Australia Day Honors: Mark Brimble's Cruise Ship Campaign

Mark Brimble

By MarEx 2016-01-25 21:53:19

Mark Brimble, ex-husband of Dianne Brimble, who died on the P&O cruise ship Pacific Sky in 2002, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia as part of the nation’s Australia Day celebrations, January 26.

Mr Brimble received the award for service to the community through the promotion of safety for cruise line passengers.

Ms Brimble, 42, was on the first night of a 10-day cruise with her mother, sister and daughter when she died of a drug overdose in the cabin of four men she had just met at the ship’s nightclub.

Ms Brimble had taken a lethal dose of the drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate, also known as fantasy, and had been photographed having sex with one of the men. She died naked on the floor.

Since her death, Mr Brimble has been campaigning relentlessly for increased safety on cruise ships, and he establishing the Australian chapter of International Cruise Victims in 2004.

He was a key player in the Senate Committee into cruise ship passenger safety in 2013 which delivered the report Troubled Waters. The report made 11 recommendations to enhance safety on board cruise ships leaving Australian ports, although the government is yet to adopt any. 

Mr Brimble says the crime scene was contaminated by the purser, and it took nearly four years before a coronial inquest into her death was held. State Coroner Jacqueline Milledge handed down the findings of the inquest in November 2010. She ruled that Ms Brimble had been unknowingly drugged for the sexual gratification of others.

Criminal charges were eventually laid against three of the men but the manslaughter trial of one of the men, Mark Wilhelm, who gave her the drug, resulted in a hung jury. A plea deal at his retrial had him pleading guilty to only supplying the drug to Ms Brimble, a charge for which no jail time was served and no conviction recorded.

According to several witnesses' testimonies, the men had spent most of the time on the cruise allegedly propositioning a number of female passengers of varying ages. Among numerous acts of alleged sexual harassment were asking a 15-year-old to do an erotic dance in their cabin for cash, entering a cabin of four girls uninvited and asking one woman if he could perform oral sex on her.

Mr Brimble alleges that had the initial investigation on board the ship been adequate, Wilhelm would have been convicted of manslaughter, reports the Brisbane Times.