Life safety cruise ship regulation reform is essential

by Ned Levi on January 23, 2012

Costa Concordia by Cyr0z, http://www.flickr.com/photos/cyrz/

As the death toll mounts, the Costa Concordia tragedy horrifies us more and more, especially since it has become apparent the ship never should have hit the rock which tore a 300 foot hole in its hull, and that more timely and decisive action by the captain and crew of the ship might have prevented all loss of life.

I have been researching cruise ship safety for some time, beginning with a review of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act. I think the Concordia tragedy has clearly shown regulation reform must be the order of the day to better ensure the safety of all on the seas.

Throughout the world, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), an international maritime safety treaty, sets the safety standards for cruise ships.

Of particular importance to cruise ship passengers should be the SOLAS regulations regarding lifeboats, and passenger/crew drills to prepare for emergencies.

Regulations require each side of cruise ships have enough lifeboats to accommodate 37.5% of the total number of persons on board (passengers and crew), 75% in total. Inflatable or rigid liferafts must accommodate the remaining 25% of passengers and crew. (SOLAS, Section II, Regulation 21, 1.1) Many cruise ships today, such as Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, carry more lifeboat capacity than required, but still not enough, even with the liferafts added in, to accommodate all if a significant number of lifeboats become unusable due to serious ship listing.

SOLAS does require that cruise ship lifeboats can be launched while the ship is listing as much as 20º. Of course, with many still on board the Concordia, the ship was listing far more than that.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), who is responsible for SOLAS, should seriously consider upgrading the capacity of lifeboats and liferafts on each side of ships to overcome a reduced capacity if listing, fire or other problems reduce the number of lifeboats and liferafts which can be used and launched, in case a cruise ship must be abandoned.

The IMO should consider requiring equipment changes to ensure more lifeboats and liferafts can be launched from cruise ships despite listing in excess of 20º. While it’s possible this may require cruise ships are outfitted with a completely different method of launching lifeboats and liferafts, and other major changes, this change would seem to be necessary.

According to SOLAS, Chapter III, Part B, Regulation 19, 2.2, at worst, a muster drill must take place within 24 hours of sailing, for all cruise ship passengers and crew.

If you’re not familiar with the muster drill, it’s important to understand what they are.

Each cruise ship has muster stations spread out in various parts of the ship, such as dining rooms, casinos and theaters, where passengers are required to go in case of emergency, to receive safety information and instructions how and where to proceed to potentially to abandon the ship, if necessary. At the muster station the crew will take a census of passengers to ensure all are accounted for. Then as necessary, the passengers and crew will be led to other parts of the ship, and sent off the ship in lifeboats and liferafts, if required.

At the muster drill, at the sound of the alarm, all passengers are required to go to their muster station as assigned to their cabin. Each cabin’s muster station assignment and physical location is clearly designated in each cabin on the door. Each cabin has a pair of life vests which passengers have been expected, in the past, to take to the muster station during the drill.

At the muster station drill a passenger census is taken to ensure all passengers are participating. Passengers are given instructions about what to do in actual emergencies, how to put on their life vests, and eventually guided to where they would board their lifeboat or liferaft in a real emergency.

Crew members, assigned various duties for actual emergencies, during the muster drill fulfill them as if it was a real emergency.

In my opinion, the muster drill is an essential practice session for passengers and crew alike. The crew improves their ability to carry out emergency orders to ensure passenger safety and to help passengers abandon the ship, if necessary.

Passengers become familiar with the ship’s emergency procedures and what they must do to protect themselves in case of fire or other emergencies, and if they must, abandon the ship. Familiarity helps eliminate, or at least reduce, confusion and panic on the part of the passengers which would be natural in the event of a real emergency.

Having gone through a real aircraft emergency landing and evacuation, I can tell you unequivocally that eliminating, or at least reducing passenger panic is essential if passengers are to remain safe, despite suffering a real emergency requiring an evacuation.

In my opinion, the IMO must revise its muster drill regulations in two ways.

First, the muster drill must be carried out prior to a cruise ship leaving its port of embarkation, as we know from the Concordia, and emergency can take place within 24 hours of sailing. Passengers on the Concordia reported chaos and panic overwhelmed passengers and crew. While some panic may still have occurred, had the crew been better practiced and the muster drill taken place, it’s likely the ship would have been abandoned more quickly and safely, and lives might have been saved.

