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Cruise Lines Introduce New Safety Policies

The cruise industry has expanded safety requirements in the aftermath of the Costa Concordia tragedy.

Two new measures have been introduced by The Cruise Lines International Association and the European Cruise Council following the Costa Concordia disaster in January which claimed the lives of at least 30 passengers.

The first of these new policies states that cruise lines will be required to document the nationality of every passenger travelling on a cruise ship with a view to making the information readily available to aid search and rescue teams in the event of emergency.

The second policy serves as a revision of previous muster requirements and introduces a new 12-step guide that must be communicated to all passengers during muster drills.

The 12 steps are as follows:

  • When and how to don a life jacket.
  • Description of emergency signals and appropriate responses in the event of an emergency.
  • Location of life jackets.
  • Where to muster when the emergency signal is sounded.
  • The method of accounting for passenger attendance at musters both for training and in the event of an actual emergency.
  • How information will be provided in emergency.
  • What to expect if the master orders an evacuation of the ship.
  • What additional safety information is available.
  • Information on whether passengers should return to cabins prior to mustering, including specifics regarding medications,clothing and life jackets.
  • Emergency routing systems and how recognise emergency exits.
  • Who to seek out for additional information.

The policies have been devised in response to the calls for a complete overview of passenger safety. Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, who is the owner of Silversea Cruises and the chairman for the European Cruise Council believes it is necessary that all cruise lines comply with the new requirements in the interests of improving cruise ship safety measures:

“Establishing common elements of a muster policy will provide our guests with the confidence that they are receiving the same key safety messages no matter which ship they cruise...[whilst] providing additional information on passenger’s nationalities is a direct and immediate response to a good idea and, as with our other voluntary commitments, is applicable with immediate effect”.

The Costa Concordia sent shockwaves through the world when it ran aground in January 2012 and it is believed these new measures are only the start of the changes being made to cruise ship safety procedures with more due to follow in the coming months.