Cruise lines have a duty under maritime law to warn passengers of risks and dangers that the cruise lines know or should know, for places where passengers on cruises are reasonably expected to go. The State Department recently issued an advisory about the violence in the Bahamas. But the cruise line failed to warn its passengers, two of whom were drugged and raped in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.
The Travel Advisory said, “The majority of crime occurs on New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands. In Nassau, practice increased vigilance in the ‘Over the Hill’ area (south of Shirley Street) where gang-on-gang violence has resulted in a high homicide rate primarily affecting the local population.”
A cruise is a tour and a full experience of ports and excursions; it is not merely transportation from A to B. These ports of call are part and parcel of the cruise experience. Cruise lines owe their customers a duty of care to warn them of potential dangers in different ports.
The two women are sharing their story after this terrible experience, talking to LEX 18 about what happened to them. According to LEX, the two left the cruise ship for a planned excursion.
After taking a taxi to a local resort in Freeport, they allege their cocktails were drugged and resort staff members sexually assaulted them.
Shearer and Dobson shared photos of preliminary drug tests that showed positive results for benzodiazepines, among other drugs. The women also have bruising up and down their legs.
The pair is disappointed with Bahamian police after they claim they failed to give the pair proper rape kits. They said they later received care while back on board the cruise ship and are waiting to speak with American law enforcement.
The women also appeared on CUOMO to discuss what happened. They noted that they each drank cocktails and felt something was wrong during the second drink. The pair later went to look for seashells on the beach when they were approached by a male resort staff member who told them he knew a good place to find shells. The next thing one remembers is waking up in the midst of the attack. She said, “I came to in the process of my rape,” with her friend adding, “We were just conscious enough to have, or just aware enough, to know that they were in uniforms.”
The Royal Bahamas Police confirmed two men were arrested early last Sunday for the alleged assault of two women and an investigation is ongoing.
Now that they’re back in the States from their cruise, the women are receiving medical care, including HIV prevention medication. Said one of the women, “You need to be aware because our cruise line did not make us aware of a travel advisory. We had no idea what was going on in the Bahamas.”
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