Last updated: 04:45 PM ET, Thu July 02 2015

Renewed Attention Placed on Cruise Safety Issues

Impacting Travel | Theresa Norton | July 02, 2015

Renewed Attention Placed on Cruise Safety Issues

Cruise passenger safety issues will rise to the forefront again next week when Sen. Richard Blumenthal holds a press conference with the family of George Smith IV, the honeymooner who disappeared from a ship 10 years ago under mysterious circumstances.

Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut and a sponsor of the Cruise Passenger Protection Act first introduced in 2013, will join with the Smith family in calling for stricter safety measures and consumer protections.

The press conference is set for 11:30 a.m. July 7 at the town hall in Greenwich, Conn., George Smith’s hometown.

The Cruise Passenger Protection Act of 2015 would to mandate the use of safety technology such as man-overboard detection, which proponents say the cruise lines have been slow to implement.

George Smith disappeared on July 5, 2005, in the Aegean Sea near Turkey during a honeymoon cruise on Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas. Family members believe he was murdered and didn’t accidentally fall overboard from his stateroom balcony. A blood stain was reportedly photographed on a lifeboat canopy below the Smiths’ stateroom, but his body has never been found.

The Smith family continues to keep the case alive and last July, on the ninth anniversary of his disappearance, offered a $100,000 reward in hopes of generating new leads. In January, however, the FBI closed its investigation, the Smith family said in a Facebook posting.

The investigative TV show “48 Hours” will broadcast an update on the case at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific time July 4 on CBS. Here’s a sneak peek:

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