According to sun-sentinel.com, the Cruise Lines International Association has adopted the following new safety rules in the wake of the “Costa Concordia” disaster off the coast of Italy:
- Passenger muster: Cruise lines are required to conduct emergency muster drills for embarking passengers before ships leave ports, which exceeds the previous requirement of within 24 hours of departure.
- Passage planning: All bridge team members must be briefed on passage planning in advance of implementation, and the plan should be drafted by a designated officer and approved by the captain.
- Bridge access: Access to a ship’s bridge will be limited to crew with operational functions during any period of restricted maneuvering or when increased vigilance is required to minimize unnecessary disruptions and distractions.
- Excess life jackets: Cruise ships will carry additional adult life jackets, making sure the number is never less than the number of passengers aboard.
- Passenger nationality: This policy requires that the nationality of each passenger on a cruise ship be recorded and made readily available to search-and-rescue staff as appropriate.
- Musters and emergency instructions: Member cruise lines agreed on 12 common elements that’ll be communicated to passengers in musters and emergency instructions, including a description of key safety systems and features, location of life jackets and how to recognize emergency exits.
- Lifeboat loading training: Crew with responsibility for lifeboats on a large oceangoing ship must practice loading and maneuvering at least one full vessel every six months.
- Consistent bridge procedures: Cruise operators must implement consistent operating procedures on the bridge among ships of different brands owned by the same company
- Location of life jackets: Requires life jackets to be stowed near muster stations or lifeboats so they are easily accessible if there’s an emergency.
- Securing equipment: Cruise lines must put in place procedures to secure heavy items such as pianos, treadmills or televisions at all times, either permanently, when not being used or in case of bad weather, to avoid injury.
Costa Concordia Will Be Raised Soon
Recent reports claim that the “Costa Concordia”, the ship that initiated all these changes, will soon be raised out of its watery grave sometime around March or April of 2013 by Titan Salvage, a Pompano Beach, Florida, based company, working together with Micoperi, an Italian based company.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano Can Help
Our law firm has often seen cruise lines pressure passengers that have suffered injuries onboard their ships into accepting a refund as compensation for their injuries in exchange for a full release of the cruise lines responsibility. An injured passenger should not allow the cruise line to pressure you into accepting an offer that is typically unfair. Cruise passenger’s have rights and should immediately consult ( for free) with a law firm with experience handling cruise ship claims. Our firm can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for a death or a serious injury. It is important for you to remember that most cruise passenger tickets (contracts) establish a six month from the date of the claim where you must give written notice of the claim to the company (among other requirements) and limit your ability to sue to one year from the date of the accident.
Therefore, it is essential that you consult with and hire an experienced cruise line passenger lawyer as soon as possible. You should not be concerned about fees or costs: most Florida lawyers will not charge you for the initial consultation and will work your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not be charged fees or costs, unless the lawyer wins your case.
If you or a close relative suffered an injury while on a cruise, we urge you to contact a law firm with experience handling cruise ship injury cases. The Cruise Lines Injury Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have handled many such cases against these cruise lines over the years and can help you obtain the compensation you may deserve.
Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today.