The cruise line NEVER called to inform me. Through my own efforts, I finally reached the Norwegian Cruise line and was referred to Ms. Jane Kilgour, Manager of Passenger Claims. From her I received condolences and a promise of an investigation.
The Coast Guard contacted me a couple of hours after Mr. Caputo’s phone call. They had called to tell me about my daughter’s death.
They explained to me that the weather at their destination had been so severe that they were unable to launch the rescue boats.
My daughter, Mindy Jordan, 46-years-old and the mother of two, set sail on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship on Mother’s Day of 2008. The ship sailed from New York City, destined for Bermuda. Mindy was traveling with her boyfriend, Jorge Caputo. Now, my daughter is dead. I received a phone call from Mr. Caputo at 11:00 in the morning on May 12, 2008.
This was a full FIFTEEN HOURS AFTER her death. He informed me that they had been fooling around close to the balcony railing and that my daughter had fallen overboard. Mr. Caputo was the only person who called me to tell me about my daughter.
I have no doubts that that was the truth, for they did send out helicopters to look for my daughter until 3:00a.m. I am confident that they did their best. They also read to me the report that the Cruise line officials gave them. In the report, Mr. Caputo stated that my daughter had gone to take a nap an hour or two after leaving port. However, according to the ship’s cameras, that wasn’t true. The video instead showed the couple having dinner at that time.
The F.B.I. arrived in Bermuda on May 14th, Wednesday afternoon. I was told they had been unable to get a flight out any sooner to begin their investigation. They told me there was no blood in my daughter's stateroom at that time.
My requests to Norwegian Cruise Line for information regarding details of the cause of my daughter's death, rescue efforts, etc went unheeded. I also asked Ms. Kilgour on two occasions if I could please be sent a copy of the film of my daughter’s fall from the ship, so that I could view it in the privacy of my own home. The response I received was, “Absolutely not.” They did, however, offer to bring me to the ship to let me view the surveillance film, and see my daughter’s stateroom.
The F.B.I. refused to answer any of my questions, although they did visit several times. They said they were just keeping in touch to let me know that the case was still indeed being investigated. When I complained that I needed answers regarding Mindy’s death, the F.B.I. responded by sending their agent who proclaimed to be the lead investigator in the case. Although he was not able to answer my questions, he did advise me to no longer speak to the media, and later informed me that Mr. CAPUTO had paid for this cruise - NOT my daughter! I found the F.B.I. in general, in particular, the assigned agent, to be cold, sarcastic, condescending and totally lacking in sensitivity or compassion.
I would like to know why a ship would be permitted to leave a port while weather conditions existed that were so severe that the Coast Guard would be unable to assist in the case of an emergency. One of the films from the media showed that only one small dingy was launched from the ship, and several life rings were tossed. I find it hard to believe with today’s technology that better emergency equipment isn’t available to assist in a rescue. I would also like to know if the ship did indeed search for Mindy or her body, how did they do so and still reach the port of Bermuda on time?
The May 14th Press Release from the cruise line stated that Mr. Caputo was alone with my daughter for eight minutes before he exited the room. That is plenty of time for him to physically attack her, and leave her locked out on the balcony. He never returned to their room to let her back in. It is my belief that she spent that time desperately trying to reach the next stateroom after thirteen minutes out alone in the storm.
I believe the F.B.I. needs to use ALL of their resources to find out the truth about this horribly tragic incident and others like it. Some of these resources could include conducting lie detector tests to suspects, following suspects and monitoring their behavior once they return home, using phone taps, or whatever else is at their disposal.
The cruise lines need to be held responsible when they insist on sailing in such severe weather. They should also be liable for not having cameras that actually show the balconies, for failing to notify the next of kin in an emergency, as well as lacking the rescue equipment needed in case of emergencies.
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