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BOA : Audio

9.10.12

Kendall Carver

(2 Hours, 12 Minutes)


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BoA:Audio ventures into uncharted waters as we welcome Kendall Carver, founder of International Cruise Victims, for a discussion on the troubling trend of disappearances and felonious crimes committed on cruise ships as well as how they are subsequently covered up by the cruise ship industry. Over the course of the conversation, Kendall revisits how the disappearance of his daughter aboard a cruise ship in 2004 led him on a lengthy search for answers which was continuously thwarted by the cruise ship company. We'll discuss a number of similar cases where people have gone missing or been murdered aboard cruise ships and learn about how the cruise ship industry uses its influence in Washington to avoid taking responsibility for the fate of its passengers.

Altogether it is a deeply disconcerting edition of the program which will likely leave BoA:Audio listeners flummoxed and outraged at the underdiscussed crime wave on the high seas that has been uncovered by Kendall Carver's International Cruise Victims organization.

Full Preview: We begin the conversation with Kendall sharing the story of how his daughter disappeared while on a cruise ship in 2004. He details the arduous process of first finding out that she had been on a cruise and then attempting to get insights into his daughter's disappearance from the cruise ship company. He recalls how the cruise ship company denies existence of video tape from the trip and refused to allow employees to meet with a private investigator that Kendall hired. He also reveals the astounding legal fees and time spent on trying to get to the bottom of what happened to his daughter.

Over the course of recounting his story, Kendall talks about numerous instances where he was told differing stories about the videos from the ship, including one tale from the company's CEO as well as subpoenaed emails from the company that show the true, elaborate depth of the coverup. Kendall then reflects on the decision to 'go public' with his story and how that led to considerable media coverage as well as interest from Congress. Kendall then details how all of this led to the creation of the International Cruise Victims association.

Beginning our examination of the cruise industry, as a whole, Kendall provides an overview of the typical cruise ship, including average population and crew size as well as how it is like a "city on the sea" except for one critical component: a police force. He also talks about the suspicious nature of many cruise ship crews and how the industry gets away with paying them extremely minimal wages. This segues into Kendall talking about the subsequent Congressional hearings on the cruise industry, how the ICV's 10 point program to improve cruise ship safety was ignored by the cruise line companies, and subsequent, contentious, hearings in front of Congress.

Kendall then shares the bizarre story of a meeting, held by the cruise ship industry, for 'all passengers and their families,' and how the ICV was threatened with a lawsuit that tried to force them to attend. He also talks about how the cruise industry filed a report to Congress which falsly claimed that the FBI said there was a minuscule crime rate aboard ships.

Next, we look at some of cases of crimes on the high seas that are detailed at the ICV website, starting with the story of a UK woman named Rebecca Coriam, who's disappearance has garnered major media attention around the world. Kendall talks about how the Coriam case is a critical example of the cruise industry registers their boats in foreign countries to find favorable jurisdictions. Additionally, Kendall details how the case led to him testifying in front of the EU about the problems of cruise ship crime.

Following that, we discuss the Amy Lynn Bradley case, where a young woman went missing under mysterious circumstances and the ship refused to post any information about her during the trip, for fear of 'scaring the passengers.' Kendall also talks about how the Bradley case may indicate a larger issue of human trafficking going on amidst these crimes and he also reveals a stunning statistic about how many people go missing from cruise ships annually. This leads to Kendall talking about how legislation was passed for the requirement of a system that would raise alarm if someone went overboard and the Coast Guard has yet to implement it.

In light of the ICV's status as an independently funded advocacy group, Kendall contrasts that with the financial muscle of the cruise industry and reveals how they spend a stunning amount on lobbyists and 'secret' meeting with federal regulators in Washington D.C. He also reveals how the cruise industry uses a myriad of government agencies, but pay no taxes. Getting into more specifics of the crimes aboard cruise ships, Kendall talks about how single females and minors are particularly at risk on these trips. He then talks about how legislation aimed at keeping track of crimes reported on cruise ships was sabotaged by legal language which rendered the law impotent.

