CLIA, ECC Unveil Two New Passenger Cruising Safety Policies
By James Shillinglaw
June 26, 2012 7:49 AM
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council (ECC) said the cruise industry has adopted two new safety policies in the wake of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster, which resulted in the death of 30 passengers and crew. These policies, based on the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review launched in January immediately after the Concordia incident, focus on issues related to the recording of passenger nationality and the common elements of musters and emergency instructions.
CLIA and ECC said the Nationality of Passengers policy was developed in response to the request of governments at the May meeting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee. This policy mandates that the nationality of each passenger onboard is to be recorded and made readily available to search and rescue personnel as appropriate.
Under the new Common Elements of Musters and Emergency Instructions policy, member cruise lines have specified 12 common elements that will be communicated to passengers in musters and emergency instructions. Among those common elements are a description of key safety systems and features and an explanation of emergency routing systems and recognizing emergency exits. According to CLIA and ECC, both policies exceed current international regulatory requirements.
"Our industry continues to actively identify a range of measures that will improve the safety of passengers and crew, which is the top priority of the cruise industry," said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA. "Ongoing innovation in safety has been a hallmark of our industry for decades and we are fully committed to continuous improvement in shipboard operations and safety. We are taking a holistic look at safety as has been evidenced by the breadth and scope of the numerous policies that have been developed and adopted as part of the [Cruise Industry Operational] Review since its launch earlier this year.”
“These new safety policies are representative of the industry's commitment to raising standards across the global fleet and of our willingness to listen and act on good ideas brought forward by other interested stakeholders," said Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, chairman of ECC. "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. Providing additional information on passengers' nationality is a direct and immediate response to a good idea and, as with our other voluntary commitment, is applicable with immediate effect."
The Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review is getting advice and input from a panel of outside maritime and safety experts. These experts are evaluating suggested policy improvements as part of the cruise industry's efforts to review and improve safety measures by developing comprehensive best practices for industry-wide implementation and, ultimately, formal submission to the International Maritime Organization, as appropriate. Each of these policies will be reported to the IMO for consideration at its next session in November.
The full version of the Nationality of Passengers policy, Common Elements of Musters and Emergency Instructions policy and all CLIA Cruise Industry Policies can be found on CLIA's website.
CLIA launched the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review on Jan. 27, 2012. As part of the review, the global cruise industry in February instituted a new policy requiring mandatory emergency muster drills for embarking passengers prior to departure from port. In March, the industry made recommendations to the IMO supporting enhanced reporting requirements to improve the consistency and transparency of marine casualty data. In April, it announced three policies addressing issues related to passage planning, personnel access to the bridge and lifejackets. Additional best practices and policies developed through the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review will be announced and implemented on an ongoing basis.