Crime reports may become mandatory on cruises

MIAMI - Legislation is heading for full House and Senate votes that would force cruise lines to carry rape investigation kits and publicize records of crimes committed at sea.

A House committee on Thursday unanimously approved the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act. An identical Senate bill earlier cleared committee, and lawmakers hope for full votes after their August recess.

Sponsors Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and California Rep. Doris Matsui started investigating cruise crimes after hearing from constituents allegedly raped by ship employees and from families with loved ones lost at sea.

The industry first opposed the bill but has changed its stance, and an industry association says most companies already follow many of the measures.