Another shocking case we discuss is Dianne Brimble, a woman who was drugged, raped, and murdered aboard a ship, but the family was forced to stay aboard until the ship reached its next destination and four years passed before an investigation into the case was done. We then find out if there is any way to hold the cruise lines legally liable for crimes committed aboard a ship as well as whether or not the growing awareness of the issue has resulted in downturn in business the cruise industry. He also talks about the economics of cruise ships, how tickets are surprisingly cheap and the companies depends on additional spending by tourists to make their money.

That line of conversation leads to the tale of a young woman who 'won' a free cruise ship via a very suspicious Facebook contest. Next we hear the story of a family that is convinced, by cruise line employees, to partake in an 'official' tour of Jamaica at the next stop, which led to a terrifying robbery at gunpoint. He also talks about how off-site snorkeling expeditions result in people going missing as well. Kendall reveals how the Death on the High Seas act keeps the cruise lines from being responsible for people who die aboard their ships. Segueing from there, Kendall talks about how 'customer care representatives' aboard ships are really working at the behest of lawyers for the industry.

Wrapping up our look at some of the cases covered at the ICV website, we find out about a man who fended off an abductor, who was trying to snatch his child, and was subsequently thrown off the ship for reporting the incident. We also learn about how former officers on cruise ships have reached out to the ICV and we find out if they've been told much 'off the record' from former cruise ship workers. Beyond shirking their responsibilities to individual passengers, Kendall reveals how the cruise lines have also avoided equipping their ships with the means to fend off pirate ships.

Moving away from specific cases, we get hypothetical and find out what the standard operating procedure would be if Kendall and Binnall were on a cruise ship and Binnall fell overboard. He also reveals the sort of errors and 'oversights' that happen when someone is reported to have gone overboard as well as how the overabundance of alcohol on cruise ships results in many cases of people going overboard. We also discuss how, despite their being closed circuit monitoring on most ships, there is usually no one watching the footage in real time to keep an eye out for trouble. Kendall reflects on the one aspect of his daughter's disappearance that is particularly haunting and speculates on what her ultimate fate might have been.

Looking at some of the other nefarious activity found on board these cruise ships, we learn about druggings as well as drug use by crews aboard ships. Kendall also talks about the role of the ship captain and how it is remarkably different from that of an airline pilot. This segues into some talk about the world below deck and the secret activities of the ship's crew. We then talk about the preponderance of stories where couples go on cruises and one of the pair ends up missing or dead.

Heading towards the close, we find out what needs to be done to solve the problem of nefarious crimes on cruise ships. Kendall also reveals what the ideal solution is for stopping these unchecked crimes on the high seas. Additionally, Kendall shares some safety tips for people who may be going on a cruise anytime in the near future. Closing out the conversation, we find out what's next for Kendall Carver and the International Cruise Victims organization.




Kendall Carver Bio

Upon graduation from the University of Iowa, Kendall Carver started in the insurance business with Washington National Insurance Company in Evanston, Illinois. 1. In 1977 he was promoted to President and CEO of Washington National Life Insurance Company of New York and held that position until his retirement in 1995. 4. In 2001 he founded and currently serves as Chairman of the Executive Menís Group. This group is made up of 25 active and retired Senior Executives located in the Phoenix Metropolitan area.

Following the disappearance of his daughter, Merrian Carver, aboard a cruise ship in August 2004, Kendall began a lengthy quest for answers, using legal means and private investigators. 5. In January 1, 2006, he founded a group for victims of cruise line crimes. He currently serves as Chairman of this group, International Cruise Victims Association, Inc. This organization now has members in 24 countries around the world and has recently passed major legislation in Washington to control crimes on cruise ships.

His website is www.internationalcruisevictims.org


Next Week:

Robbie Graham

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BoA : Audio, Season 7 archive