Three New Safety Policies Adopted By Cruise Industry

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

In an effort to prevent cruise ship accidents, three new safety policies have been adopted by the cruise industry. One of the policies requires crewmembers around the world to secure heavy objects when they are not in use and during periods of rough weather. Inspections will be carried out fleet-wide to ensure the objects, including gym equipment, pianos and other large objects, are properly secured.

The new “Securing Heavy Objects” policy was the result of a joint venture between the Cruise Lines International Association and European Cruise Council to improve maritime safety and will apply to all ocean-going vessels operated by member lines. Nearly every major cruise line around the world is a member of one or both of the groups, including industry giants like Carnival and Royal Caribbean.

The two groups also announced a new lifejacket policy for newly constructed ocean-going ships, requiring that a lifejacket for every passenger and crewmember be stored either close to designated muster stations or lifeboat embarkation points. Although cruise ships currently carry more lifejackets than are actually needed to accommodate everyone onboard, several of these vessels store the lifejackets inside staterooms. Not many lifejackets are stored at muster stations. According to the groups, the new policy “further enhances shipboard safety as passengers will have even greater access to lifejackets in the event of an emergency.”

The third new policy requires consistent procedures on ship bridges. Far too many cruise ship accidents, including the Costa Concordia tragedy, may have been prevented – or at least many lives may have been saved – had crewmembers carried out emergency procedures consistently and had the proper training to keep chaos to a minimum. This policy will reduce future incidents and misconceptions from taking place by ensuring procedures are carried out consistently.

The capsizing of the Concordia in January – which led to the deaths of 32 people – has resulted in several other industry-wide improvements. Safety procedures aboard cruise lines were called into question and other policies addressing muster drill procedures, lifeboat training for crewmembers and route planning, to name a few, are also being improved upon.

Unfortunately, despite even the best of safety procedures, some accidents are unavoidable. However, anyone who has been injured or who has lost someone they love in an incident aboard a vessel or in port may be eligible to receive compensation for their pain and suffering, and our attorneys are here to help.

Each cruise accident lawyer at our firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of victims and will endeavor to secure damages for you and your loved ones. Contact our attorneys today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options in filing a case.