The former husband of a woman who died on board a P&O cruise in 2002 has warned a parliamentary inquiry that cruise ships are the easiest places to get away with crime.
Mark Brimble was representing the International Cruise Victims Association at a recent public hearing of the crimes at sea inquiry being conducted by the House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs.
His former wife, Dianne Brimble, died during her first night on board the cruise ship Pacific Sky from a drug overdose.
Her death was the subject of extensive investigations.
Representing the International Cruise Victims Association at the public hearing, Mark Brimble recalled how Dianne’s young daughter, sister and niece were treated by cruise ship management following her death.
Mr Brimble, who was not on board, told the committee the family had a difficult time getting home from Noumea.
“It seemed that nobody cared,” he said.
Mr Brimble raised the need for more CCTV cameras on all cruise ships and regulation of their use to help monitor the behaviour of passengers and crew and help solve any crimes.
He believed cameras in the corridors of the Pacific Sky may have assisted any police prosecution related to Dianne’s death.
He also saw merit in placing federal marshals on cruise ships to oversee on-board security and assist with any subsequent criminal or coronial investigations.
“People are falling off cruise ships and they are never found…the cruise industry is saying they’ll do their best and it won’t happen again,” he said.
The initial investigation into Ms Brimble's death had been hampered by overlapping jurisdictions and how P&O staff handled the discovery of Ms Brimble’s body.
He told MPs it was inevitable that crime will occur on cruise ships but called for more laws to regulate the industry and protect passengers.
“I know some operators operate for profit but we are talking about lives here,” he said.