The sinking of the Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, has lead to new regulations being adopted jointly by two major cruise ship associations. The European Cruise Council and the Cruise Lines International Assoc. passed three new safety rules.
Manfredi Lefebvre, Chairman of the European Cruise Council (ECC) and a member of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) executive committee, made the announcement in Brussels. The deaths of 32 people when the Costa Concordia ran into rocks after passing too close to the Italian island of Giglio in the Tuscan Bay was the motivator for the newly-adopted regulations. Each new regulation speaks to a circumstance thought to have contributed to the tragedy.
3 New Cruise Ship Regulations
One new regulation states "additional adult lifejackets (must be) onboard each cruise ship...the number of additional adult lifejackets to be provided must not be less than the total number of persons berthed within the ship’s most populated main vertical fire zone." Thus ruling means ships must now carry more lifejackets than actual persons on board.
Another regulation states "to minimize unnecessary disruptions and distractions on the bridge...access (to the bridge) is to be limited to those with operational functions during any period of restricted maneuvering, or when increased vigilance is required."
And finally another regulation states that when 'passage planning,' the planning of a ship's movement throughout its journey, each bridge team member will be "thoroughly" briefed on that plan "well in advance of its implementation" and that the passage plan must be drafted by a "designated officer and approved by the master."
Cruise Ship Safety Regulations adopted
The belief is that the captain of the Costa Concordia made the decision to pass too close to the island in order to impress someone and that the decision was not known by all on the bridge. Further, a woman thought to be his mistress was on the bridge at the time, and that may have inspired one of the new regulations.
Further, some passengers went back to their cabins to get their lifejackets and then had trouble finding their way back to ship departure areas in the listing, darkened ship and it is thought that having more lifejackets in muster areas will work to prevent such occurrences.
"As the Concordia incident demonstrates, there is no such thing as perfect safety (but) we do strive for a perfect commitment to safety," Lefebvre said in his press statement. “By bringing forward voluntary initiatives such as these, we significantly and immediately improve safety standards."