— February 29, 2012 —
WASHINGTON, D.C. ––Christine Duffy, President and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), will testify today on behalf of the cruise industry before the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. The hearing titled “A Review of Cruise Ship Safety and Lessons Learned from the Costa Concordia Accident” will review the Concordia incident and explore the safety and security practices of the cruise ship industry.
In addressing the Concordia incident of January 13, Duffy will state that, "The Concordia has had a profound impact on our industry. I speak for all our cruise line members in expressing our deepest condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy. As an industry, we are wholly committed to examining what happened, and to identifying lessons that can be learned. If it becomes clear that corrective measures are necessary, we will work as an industry with governments and regulators to ensure recommended measures are adopted. Safety is the cruise industry’s number one priority and there is nothing that is more important to our industry.”
Immediately following the grounding of the Concordia, CLIA member cruise lines launched a Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review – a comprehensive assessment of the critical human factors and operational aspects of maritime safety. The Review, which is well underway, is comprised of four key components:
- First, an internal review by CLIA members of their own operational safety practices and procedures covering issues of navigation, evacuation, emergency training, and related practices and procedures.
- Second, consultation on these issues with independent external experts.
- Third, the identification and sharing of industry best practices and policies, as well as possible recommendations to the IMO for substantive regulatory changes to further improve the industry’s operational safety.
- Fourth, a commitment to collaborate with the IMO, governments, and regulatory bodies to implement any necessary changes – but also to act independently and voluntarily where possible to speed safety improvements.
Duffy’s testimony will highlight how the industry is already moving forward with initial recommendations from the Review, including a new muster drill policy announced on February 9 that exceeds existing legal requirements by providing that musters – or mandatory briefings for passengers on emergency procedures – be conducted prior to a ship leaving port.
“CLIA will continue to lead the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review and, as with the recently agreed muster policy, will look to apply lessons learned so that future incidents, however rare, can be avoided,” Duffy will assure the Subcommittee Members. “We remain fully and deeply committed to continuous enhancement of the safety of our guests and crew members, as it is without question our top priority.”