Second, having attended many muster drills myself, I have witnessed countless passengers put on their life vests so badly, that if ever thrust in the water, the vests would come off. The IMO must require life vests be worn by passengers during the muster drill and every passenger’s vest be inspected and if improperly worn, shown how to do it right.

The IMO must ensure that many of the problems encountered by the passengers of the Concordia are not repeated due to inadequate regulation.

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  • Matthew in NYC

    I actually think that the capacity and positioning of the life boats should be determined by the design of the ship. A cruise liner, like Costa Concordia that sits very high in the water is more likely to be prone to severe listing than an ocean liner which sits much lower in the water. A ship that is likely to list more than 20 degrees with a hull rupture should have more life boats on each side. A ocean going ship, like the RMS Queen Mary II or Carnival’s Spirit class, which have to endure the rigors of the open ocean, are less likely take on a severe list, so likely need different boat arrangements.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t seen any comments anywhere about it but apparently some cruise ships are not compartmentalized with watertight doors?  Someone please tell me they do.

  • Anonymous

    Matthew, Mark Staunton-Lambert, Technical Director at The Royal Institution of Naval Architects has just this past week spoken and written about the stability (listing potential) issues of these massive cruise ships, when specifically asked about the Costa Concordia.
     
    Staunton-Lambert noted that the ship keeled over pretty quickly and in answer to the question, “How stable could the Concordia be considering the fact that it’s about 13 stories high with only about 27 feet (8.2 meters) of the ship are below the waterline?”

    He said,

    “The International Maritime Organization (IMO) specifies the stability that ships must have, and if a vessel complies with those rules it should be fine. All the heavy stuff, the engines, water ballast tanks and fuel oil are kept low in the hull, and the tall accommodation blocks above are largely empty space peppered with much lighter contents: people and furniture.

    These cruise ships may seem high, but the trick is to ensure that the weight distribution is correct, focusing on where the center of gravity is.”

    He further stated,

    “The question investigators have to ask now is, how long did Costa Concordia stay upright? And how soon did it take that large angle of heel? That’s what people will be concerned with. Stability is meant to give the crew time to get people off in an orderly manner.”

    You know, while they don’t do it regularly, these cruise ships cross the oceans to reposition themselves for different seasons of cruising, moving for instance, from the Mediterranea via the Atlantic to the Caribbean. They might not do it often, but the must be capable of enduring the rigors of the open ocean too. It would appear that the problem with the Concordia was the size of the hole, more than 300 feet long, breaching too many water tight compartments for the ship to remain upright. Based on what I’ve been hearing from marine engineering experts, put that much water inside the Queen Mary and ships of similar design and I suspect it will severely list too.

  • Ton

    “First, the muster drill must be carried out prior to a cruise ship leaving its port of embarkation”research has shown that doing that is not a good idea, because everything is new people are distracted and within a fairly short time most don’t remember the route

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZLE3FLYV7T3CSULU4AN2HSRUGU Vargas

    Every single cruise ship I have sailed on, as either passenger or crew, has watertight doors. Every one.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZLE3FLYV7T3CSULU4AN2HSRUGU Vargas

    The passenger safety drill is fine the way it is in policy. The crew takes its duty completely seriously. The problem is as mentioned above: the boat drill must be held before the ship casts off. What’s the point of delaying?

    Every ship I have ever sailed on, as passenger or crew (with 5 different liines) holds its safety drill befoe casting off from its home port. To delay it for any reason must be proscribed.Finally, the crew gets ALL its orders, during drills or actual emergencies, fromthe captain. To move on something as major as launching a lifeboat or raft is considered insubordination and dereliction of duty; not to mention putting lives and property at serious risk. But that rule works only if the captain (or, in the case of his incapacitation, the officer of the watch) does his job. When it became apparent that the situation was deteriorating and no direction forthcoming from the bridge, the crew had no choice but to take the initiative; if they hadn’t, more lives would have been lost.

    The sole cause of this disaster can be laid squarely with the captain, on whose shoulders the buck stops. In fact, I’ll wager that at some point during this investigation, the log will display one of the bridge officers cautioning the captain regardng its deviation from course, proximity to shore, and adherent dangers.

  • Tankin

    Ned – You may want improved cruise regulation but this is the wrong tragedy to use.
     
