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New Safety Rules For Cruise Ships

On January 13, 2012, a cruise ship crashed off the Italian coast, resulting in the deaths of 32 passengers. The cruise industry responded to the tragedy by forming a Global Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review to develop new safety rules and procedures for cruise ships. In January 2013, the Cruise Lines International Association announced that it had adopted 10 of the policies that the review suggested.

International Safety Effort

The CLIA worked with the International Maritime Organization, a United Nations agency specializing in maritime safety, when implementing the new policies in an effort to prevent cruise ship injuries. However, the new safety regulations go even further beyond what ships are required to do by the Safety of Life at Sea convention that the IMO adopted.

Near the end 2012, eight international cruise associations in addition to CLIA announced that they would come together under an umbrella organization for the purposes of standardizing safety policies. The new regulations that the CLIA has adopted should be implemented by the other associations in the group by the end of 2013.

Ten new Safety Regulations

The new safety regulations cover the following areas:

  • Muster drills: Ships must conduct muster drills before leaving port, rather than within 24 hours of leaving ports as previously required.
  • Bridge access: Bridge access is now limited to those with operationally related functions during arrival and departure from port, as well as any other time heightened vigilance is necessary.
  • Extra life jackets: Ships must carry more life jackets than the number of passengers on board.
  • Life jacket location: Ships must store the life jackets near lifeboats or muter stations, and people must be able to access the jackets easily.
  • Securing equipment: Ships have procedures for securing heavy items on board, such as pianos or televisions.
  • Passenger records: Ships must keep records of each passenger's nationality and make the information available to search-and-rescue teams.
  • Emergency instructions: Cruise ships must relay 12 pieces of information to passengers during emergency situations and musters, such as life jacket location and location of emergency exits.
  • Lifeboat training: Lifeboat crews must practice by loading and handling a full boat every six months.
  • Passage planning: All bridge team members now must be briefed on passage plans.
  • Bridge procedures: Cruise companies must have consistent bridge procedures across all their brands.
Consult an Attorney

Despite the new safety regulations, accidents resulting in injuries will continue to happen on cruise ships. If you have been harmed while on a cruise, speak with a personal injury attorney with a history of successfully handling these complicated cases. An attorney can help you obtain compensation for your losses and expenses associated with your injuries.