“May you rest in Peace in the Hands of God.”
While onboard the Carnival Cruise Line “Destiny”, our beloved parents and grandparents, Hue Pham (age 71) and Hue Tran (age 67), who were married for 49 years, disappeared in the Caribbean Seas on May 12, 2005, between the islands of Barbados and Aruba. What started out as a ‘Mother’s Day’ gift, a 7-night Caribbean cruise with their daughter and granddaughter, turned into another tragic and mysterious disappearance from a Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) ship.
Following our parents’ disappearance, the crew waited for over 4 hours before notifying the U.S Coast Guard… and allowed the ship (“Destiny”) to further distance itself from the location, where our parents were originally reported missing. Too much time had elapsed between the U.S. Coast Guard notification and the first search and rescue from the Netherlands Coast Guard. Under the direction of the U.S Coast Guard to participate in the search mission, it still took more than 12 hours for the “Destiny” vessel to return to the original location.
The search and rescue mission was called off in less than 13 hours from the presumed time of our parents’ disappearance.
We believe there is more detailed information on our parents’ cause of death, than what is actually being released by CCL. The immediate actions taken by the cruise staff were acts of negligence and cover-ups. They were more focused on planning the next day’s shore activities in St. Marten (replacement for Aruba), then protecting crucial information and evidence pertaining to 2 of their missing passengers… Our parents!
Two days after the incident, Carnival Cruise Line’s “Destiny” arrived at its’ final destination in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Our remaining family members exited the ship among all the other passengers. Since then, Carnival Cruise Lines has refused to accept our phone calls and requests for assistance.
The arrogant ‘business as usual’ attitude by Carnival Cruise Lines is the normal ‘take no responsibility’ reaction of the world’s largest cruise company, accounting for more than half of the world’s cruise industry travelers. It’s important to note that the majority of their passengers are citizens of the United States of America.
The current ‘Death On The High Seas Act’ (DOHSA), a 1920s law enacted by the U.S Congress, and which is still in effect, has complicated jurisdictional issues surrounding the following:
foreign-registered ships owned and/or operated by foreign-registered companies,
sailing in international waters, and
crossing territories and borders of countries.
This law has continued to protect the cruise industry from being held accountable for the safety and security of its passengers.
If you were on the Carnival Destiny in the Caribbean on May 8-15, 2005, we would like to hear from you.