Christine Duffy, CEO of the Cruise Lines International Asociation (CLIA) published an open letter on February 10 assuring the public of the industry's outstanding safety record and outlining some of the measures that the cruise industry has taken since the deadly Costa Concordia accident on January 13.
CLIA represents 26 cruise lines serving the North American market. Last year, more than 10 million North Americans took cruises.
The measures outlined by Duffy in the open letter include:
Operational Safety Review: CLIA announced the launch of a Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review to respond to maritime safety issues that will be learned from the Concordia incident. The review will include a comprehensive assessment of the critical human factors and operational aspects of maritime safety.
New Muster Policy: As we reported earlier, cruise shipping instituted a new emergency drill policy requiring mandatory musters for embarking passengers prior to departure from port. This new muster drill policy, voluntarily initiated by cruise industry associations’ members, exceeds current legal requirements, which mandate a muster of passengers occur within 24 hours of passenger embarkation. This is the first best practice to emerge from the industry’s Operational Safety Review, and recommendations will be made on an ongoing basis.
Public Communications: Increased outreach to the public and media to respond to increased interest and concern about the Concordia incident.
"Amid all of this activity and interest," writes Duffy, "lies one central question: are cruise ships safe? The answer is resoundingly yes. Evidence clearly shows that compared to virtually any other form of mass recreation or travel, cruises are one of the safest activities around. In the five years before the Concordia incident, over 100 million people took a cruise, with 16 casualties worldwide due to marine accident or collision. The cruise industry takes safety very seriously, and often goes well beyond the substantial international and national regulatory requirements."
February 12, 2012