Cruise industry adopts new lifeboat loading policy

 cruise ship lifeboatsSEPTEMBER 20, 2012 — The cruise industry has adopted an additional safety policy related to the loading of lifeboats by crew members for training purposes.The policy exceeds current international regulatory requirements and is an outcome of the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review launched in January 2012, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council (ECC).

The Life Boat Loading for Training Purposes policy requires the launching and full loading of a lifeboat at least once every six months for crew training purposes for all oceangoing members of CLIA and ECC, effective immediately.

During the training, the lifeboat is filled to capacity with crew members and maneuvered in the water to facilitate familiarization with lifeboat operations. It is mandatory that all crew members involved in operating or loading of lifeboats attend the drill. Smaller ships with less than 300 crew members will conduct similar training as appropriate.

"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."

Commenting on the new policy Manfredi Lefebvre, ECC Chairman, said:

"The cruise industry's Operational Safety Review demonstrates our on-going determination to ensure that cruise ships remain the safest vacation option and the safest part of the shipping industry. This policy, like all the policies that have already been developed by the Operational Safety Review, exceeds current international regulatory requirements and has been externally verified by world renowned independent experts."

He added: "Our industry is committed to improving our safety performance in the short, the medium and the long term. I believe our approach supports the goal of the European Commission re-launching the 'Quality Shipping Campaign' as set out in its Maritime Policy 2009-2018."

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