More than 170 people have vanished from cruise ships since 2000
In an effort to find out what really happened to a missing cruise-ship worker, Guardian investigative journalist Jon Ronson booked himself onto the same cruise ship, the Disney Wonder, to talk to some of her colleagues. Rebecca Coriam, 24, from the UK, vanished from the ship early one morning in March shortly after speaking on the phone to a friend. The girl’s parents have been told that an investigation is “still ongoing”, but despite regular emails asking about the case’s progress they say they are getting less and less in the way of response. Just one police officer, from the Bahamas, was assigned to investigate and he spoke to very few passengers or her colleagues. In desperation, Rebecca’s parents have set up a website, Help Us To Find Rebecca.
The journalist discovers that not many employees on the ship want to talk about the case. Some workers say, however, that they find it strange that even though the cruise company is known to keep tapes of all calls made on the ship and has CCTV cameras recording every part of the ship, nothing is known about what happened to Rebecca after she made the call.
The fact is that it is not an isolated case. There have been more than 170 disappearances on all cruise lines since 2000. A man who runs a lobby group called International Cruise Victims argues that “the sexual crime rate is 50% higher than in the average American city […] You’re on a ship. There’s no police. Once you leave the port, you’re in international waters. Who do you think is attracted to working on those ships?”
[pictured: Rebecca Coriam]