Cruise Industry Adopts New Safety Standards
In the wake of several highly publicized cruise ship accidents this year, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council (ECC) announced this week that they are adopting three new safety policies to be immediately implemented by the industry. Suggestions for the new standards came from an industry Operational Safety Review launched after the Costa Concordia disaster. The three new policies relate to:
- Passage Planning — The International Maritime Organization's guidelines regarding passage planning (a procedure to develop a complete description of a ship's voyage from start to finish) are now to be considered bare minimum requirements. Further, the plan must be drafted by a designated officer, approved by the master and each bridge team member must be briefed on the plan well before the voyage.
- Personnel Access to the Bridge — During periods of restricted maneuvering and/or increased vigilance, bridge access is now limited to those crew members with operational functions.
- Lifejackets — Cruise ships must now carry additional life jackets in excess of current requirements to carry one for each person on board the ship, so that the total number of life jackets on the ship greatly exceeds the number of people onboard the vessel.
ECC chairman Manfredi Lefebvre stated, "By bringing forward voluntary initiatives such as these, we significantly and immediately improve (cruise industry) safety standards…the cruise industry (already) has a highly remarkable safety record, but as the Concordia incident demonstrates, there is no such thing as perfect safety. We do strive for a perfect commitment to safety."
Even with increased safety regulations, as Lefebvre indicated, there is no such thing as absolute safety in the cruise industry. If you or a loved one has been injured at sea on a cruise ship or any other vessel, it is in your best interests to get the involvement of an experienced maritime lawyer as you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an offshore injury attorney from Arnold & Itkin today for a free consultation.