Mar 20, 2012

Marine Casualty Reporting Improvement is Latest Recommendation from Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review

— March 20, 2012 —  WASHINGTON, DC - Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is recommending enhancements to regulations about the reporting of casualties at sea, as part of the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review launched by CLIA and its member lines immediately following the Concordia incident.

Specifically, CLIA is recommending that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) expressly and more clearly require flag states to report all “very serious marine casualties.”  Very serious marine casualties are defined by the IMO and include any marine casualty resulting in a passenger or crewmember fatality, the complete loss of a ship, or serious damage to the marine environment. CLIA requested that Member States of the IMO consider clarifying existing requirements via an amendment to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which provides comprehensive global mandates on safety equipment and procedures.

These recommendations were made in a paper submitted March 12 to the IMO by CLIA, on behalf of its members.
“Ensuring the consistency of reporting will benefit both the general public and the industry by improving awareness and transparency,” said Christine Duffy, President & CEO of CLIA. “While marine casualties in the cruise industry are extremely rare and our singular priority is always to prevent them, we believe these recommendations will ensure consistency across the industry and greater transparency for all our stakeholders.”

Duffy added: “The global cruise industry is committed to proactively improving safety procedures.  We are maintaining an open and regular dialogue with the IMO and are appreciative of their support of the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review.”

The cruise industry has an exceptional safety record compared with other forms of passenger transportation.  According to GP Wild, an independent source of analysis and data on the cruise industry, in the decade prior to the grounding of the Concordia, there were a total of 28 fatalities on cruise ships related to an operational casualty out of 223 million guests and crew who sailed during those years.  Twenty-two of those fatalities involved crew members and six were passengers.

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