Cruise industry adopts new safety drill policy

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In response to the Costa Concordia disaster, the global cruise industry has announced a new emergency drill policy, requiring mandatory muster (safety briefings) for embarking passengers prior to departure from port.

Following the industry’s announcement on January 27th of a Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review, in response to the Costa Concordia incident, the new drill policy has been introduced as part of the industry’s efforts to review and improve safety measures.

Initiated by the Cruise Lines International Association, European Cruise Council, and the Passenger Shipping Association, with the support of their member cruise lines, the policy is effective immediately and exceeds existing legal requirements which, in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), specify that a muster of passengers must occur within 24 hours of embarkation.

If latecomers arrive after the muster has been completed, these passengers will be provided with individual or group safety briefings in line with SOLAS. The Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review includes a comprehensive assessment of the critical human factors and operational aspects of maritime safety.

As best practices are identified, they will be shared among cruise industry association members and any appropriate recommendations will be shared with the International Maritime Organization, European Union and other governmental authorities as appropriate.

The industry’s efforts are consistent with the framework and spirit of the International Safety Management Code. Recommendations resulting from the Review will be made on an ongoing basis.

A copy of the new muster policy can be viewed at http://www.cruising.org/regulatory/cruise-industry-policies

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