A Norwegian Cruise Lines holiday turned into a nightmare for a female passenger after a male guest onboard the ship launched a violent attack. Reports state that the man allegedly chased the woman around the cruise ship before attacking her breaking her jaw and arm. A press release from the FBI has stated that he was arrested while the ship was in international waters.
What happens if a crime is committed at sea?
The question of the law works while at sea has been “convoluted” for some time, according to HowStuffWorks.com.
It states: “The problem is that maritime law – the law that applies on the water – is famously convoluted.
“Cruise ships aren’t even required to report crime statistics to any governing body, and the question of who’s supposed to investigate when a crime does occur is a sticky one.”
Usually, depending on the nature and severity of a crime, the way it is handled is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Usually the laws of whatever country’s waters a ship is deemed to be in apply.
However, this only applies to ships sailing in internal waters, such as bays or pots, and territorial waters which are extended 12 to 24 miles from the coastline.
The website adds: “Once a ship is 24 miles from any coastline, it’s on the high seas (or international waters).
With the exception of certain rights within the contiguous zone, the law of that ship is the law of the country whose flag it’s flying.”