Travel

More life-jackets to be added to cruise ships

April 25, 2012

Rescue firefighters are lowered from a helicopter onto the grounded cruise liner Costa Concordia, off the west coast of Italy at Giglio island January 30, 2012. — Reuters file picRescue firefighters are lowered from a helicopter onto the grounded cruise liner Costa Concordia, off the west coast of Italy at Giglio island January 30, 2012. — Reuters file picROME, April 25 — Cruise ships will carry additional life-jackets as part of a new package of measures revealed by the cruise industry April 24.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council announced three new safety policies, which will be adopted immediately, in the wake of January’s sinking of the Costa Concordia, in which 32 people are believed to have died.

On behalf of the global cruise industry, the organisations revealed that as of this week all ships will carry a number of lifejackets “far in excess of the number of persons actually onboard the ship.”

In addition, cruise lines will tighten access to ships’ Bridges “to minimise unnecessary disruptions and distractions,” and all members of the bridge team will need to agree on the ship’s course before the vessel sets sail — both a response to the circumstances said to surround the sinking of the Concordia.

With cruise ship safety under the spotlight at the worst possible time — exactly a century after the sinking of the Titanic — cruise bosses have been keen to react quickly to January’s disaster in a bid to reassure spooked passengers.

Also this week, the United Nations accepted proposals from the cruise industry, the UK and the Philippines to develop better guidelines for handling crime at seas — something which occurs fairly regularly, but which often escapes attention.

However, the attention hasn’t stopped a flood of new ships expected to be launched over the coming months, with the Scenic Crystal, Avalon Vista and Visionary, Oceania Riviera and Carnival Breeze all due to set sail before the summer. — AFP/Relaxnews