Global Cruise Industry Reports on Progress of Operational Safety Review, Extends Mandate for Independent Panel of Experts
Cruise Industry To Continue Longstanding Focus of Raising the Bar on Policy Development and Best Practices
V. Tom Gardner
Manager, Public Relations
Travel Industry & Marketing Issues
Director, Public Affairs
& Legislative Issues
Last January, immediately following the Concordia incident, the global cruise industry launched a comprehensive review of the critical human factors and operational aspects of maritime safety as part of its longstanding efforts to continuously raise the bar on safety matters. The global cruise industry, with input from an independent panel of experts with extensive experience in maritime, regulatory and accident investigation fields, introduced ten new safety policies during the Review. Each policy exceeds current international regulatory requirements and has been adopted by members of CLIA.
Policies resulting from the Review address muster drills, bridge access and procedures, life jacket availability and location, lifeboat loading drills, recording of passenger nationalities for on-shore emergency services personnel, and securing of heavy objects. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) recently approved incorporation of the cruise industry’s recommendation for the mandatory muster of passengers prior to departure from port in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which provides comprehensive mandates on safety equipment and procedures for ships.
“The industry’s commitment to the safety of passengers and crew remains our number one priority,” said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA on behalf of the global cruise industry. “The Operational Safety Review was part of our industry’s longstanding and ongoing mission of continuous improvement and innovation in shipboard operations and safety. It also was a rededication of our commitment to safety on behalf of the victims and all those affected by the Concordia incident, and the millions of other passengers and crew that sail on cruise ships every year.”
Duffy also stated, “I am excited to announce today that the independent panel of experts will continue to assist our industry in providing ideas, guidance and impartial analysis going forward. They will be actively engaged through CLIA’s many Technical and Regulatory Committees. This will ensure that while the formal structure of the OSR Task Force winds down, our industry will continue to benefit from their active input and expertise. We will continue to collaborate with IMO and other stakeholders to create a culture of safety that fosters a safe and secure environment for all who sail with us.”
“During the course of the Operational Safety Review, my fellow expert panelists and I played an active role in shaping the ten policies that were adopted this year and offering additional recommendations that were incorporated in the Review,” said Mark Rosenker, a member of the Review’s independent panel of experts. “The cruise industry was receptive to our input and has actively collaborated with our expert panel, as well as global maritime authorities, class societies, and shipbuilders to enhance safety standards in what is already a very safe industry.”
“My involvement with the Review has given me confidence that not only is the industry fulfilling its obligations to deliver voluntary commitments but that it is also engaged in proactive and responsible relationships with regulators across the globe,” said Willem De Ruiter, another member of the panel of experts. “The independent panel of experts looks forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the global cruise industry to develop policies to continually improve safety on board ships.”
Rosenker is the Former Chairman of the United States National Transportation Safety Board. De Ruiter is Former Head and Executive Director of the European Maritime Safety Agency. Other members of the independent panel of experts are Stephen Meyer, Former Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy and Head of the UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch and Dr. Jack Spencer, Former Director, Office of Marine Safety, United States National Transportation Safety Board.
A full list of the policies is online at http://www.cruising.org/regulatory/cruise-industry-policies/cruise-industry-operational-safety-review. An executive summary of the Review is online at http://www.cruising.org/regulatory/cruise-industry-policies/cruise-industry-operational-safety-review.
About Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) – One Industry, One Voice
Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2015, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. As the largest cruise industry trade association with 15 offices globally, CLIA has representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA’s mission is to support policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 23 million passengers who cruise annually, as well as promote the cruise vacation experience. Members are committed to the sustained success of the cruise industry and are comprised of the world’s most prestigious ocean, river and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and other cruise industry partners, including ports, destinations, ship developers, suppliers, business services and travel operators. For more information, visit www.cruising.org or www.cruiseforward.org or follow Cruise Lines International Association on Facebook and Twitter pages.