Associations representing the global cruise industry have announced a new drill policy requiring mandatory muster drills for embarking passengers prior to departure from port. The new policy, jointly put forward by top cruise industry association Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) with support from the European Cruise Council and the Passenger Shipping Association, follows an internal report the cruise industry released on January 27 and conducted in response to the Costa Concordia disaster called “Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review”.
The new muster policy, which has been voluntarily adopted by the associations’ members, exceeds existing legal requirements found in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) by calling for the mandatory muster of all embarking passengers prior to departure from port. SOLAS mandates that a muster for embarking passengers occur within 24 hours of their embarkation.
CLIA says its member cruise lines are adopting the new policy as a best practice to be effective immediately. The new drill policy was identified as a result of the “Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review”, a comprehensive assessment of the critical human factors and operational aspects of maritime safety. CLIA says that additional best practices identified in the review will be shared among cruise industry association members and appropriate recommendations will be shared with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), European Union and other appropriate governmental authorities.
CLIA is the world’s largest cruise industry organization representing the interests of 26 member lines and participates in the regulatory and policy development process while supporting measures that foster a safe, secure and healthy cruise ship environment.