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New Lifeboat Policy For Cruise Ships

Staff aboard cruise ships will now be required to practice lifeboat drills every six months in accordance with a new safety policy.

The new policy has been introduced by two of the cruise industry’s governing bodies, the European Cruise Council and the Cruise Lines International Association. Branded the ‘Lifeboat Loading for Training Purposes’ policy, it requires crewmembers to practice the launching and loading of a full lifeboat every 6 months.

Since the Costa Concordia tragedy in January 2012 the cruise industry and its safety procedures aboard cruise ships have been under close scrutiny in an effort to ensure a similar event does not occur. In July, two new policies were introduced regarding the documentation of passengers’ nationalities and a revision of the 12-step muster-drill requirements.

The president of the Cruise Lines International Association, Christine Duffy, reinforced the message that passenger safety continues to be the industry’s first priority:

“Since January of this year, and in keeping with our efforts to continuously improve operational excellence, the global cruise industry has voluntarily adopted seven wide-ranging policies. We remain fully committed to exploring further enhancements in a number of areas that will add to the industry’s excellent safety record.”

The new lifeboat drill policy is effective immediately on all ocean-sailing cruise ships.