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The Cruise Lines International Association did not return requests for comment. But Pham says he has no doubt that the DOHSA revision will not slip by without the lobbyists' notice. "Cruise lines absolutely didn't want DOHSA to be part of that [2009 bill] at all," he says, noting that the industry would suddenly become liable for all sorts of incidents that it's currently able to dodge legal responsibility for—everything from onboard murders to rapes to mysterious disappearances like that of Pham's parents. "It's an industry that self-polices. When there's an incident on board, there's nobody but themselves investigating themselves. You're not going to turn yourself in."
Pham suggests that perhaps his group should join forces with the families of the deceased Deepwater workers. "Hopefully the current issue with BP will keep this issue in front and create more public awareness," he says. But, as he points, it's unfortunate that it "takes a tragic incident like [the Gulf spill] for people to realize they've been taking this for granted."