    First, and foremost, the problems that the ship endured where mainly due to the incredibly poor decision making of the captain. He failed to insure that crew was properly trained on emergency procedures. He failed to navigate his ship along a safe course. Most importantly, he delayed initiating the emergency evacuation of his passengers once he became aware that he ran aground and was taking on water. No regulation in the world is going to “fix stupid.” One has to wonder how Costa and Carnival considered him competent to command.
     
    Secondly, most cruise ships are flagged in countries other than the US. So the only ships that would be covered by US regulations would be those porting into or out of the US. No US regulation changes the outcome of the Costa disaster. The US simply doesn’t have the regulatory reach to change what occurred. One could also argue that it doesn’t occur if current Coast Guard regulations are followed. Not only that but a number of reports I’ve seen talk about some of the confusion being due to language barriers with a multinational crew carrying a multinational multicultural passengers where each instruction had to be repeated multiple times in multiple languages (I think Consumer Traveler already discussed this). This issue simply does not occur in the US.
     
    Finally, to change the regulation for every ship everywhere, you’d have to change the SOLAS treaty. Attempting to garner the political capital to have multiple countries agree to the change based on an incident where the loss of life can be directly traced back to the actions of an incompetent captain would be tough in my estimation.

  • Anonymous

    I am about to go on a Celebrity cruise. (My fourth with them)  Their policies regarding muster and evacuation are seriously disturbing.  They request during muster or evacuation that you DO NOT go to your cabin to get your lifejacket, a crew member will supply you with one at the lifeboat in case of a real emergency. 

    Sure.  What crewmember?  The one who saved their own butt first?  The one who doesn’t speak English or have a key to the locker with the lifejackets?   What a crock.  I have zero confidence in anyone on the ship to help in an emergency.  

    You can go on and on about the number of lifeboats but until there are ships with responsible crews it’s worthless. As long as drills look at lifejackets as some sort of hassle (people going to their cabin to get a lifejacket will cause conjestion????  So what happens in an emergency???) the number of boats is worthless.

    Until ships have real crews with real accountibility one better be prepared for self-rescue. 

  • Michelle

    I have not sailed on Celebrity before, but I have other lines.  I have never encountered/been told to NOT go to my cabin and collect warm clothes, life jacket, etc.  The message I hear is if you cannot return to your cabin, a jacket will be provided to you at the muster station (not at the life boat).  

    If your comments are true and that is how you feel, maybe you should cruise another line, or stop cruising.  

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was asking for your input into my vacations.  Oops, I didn’t.

    Because your experience doesn’t match mine doesn’t make yours credible and mine not.  I think it’s natural to take a different look at things given the behavior of the crew on the Concordia.  But as to your “advice”, no thanks.

  • Michael Anisfeld

    I’ve cruised many times, and each time there was a muster drill either in the port, or in the harbor. BUT, and it’s a big BUT, I have never ever been at a muster drill where the crew at my muster oint practiced lowering the lifeboat. After the Costa Concordia it should be mandatory that each lifeboat be lowered (and obviously raised afterwards) during the muster drill.

  • Tankin

    Cruised DCL last year. Witnessed the boat crew lowering and operating a life boat on both the port and starboard sides (one at Castaway Cay and the other in FL).

  • Lyngengr

    If the hole in the hull was on the port (left) side, as shown in the pictures, why did the ship list to the starboard (right) side?

  • Lindaf47

    I have sailed on Celebrity several times, as well as several other cruise lines and have always been told to return to your cabin, get medicine, passport, warm clothes, etc. if possible. If not able to do that then go to muster stations where there will be life jackets.

    In recent years, they have not required you to wear your life jacket to the muster drill. This is good, in that walking down the stairs with a life jacket on is dangerous. You can’t see the steps, so it’s easy to misstep and fall. On the other hand, if you don’t practice putting on a life vest, will you know how to do it in  an  emergency?

  • Anonymous

    They have their own practice each cruise. 

  • Anonymous

    To the best of my knowledge, every cruise ship, at least of the world’s major cruise lines have watertight doors to prevent it from sinking in case of an accident, and to use to keep the ship from listing too much by flooding opposite compartments.

    That being said, if the hull is breached by a large enough hole, across too many watertight compartments, it will be too much for the ship to withstand.

  • Anonymous

    You have asked the question of the day? I have asked the same question myself.

    The BBC asked Prof Philip Wilson of the University of Southampton. Prof Wilson specializes in ship design and dynamics.

    Professor Wilson had this to say about your question and others.

