Directly from the CLIA:
On behalf of the global cruise industry, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council (ECC) today announced that the cruise industry has adopted an additional safety policy. This policy, which exceeds current international regulatory requirements, addresses issues related to the loading of lifeboats by crewmembers for training purposes. It is an outcome of the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review, which was launched in January 2012.
The Life Boat Loading for Training Purposes policy requires the launching and full loading of a lifeboat at least once every six months for crew training purposes for all oceangoing members of CLIA and ECC, effective immediately. During the training, the lifeboat is filled to capacity with crewmembers and maneuvered in the water to facilitate familiarization with lifeboat operations. It is mandatory that all crewmembers involved in operating or loading of lifeboats attend the drill. Smaller ships with less than 300 crewmembers will conduct similar training as appropriate.
"The cruise industry continues to work on a global level to improve the safety of passengers and crew, which is our number one priority," said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA. "Since January of this year, and in keeping with our efforts to continuously improve operational excellence, the global cruise industry has voluntarily adopted seven wide-ranging safety policies. We remain fully committed to exploring further enhancements in a number of areas that will add to the industry’s excellent safety record."
Commenting on the new policy Manfredi Lefebvre, ECC Chairman said:
"The Cruise industry’s Operational Safety Review demonstrates our on-going determination to ensure that cruise ships remain the safest vacation option and the safest part of the shipping industry. This policy, like all the policies that have already been developed by the Operational Safety Review, exceeds current international regulatory requirements and has been externally verified by world renowned independent experts."
He added: "Our industry is committed to improving our safety performance in the short, the medium and the long term. I believe our approach supports the goal of the European Commission re-launching their ‘Quality Shipping Campaign’ as set out in its Maritime Policy 2009-2018."
The Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review receives advice and input from a panel of outside maritime and safety experts. These individuals are evaluating suggested policy improvements as part of the cruise industry’s continuous efforts to review and improve safety measures by developing comprehensive best practices for industry-wide implementation and, ultimately, formal submission to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as appropriate. This policy will be submitted to the IMO for consideration at its next session in November.
A full version of the Life Boat Loading for Training Purposes policy can be accessed at http://www.cruising.org/regulatory/life-boat-loading-training-purposes-policy. All CLIA policies can be viewed at http://cruising.org/regulatory/cruise-industry-policies.
CLIA announced the launch of the Review on January 27, 2012. As part of the Review in February the global cruise industry instituted a new policy requiring mandatory emergency muster drills for embarking passengers prior to departure from port. In March, the industry put forth recommendations to the IMO supporting enhanced reporting requirements to improve the consistency and transparency of marine casualty data. In April, it announced three policies addressing issues related to passage planning, personnel access to the bridge and lifejackets. In June, the industry announced policies related to the recording of passenger nationality and the common elements of musters and emergency instructions. Additional best practices and policies developed through the Review will be announced and implemented on an ongoing basis.