Due to a lack of safety standards, the Costa Concordia ship ran aground off the Italian shore of Giglio on January 13th, killing 32 people. To this day, there has been a quest for information as to what contributing factors caused this terrible incident to take place. Finally, the Costa Cruise line has announced a series of new safety initiatives which are intended to prevent a disaster like this from occurring again. Hopefully, these new safety measures will keep passengers safer on board. Nevertheless, it is questionable as to why these standards were not up to par to begin with.
Costa has introduced seven new rules, according to CNN, which are intended to keep guests and crew members safer on the seas. Among these is safety training and electronic tracking of the guests to ensure that they do not miss emergency training before the ships leaves the port. The safety guidelines will be sent via memo, to any guests who do not attend the training sessions in person.
During the Costa Concordia incident, Captain Schettino, who is currently still under house arrest, did not appropriately make passengers aware of the seriousness of the incident. Rather, he allegedly jumped ship to save himself, leaving his passengers and crew members behind to suffer or die. Thus, under the new guidelines, crewmembers will also be required by law to issue orders and report incidents, so that the entire livelihood of a ship does not depend on one captain’s orders alone, or lack thereof.
According to new standards established by the Cruise Lines International Association, this past April, a new bridge access policy has been put into place in order to minimize any unnecessary disruptions or distractions to the bridge during periods of time where extreme vigilance is required to safely maneuver a ship. These instances include, but are not limited to departure and arrival at ports, heavy traffic situations, or poor weather conditions. In this way, the captain will not be able to be distracted by any visitors during this critical navigational period.
Another important change which has been applied to the new standards, requires that a ship’s route be monitored at all times. Consequently, the position and course of a ship is always known on board by the captain and crew, as well as on land by Cruise ship International Association Officials. Moreover, the entire cruise ship industry is now required to carry more life vests on board during cruises.
Will these new and improved measures prevent anything like what took place on the Costa Concordia from happening again? That is to be determined. Maritime attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA are all too familiar with the downfalls of the cruise ship industry when it comes to keeping passengers on board ships safe. Personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA have represented hundreds of people who have suffered due to the negligence of the cruise ship industry, and continue to collect damages on their behalves.
Safety measures like these must continue in order to prevent wrongful deaths and injuries caused by the negligence of the cruise industry. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime, or suffered a serious illness or injury due to the negligence of the cruise ship industry contact the Law firm of Gerson & Schwartz, PA for a free consultation at (305) 371-6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: CNN Travel