Following on from February's announcement to tighten up safety measures onboard, the cruise industry — through the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) — has announced further safety policies that will come in to play.
The three new policies address issues related to passage planning, personnel access to the bridge and lifejackets and are intended to bring strict measures into play to ensure passenger safety. The new policies were reviewed by a CLIA panel of maritime and safety experts, who are looking to implement new safety measures throughout the cruise industry.
Christine Duffy, President and CEO of CLIA, said: "as highlighted by these wide-ranging policies, we continue to take proactive measures to improve the safety of passengers and crew across the globe. We look forward to working collaboratively to identify any additional operational issues that will achieve our longstanding goal of continuous improvement and innovation in shipboard operations and safety."
The three new policies that are set to come into force are:
Passage Planning — where each passage plan is to be thoroughly briefed to all bridge team members well in advance of its implementation and it is to be drafted by a designated officer and approved by the master.
Personnel Access to the Bridge — this is to minimise distractions on the bridge by enforcing limited access during during operational functions where restricted manoeuvring or when increased vigilance is required.
Lifejackets — the number of mandatory lifejackets onboard will be increased, though many ships already carry many more than is currently required.
Manfredi Lefebvre said: "Today’s European Commission event is in perfect alignment with our industry efforts to improve cruise ship safety. I am pleased to be given a chance by European Commissioner VP & Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas to outline how the industry and the regulators can move forward together in our common goal of preventing future accidents.
The cruise industry is highly regulated and it is this regulatory regime, complied with onboard by our professional and committed officers and crews, that has given the cruise industry a truly 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. And as part of our commitment to a safety culture, the industry – both individually as cruise lines and collectively through CLIA and the ECC – beginning January 27 launched an Operational Safety Review to learn the lessons from Concordia and to conduct a top to bottom safety review.
By bringing forward voluntary initiatives such as these, we significantly and immediately improve safety standards. These initiatives are, we believe, fully supportive of the Commission’s goal of re-launching their ‘Quality Shipping Campaign’ through voluntary partnership agreements with the shipping industry as set out in its Maritime Policy 2009-2018. Specifically, we very much hope that the results of the Operational Safety Review as they are delivered over the coming months will give us fertile ground to grow our partnership with the Commission.
We are convinced that this approach will achieve concrete, practical and significant safety dividends in the shortest possible time and fully reflects the measured and responsible progress on future safety initiatives by both the Commission and European Parliament following the Concordia tragedy."
Following on from the Costa Concordia tragedy, new safety measures will surely be accepted with open arms. Anything to make being onboard safer for passengers and crew has to be seriously considered and enforced. The legislation of sending approved passage planning, along with reducing any distractions in the bridge, are both positive and strict measures, that will hopefully prevent a similar accident taking place ever again.
Written by Stephen Adam