|More lifejackets, more conveniently located|
The cruise industry's representative organization, CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), just announced that it has come up with some additional safety measures for cruise ships, showing that the quest to make the cruise process safer is an ongoing process striving to continually improve the safety factor.
The new policies just announced focus on (1) life jackets, (2) the ability to secure and stow away heavy objects that can become dangerous in high seas and (3) the operational methods used in the control rooms of cruise ships (known as "the bridge") to standardize operations throughout the industry so people who change ships will already have a good idea of operational procedures from their first minute on a new ship.
These new measures have also been adopted by the European Cruise Council (ECC), the equivalent body in Europe to CLIA in the U.S. The policies reportedly exceed current international regulatory requirements and they are in addition to previous measures already adopted by the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review, which was launched in January 2012.
There is a new policy titled the "Location of Lifejacket Stowage" policy which complements the existing Excess Lifejackets policy. The cruise lines of CLIA and the ECC will carry additional adult lifejackets onboard so that the total number far exceeds the number of persons actually onboard the ship. The number of lifejackets onboard will be equal to or greater than the number required by international regulations and the nation where the ship is flagged.
The new policy also says that life jackets will be stowed in close proximity to either muster stations (the spot where passengers assemble to board the lifeboats when an emergency is declared) or directly at the lifeboat embarkations points on newly-constructed ships (where the design plans can include places to stow the life jackets). Consequently, lifejackets will be readily accessible for crewmembers to distribute to passengers in the event of an emergency.
Securing Heavy Objects
Certain heavy objects commonly found on cruise ships will need to be anchored more securely to prevent them from sliding or falling in high seas or under similar circumstances. Examples include pianos, televisions, treadmills and laundry equipment. When in use the objects will have to be securely fastened to permanent onboard structures, and when not in use they will be stowed away in places where they cannot move.
Full implementation of this policy is underway and is to be completed in the coming months. Member lines are to perform ship-wide inspections to ensure heavy objects are properly secured.
Standardization of Bridge Policies
The last new measure just adopted by CLIA and the ECC is called The Harmonization of Bridge Procedures policy. The idea is to achieve consistency in operating procedures within individual companies and among ships owned and operated by a common parent company so that all members of a ship's bridge team will find consistent bridge procedures for communications as they rotate among different ships.
"These three new policies build upon the other seven wide-ranging policies that the global cruise industry has proactively adopted since January of this year and are helping improve the safety of passengers and crew, which is our industry's top priority," said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA. "We look forward to continuing our ongoing collaboration with numerous stakeholders across the globe to further enhance our exceptionally strong safety record."
"The broad range of these three new policies is representative of the truly holistic nature of the operational safety review and demonstrates that safety improvements are being made wherever there is scope to do so," said Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, ECC Chairman. "Furthermore, these policies again highlight our Members' commitment to harmonising safety practices across the industry and are reflective of the cruise lines' willingness to adopt and share best practice wherever possible."
The Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review receives advice and input from a panel of outside maritime and safety experts. These individuals are evaluating suggested policy improvements as part of the cruise industry's continuous efforts to review and improve safety measures by developing comprehensive best practices for industry-wide implementation and, ultimately, formal submission to the International Maritime Organization, as appropriate. These policies will be reported to the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee in late November, 2012 for consideration at its next session in May 2013.