This letter was written by a Director of The Rebecca Coriam Search Foundation Limited and was sent to pillars of the community.
To Whom It May Concern:
RE – MISSING CRUISE SHIP WORKER REBECCA CORIAM.
May I take the time to introduce ourselves as The Rebecca Coriam Search Foundation Limted and it is six months since Rebecca went missing. We need your help to further the campaign and in doing so highlight other cases along the way, because the cruise industry is renowned for dismissing any claims made against them, including taking any responsibility in giving answers to Family’s of Victims of Crimes on Board.
Rebecca was working as a youth worker, on the Disney Wonder when she went missing at sea on the Mexican Riviera early morning on the 22nd March 2011. Rebecca was a lively well loved 24 year old who enjoyed her job as a Youth Worker.
Since that day the family are still waiting for answers as to what has happened to Rebecca. The letters we have received from the families of the children Rebecca looked after said what a lovely girl she was and how happy and enjoyable she had made the cruise for their children, and that they were shocked and dismayed about what has happened.
A few weeks later we hear that another person a man Mr. John Halford went missing from a cruise ship in the Red Sea on the 6th April. We started looking into the Missing Persons at Sea and became aware that since 1995 165 people have now gone missing at sea. This year only there have been 12 people, since Rebecca there have been 5 more missing. This is happening regularly cruise ships hardly ever comment and if they do they say “cruise lines are not obliged to report any crimes that may occur on their cruise vessel unless they are a US National.
FLAG OF CONVENIENCE
The Family have become aware of the ships flying under the flag of convenience (FOC). International Maritime Organization (IMO) “requires all ships engaged in international trade to have a Country of registry in order to sail in international waters. A ship is considered territory of the Country in which it is registered. This clause is particularly important as it states “ a country” and could pertain to any country, developed or undeveloped more importantly the ship is considered the territory of its country, making them subject to that countries law and regulations “by opting to re-flag in the new nation, a vessel owner becomes subject to the safety, labour, and environmental codes of that nation thus, those nations whose open registries have become the most popular also tend to be those who posses the most lax labour, safety, and environmental codes” (wing, 2003, p1176). The majority of cruise ships today are registered to Panama or the Bahamas. Cruise lines including the Disney Wonder avoid drawing attention to the FOC by using the term “headquartered in Miami, Florida.
It has also come to our attention that the cruise lines do not hold records of their employees who have committed crimes on board, they do not pass information on to other cruise companies which means this leaves the door wide open for thieves, rapist, paedophiles or worse to board their ships. Also unlike aeroplanes with Federal Marshals cruise ships have no police authorities aboard, the few security guards on the ships are loyal to their employer who pays their salary – not to the passenger.
International Cruise Victims (ICV) http://www.internationalcruisevictims.org/ Chairman Mr. Kendall Carver, with the help of Senator John Kerry and Congresswoman Doris Matsui has been successful in changing the law for US Nationals in 2010. President Obama, The US congress passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act 2010 which requires cruise ships to report shipboard crimes to the FBI and US Coast Guard for any US National and to maintain rape kits aboard their ships.
Victim Support Europe has joined International Cruise Victims to have The European Union (EU) adapt safety regulations – currently 26 nationals and regional organizations re affiliated to Victim Support Europe.
Mike and Ann Rebecca’s parents do not know what has happened to their lovely daughter, but they will not give up until they get the answers. The family are passionate to get the law changed for British and European passengers/crewmembers to have the same protection as US Nationals. Chester M.P. Mr Stephen Mosley brought up Rebecca’s case in the House of Commons; the Shipping Minister Parliamentary under Secretary of State Mr Mike Penning has asked to meet with Mike and Ann on the 12th September 2011, as to how to move forward with regards to changing the UK Laws; also Anne Coughlan will be representing Victims Support UK in attendance with the Minister.
As part of the campaign we have had a lot of regional coverage BBC North West Tonight, Granada Reports, Local Radio, and National Papers in the UK, American Press, L.A. Times, plus TV coverage by CNN, and Fox News.
We The Rebecca Coriam Search Foundation with dear family and friends, request your help to this campaign in order to put public pressure on behalf of British Citizens and Rebecca to change the laws regarding Cruise Industry; in doing so we hope to have the answers to the mystery that surrounds Rebecca’s disappearance and for those other families that have suffered any forms of criminal activity in International Waters; and to make the Cruise Industry answer for the things they have been brushing under the carpet for so long.
We have links to an E – petition on Rebecca’s Coriam’s Official family website for changing the laws for UK Passengers/crewmembers please take the time to have a look and sign the petition.
Thank you for your time,
We look forward to hearing from you soon
The Rebecca Coriam Search Foundation Limited.