CLIA is supporting passage of the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act of 2009, according to a statement on the International Cruise Victims website. The bill was authored by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

International Cruise Victims President Ken Carver said in a statement that CLIA had delivered a letter to Kerry's office on Monday, indicating that CLIA would support the bill.

"With the cruise lines now supporting this legislation, we fully expect the bill to have an excellent chance of becoming law," said Ken Carver, president of International Cruise Victims.

If the bill passes, cruise ships would have to provide greater transparency in reporting any onboard crimes and would report those crime on a website operated by the Coast Guard. Ships also would have to install peepholes for every cabin.

International Cruise Victims said the removal of a provision in the bill was a major concession to the cruise industry. The provision would have allowed relatives of any victims to recover damages for emotional suffering and bereavement as well as damages for the victim's pre-death pain and suffering.

"While we did not get everything, major steps were taken to improve safety for passengers," Carver said. "ICV intends to continue to pursue various issues that might not be included in this first bill."

The cruise safety bill (S. 558) is scheduled to be marked up by the Senate's transportation subcommittee on Wednesday.

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