P&O will deploy sniffer dogs at the start of its cruises to deter drug use, Seven.com.au reported. In a new security measure, sniffer dogs will search passengers embarking on cruises aboard the Pacific Sun and Pacific Star ships, and any passengers found to be carrying drugs will be refused entry and referred to police. Since September 2002, P&O had implemented a number of improvements to security, including the appointment of seagoing security officers and increasing security at embarkation. Now, sniffer dogs will be used at the start of all cruises and CCTV surveillance will be installed.
The new measures come amid a coronial inquest into the death of a female passenger during a cruise on the Pacific Sky, now based in Singapore. The passenger, a 42-year-old mother of three, was found dead on the floor of a cabin on the Pacific Sky less than 24 hours after boarding the cruise liner on September 23, 2002. She died of an overdose of the date-rape drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate, or fantasy, while on a holiday on the ship.