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Cruise industry reports on progress of Operational Safety Review

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Christine Duffy, president and ceo of CLIA
The Cruise Lines International Association today held a media briefing to review progress of the global cruise industry’s Operational Safety Review and to announce plans to continue its focus on operational safety improvements and best practices.

‘The industry’s commitment to the safety of passengers and crew remains our number one priority,’ said Christine Duffy, president and ceo of CLIA on behalf of the global cruise industry.

Last January, immediately following the Costa Concordia incident, CLIA and the ECC (now CLIA Europe) launched a comprehensive review of the critical human factors and operational aspects of maritime safety as part of its longstanding efforts to continuously raise the bar on safety matters.

The global cruise industry, with input from an independent panel of experts with extensive experience in maritime, regulatory and accident investigation fields, introduced ten new safety policies during the review.  Each policy exceeds current international regulatory requirements and has been adopted by members of CLIA, said Bud Darr, vp, technical and regulatory affairs, CLIA.

Policies resulting from the review address muster drills, bridge access and procedures, life jacket availability and location, lifeboat loading drills, recording of passenger nationalities for on-shore emergency services personnel, and securing of heavy objects.  A full list of the policies is online at http://www.cruising.org/regulatory/cruise-industry-policies/cruise-industry-operational-safety-review.

Darr added he was ‘extremely pleased’ that the International Maritime Organization recently approved incorporation of the cruise industry’s recommendation for the mandatory muster of passengers prior to departure from port in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which provides comprehensive mandates on safety equipment and procedures for ships.

Duffy stated that the independent panel of experts, ‘will continue to assist our industry in providing ideas, guidance and impartial analysis going forward.’

They will be actively engaged through CLIA’s many Technical and Regulatory Committees. ‘This will ensure that while the formal structure of the OSR Task Force winds down, our industry will continue to benefit from their active input and expertise. We will continue to collaborate with IMO and other stakeholders to create a culture of safety that fosters a safe and secure environment for all who sail with us,’ she added.

Mark Rosenker, a member of the review’s independent panel of experts and former  chairman of the United States National Transportation Safety Board said, ‘the cruise industry was receptive to our input and has actively collaborated with our expert panel, as well as global maritime authorities, class societies, and shipbuilders to enhance safety standards in what is already a very safe industry.’

Willem De Ruiter, another member of the panel of experts and former head and executive director of the European Maritime Safety Agency, said his involvement with the review, ‘has given me confidence that not only is the industry fulfilling its obligations to deliver voluntary commitments but that it is also engaged in proactive and responsible relationships with regulators across the globe.’

Other members of the independent panel of experts are Stephen Meyer, former Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy and head of the UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch and Dr Jack Spencer, former director, Office of Marine Safety, United States National Transportation Safety Board.

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