Cruise Ship Death Rocks Australia

A coroner's inquest into the 2002 death of Dianne Brimble, a 42-year old suburban mother of three, onboard the P&O Pacific Sky has shocked Australia with its graphic descriptions of her treatment by a group of men she met on board. The woman's vacation apparently ended just a few hours after she boarded, with alcohol, drugs and problems with sexual predators. No one has yet been charged, but Brimble died of an overdose of gamma hydroxybutyrate, a "date rape" drug, mixed with a high blood alcohol level. Brimble's family has joined an international group set up by victims of other crimes at sea in demanding cruise ships better protect passengers. The investigation is continuing and P&O has said it deeply regrets Brimble's death but cannot comment on her case. The line did say it had increased security on its ships. However, after Kathleen Taylor, a Pacific Sky night shift manager, told the coroner's inquest that incidents of nudity and public sex on board P&O cruise ships happened up to 20 times a night, the cruise line also said unruly passengers would be kicked off future cruises. P&O primarily services British and Australian customers, but does attract some Americans; P&O is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp.

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