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May 4, 2001
Cruise market sails past 12 million passenger mark
Though CLIA (Cruise Line Industry of America) statistics are the benchmark most often used to tally cruise industry carryings,they report only passengers carried by CLIA member lines.
ShipPax counts passengers carried by all passenger ships with overnight facilities and no cardecks. It excludes ships with no overnight facilities operating "cruises to nowhere."
ShipPax says 61% of the cruise passengers are Americans and 22% are Europeans.
In 2000, fourteen ships, out of a total bulk carrier fleet of 5,513, were total losses. Regrettably, 23 lives were lost the lowest figure during the ten year period. 18 of those 23 lives were lost in one casualty, the Leader L, which sank following structural failure. The average age of bulkers lost was 20.4 years, a fraction above the ten year average of 20.3 years underlining the fact that it is older bulk carriers that are statistically most at risk. Structural failure remains a consistent and significant cause of loss, while the presence of heavy cargoes feature in many losses.
"This is an area where there is much to be learned," says Roger Holt, Secretary General of INTERCARGO. "It is far easier and less costly to learn from ships still floating than those lying on the ocean floor particularly as there still appears to be a lack of urgency in investigating the causes of total losses."
INTERCARGO supports current work on bulk carrier safety at the IMO and the emphasis being placed on the Formal Safety Assessment. It also believes that it is the right time to look at minimum shipbuilding standards, arguing that many standard bulk carrier designs have become too optimized. As ships age, there are more changes in ownership and maintenance requirements increase. Ships may thus be operated in conditions that exceed the limitations of their design and construction.