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Congress wants action to prevent future cruise line nightmares

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Updated: 5/29/2013 6:41 pm
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A paradise vacation is cut short by a terrifying fire.

After a series of high-profile disasters on the sea, a California Congressman said, "Enough." 

The fire aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Grandeur of the Seas, is just the latest in a string of cruise ship mishaps over the past year and a half.

"There were individuals that were freaking out," said Jennifer Dodson, a cruise ship passenger. "There were individuals that were shaking, terrified, had to be reassured extra."

In February, there was a fire aboard Carnival Cruise Line's Triumph.Thousands were stuck without power, air conditioning or running water in the middle of the Golf of Mexico.

In January 2012, 32 people died when the Costa Concordia capsized off Italy's coast.

California Rep. John Garamendi said Congress needs to step in. He questions the overall safety record of the cruise line industry and is demanding an oversight hearing as soon as possible.

Maritime attorney John Eaves wants to see cruise lines regulated like the airlines.

"This is an industry that has gone really unaccountable and gone by their own rules for 100 years now," said Eaves.

An industry trade group says a cruise is a safe vacation and has a great safety record.

Cruise Lines International Association says more congressional oversight is not needed.
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