Two cruise industry groups announced a slew of new safety policies Thursday, the latest measures to come out of a major review launched after the Costa Concordia shipwreck in January.
The new policies, announced by the Cruise Lines International Association and European Cruise Council, focus on lifejacket storage, stability of heavy objects and operating procedures in the bridge area.
A significant change, which applies only to new cruise ships for which a contract is placed on or after July 1, 2013, requires lifejackets to be stowed near muster stations or lifeboats so they would be easily accessible in case of emergency. CLIA public affairs director David Peikin said most cruise lines have kept lifejackets in passenger rooms in the past.
Cruise lines must also ensure there is a way to secure heavy items such as pianos, treadmills or televisions at all times, when theyre not being used or in case of severe weather to guard against injury. Most ships had elements of the policy in place, Peikin said.
Finally, the industry has adopted a policy of putting into place consistent operating procedures on the bridge between ships on different brands owned by the same company. For example, a bridge team member rotating from Holland America Line to Princess Cruises, both owned by Carnival Corp., should find consistent bridge procedures on the two brands.
Peikin said cruise lines are in the process now of implementing the bridge procedure and heavy object policies.