in February, CLIA members voluntarily instituted a new policy requiring mandatory emergency muster drills for embarking passengers prior to departure from port.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) says it has selected a 4-member panel of maritime and safety experts to provide an impartial assessment of the recommendations developed by the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review, launched in January 2012 following the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster.

In a press release, CLIA says the panel of Experts will evaluate suggested policy improvements as part of the cruise industries 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.

“Our number one priority is the safety of passengers and crew.  The launch of the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review was consistent with our industry’s longstanding tradition of taking proactive measures to strengthen safety practices and procedures,” said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA.  “The impartial opinions and advice of these distinguished experts will help achieve our goal of continuous improvement and innovation in shipboard operations and safety.”

The distinguished members of the Panel of Experts include Mark Rosenker, former Chairman of the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a retired Major General, United States Air Force Reserve, and former Director of the White House Military Office; Stephen Meyer, Admiral Royal Navy (retired), Former Commander of a number of Royal Navy ships, and former head of the United Kingdom Marine Accident Investigation Branch; Dr. Jack Spencer, former Director, Office of Marine Safety and United States National Transportation Safety Board; and Willem de Ruiter, former head of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

CLIA says each panel is geographically diverse and each member brings deep experience in the maritime, regulatory and accident investigation fields.

CLIA announced the launch of the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review on January 27, 2012 and has included a comprehensive assessment of the critical human factors and operational aspects of maritime safety.  As part of the Review, in February, CLIA members instituted a new policy requiring mandatory emergency muster drills for embarking passengers prior to departure from port. In March, CLIA members also put forth recommendations to the IMO supporting enhanced reporting requirements to improve the consistency and transparency of marine casualty data.  Additional best practices and policies developed through the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review will be announced and implemented on an ongoing basis.

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