The cruise industry is to adopt new safety measures to help familiarise staff with the loading of lifeboats, it was announced today.
The new policy, unveiled by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council (ECC), requires all crew members to practice launching and loading a lifeboat at least once every six months.
It will apply to all ocean-going members of both associations – which includes the vast majority of cruise lines around the world – and will be effective immediately.
The regulations follow January’s Costa Concordia disaster, in which 32 people died. Subsequent investigations have claimed that a number of the ship’s crew were not drilled in correct evacuation procedure – claims denied by Costa Cruises.
“The cruise industry continues to work on a global level to improve the safety of passengers and crew, which is our number one priority,” said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA.
“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 safety policies. We remain fully committed to exploring further enhancements in a number of areas that will add to the industry’s excellent safety record.”
Other policies adopted by cruise lines in the wake of the Costa Concordia disaster include emergency training for all passengers before the ship leaves port, greater restrictions on visits to the bridge, and the requirement of cruise ships to carry additional lifejackets.