Caresse Jackman

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Video: Family Takes Cruise Regulation Fight To Capitol Hill

Violet Butler COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — ” My mother died needlessly because humane, emergency protocol was not followed or enforced.”

In front of the nation’s Senate Commerce Committee.

“The general public does not understand U.S. rights are surrendered upon entering the vessel,” said Amanda Butler.

Amanda Butler testified, detailing her horrifying ordeal onboard Carnival Cruise line and how her mother, Violet lost her life.

“Had we known my family would never have boarded that ship,” said Amanda Butler.

A senate panel is considering legislation that could improve passenger safety on cruises. Amanda and her father are working alongside West Virginia Senator Jay Rcokefeller to get the medical facilities on boats up to par with those of the airline industry.

“They could add $5 per person. And then hire a full time medical team. I would gladly pay extra to know that I had a good, competent doctor in the hospital set up on the ship,” said Butch Butler, Husband of Violet Butler.

They also demand companies change their wording in contracts so people know what they’re signing before boarding.

“There is a tiny, tiny clause that says read this contract. And when you click on that, it’s still too small to read. It’s misinterpreted,” said Amanda Butler.

“If you’re planning on going on a cruise, read your ticket before you click ‘I accept’. Cause when you click I accept, you give up all your rights as U.S. Citizens,” said Butch Butler.

For Violet, legislation comes too little too late. But Amanda is pushing forward, hoping this prevents another tragedy from happening at sea.

“They told me that when they introduce this bill to the house side, they’re going to let me stand up and read this for my mother and they’re going to name this after her.”

Until that day comes, Amanda says she’ll continue sharing her mother’s story.

WCBI reached out to Carnival Cruise Lines. They released this statement:

“Competent and qualified medical professionals are available on board Carnival’s ships 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and Carnival Cruise Lines’ medical facilities meet or exceed the guidelines established by the cruise ship medicine section of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). The ACEP guidelines recommend standards for cruise ship health care facilities and for qualifications of shipboard doctors and nurses.

Ms. Butler collapsed in the gangway area on the Carnival Conquest. At that time, there was a doctor and a nurse on board the ship. The ship’s medical staff responded, and Ms. Butler was successfully resuscitated and then transferred to a shore side medical facility. Automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) are available on board Carnival ships in a variety of locations and shipboard doctors and nurses are certified in both basic life support CPR and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) or equivalent.

A 911 emergency response system is in place on board all Carnival ships. Ship’s phones are identified with “Emergency: Dial 911” and phones are linked to the 911 emergency response system. Emergency medical response is available on a 24/7 basis on Carnival ships. Shipboard doctors and nurses carry portable two-way radios and mobile phones to ensure efficient communications and prompt responses to medical emergencies.”

Jennifer de la Cruz
Vice President of Public Relations
Carnival Cruise Lines