed by someone related to the victim, in general, and what have you got?

And, just think! You can get rid of that unwantd spouse anhd sue the cruise line! It's a win/win situation...

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Yeah, I've often said if you and your spouse are arguing, it would behoove you NOT to take a cruise! LOL!

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