A new policy adopted by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council will have cruise ship crewmembers undergoing various training exercises regarding lifeboats. Effective immediately, the new policy states that lifeboats will be filled to capacity with crewmembers and will be maneuvered in the water during drills. The CLA states that lifeboat drills will also be taking place now at least once every six months, exceeding international standards.
Previously, some lifeboat exercises had been conducted with minimal crewmembers or even with empty lifeboats. Cruise accidents that occurred during lifeboat training sessions led some cruise lines to lower the number of crew involved so as to lower the chance of injuries if the lifeboats were to drop unexpectedly or become tangled.
The new policy will cater to improved safety standards that the cruise industry is requiring. The CLIA explained the training policy resulted from the outcome of the cruise industry’s operational safety review launched in January after the Costa Concordia incident. The Concordia capsized off the Italian Island of Giglio on January 13. The ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, has been accused of causing the disaster and abandoning the ship before passengers and crewmembers were safely evacuated. He is being charged with several counts of manslaughter as well.
Authorities say 32 people were killed in the Concordia tragedy and several others were wounded. The incident led cruise safety protocols to be reevaluated, including policies involving lifeboat drills. At first, the safety review led to a policy that tightened passenger attendance during muster drills and a new policy for recording the nationality of passengers and others onboard.
According to passengers on the Concordia, the way the ship listed to one side made it extremely difficult to deploy lifeboats. The new policy aims to target these issues and improve the safety aboard cruise ships so as to avoid a similar occurrence in the future and faster evacuation procedures.
Ensuring safety for all crew and passengers aboard cruise ship is a requirement for all cruise lines. However, the health and well-being of those onboard isn’t always a top priority. When someone becomes ill, sustains an injury or a cruise ship death occurs, the cruise line may be faulted with negligence. Cruise operators that fail to abide by strict safety codes can be held responsible for any accidents onboard the ship or ashore, and victims are entitled to seek legal help to file a claim. Our cruise accident lawyers have extensive experience in successfully representing victims and their loved one and can help you file a claim to seek damages for your pain and suffering.
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