When boarding cruise ships next year, guests will see safety improvements that were the result of lobbying efforts by a Burbank woman and the international organization she helms.
Jamie Barnett, president of International Cruise Victims Assn. Inc., spent a lot of time in Washington to help get the federal Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act passed last year and many of its components will be mandated on all cruise ships starting in 2012.
Ships are now required to have video surveillance systems and on-duty law enforcement officials can have access to the videos at any time.
All cabin doors must also have peepholes and inside locks.
“The hotel industry has had those for years,” Barnett said.
Another safety improvement requires that all railings be at least 42 inches high.
Barnett’s daughter died on a cruise ship in 2005 and questions still remain about her death.
To make matters worse, her daughter’s body was taken off the ship in Ensenada, Mexico. An autopsy was performed and her remains were embalmed, which was required before her body could be transported across the U.S. border.
Barnett said she met with FBI officials recently and they told her they can now issue waivers so autopsies don’t have to be performed immediately when someone dies on a cruise ship and their body is taken to a foreign port.