    “Modern ships are safe as they can possibly be. The center of buoyancy is in the right place. Instinctively it doesn’t look right but it is in fact very, very stable, the beam of the boat being very large.”

    Professor Wilson continued, “Every ship will sink if you make the hole big enough.”

    Wilson also said something was “puzzling” him about the way the ship was laying in the water. As you mentioned, the hole in the hull is sticking out of the water. It should have been under the sea, because that is where the water came rushing in. The ship seems to be lying on the wrong side.

    Of this Wilson said, “We’re working on information that’s incomplete so we don’t know really what’s happened. Potentially of course, the crew could have been pumping water to bring the ship upright, and maybe took too much water on board.”

    In other words, at this point, no one knows the answer to your excellent question, and in fact there are many more major questions, and even more lessor ones which need to be answered before we can properly use this incident fully to improve life safety on cruise ships, and perhaps on other commercial ships as well.

    It does seem clear, however, that major upgrades to SOLAS are essential. As I opined above SOLAS needs to:

    1. Significantly update the requirements for lifeboats and liferafts through various means including more of them, a different distribution of location, a different type of craft, new launching methods, etc.

    2. Require muster drills before any cruise ship leaves its port of embarkation.

    3. Change the required procedures of muster drills to at least include every passenger wearing a life vest and a crew member inspecting the same to ensure each passenger knows how it properly put it on and secure it.

    4. Improved crew training for carrying out passenger and crew evacuation in the event of fire, collision, etc. emergencies, including those which require the ship to be abandoned.

    As more information becomes available, I suspect it will become clear that more changes to SOLAS regulations will be necessary.

    For example, the Concordia’s captain’s attorney has been quoted by some as saying the watertight doors didn’t all work properly. If true, it may be that some design changes, maintenance procedures, and testing procedures, as well as training may need to be significantly upgraded. Time will tell.

  • Anonymous

    I agree completely. On every cruise I have taken, that’s exactly what was done.

    This year I was on Regent Voyager. We boarded the ship at its port of embarkation and were using it strictly as a hotel the first night as we weren’t leaving port until the following evening. Even so, before dinner that first day, with a second day still scheduled to be in port, the captain ran the muster drill.

    That made perfect sense. Even though we were dockside that night, an emergency requiring an evacuation still could have been necessary, such as a major fire. By already having the drill and knowing proper procedure, in the event of a dockside emergency, panic and confusion would be minimized.

  • Anonymous

    Tankin, while I understand your point of view, I beg to disagree. This is precisely the right tragedy to use to have improved regulations. We need regulations which would save lives despite the poor actions of a ship’s captain and bridge crew, and a poorly trained general crew.

    You are absolutely right that very few cruise ships are flagged in the US, however, US Coast Guard regulations, are very powerful in the maritime world as so many ships come into US territorial waters. That being said I was very clear in my column that I’m calling for the IMO to upgrade SOLAS. As it turns out upgrades to SOLAS occur all the time, many major upgrades, as member nations have cooperated for a long time in making important substantive changes in SOLAS regulations through the IMO, a United Nations agency. The IMO may be the most successful UN agency in existence.

    Moreover, in my opinion, the EU will be taking this tragedy very seriously and if necessary will act unilaterally, actually bilaterally with the US, I believe, in enacting its own upgraded regulations. I’d bet my bippy that Canada will join in too along with non-EU European nations, many of which have long seafaring traditions. With all of those countries taking this tragedy seriously, I believe it won’t be hard to get SOLAS changed as well. I do believe, however, we won’t see changes overnight. It will take a few years, especially with regard to lifeboats and liferafts due to problems of retrofitting.

    Once more is known about what actually happened, after the investigation by Italian authorities is complete, and the results published, cruise ship lines will also make changes themselves for things like muster drills and crew emergency training, if for no other reason than to cover themselves, and reduce their potential liability in the event of an accident to their ships.

  • Anonymous

    Excuse me RD, but we like to keep the discussion a whole lot more civil around here, even when we have strong opinions.

    I will not dispute your description of your experience on Celebrity, but it is certainly not reflective of my experience on Celebrity. I have cruised with Celebrity in North America, Europe, and the Caribbean. I am a “Founder Member” of Celebrity’s Captain’s Club and at an elite level with them after many cruises.

    I have never been told my a Celebrity crew member, general officer, or bridge officer that if I don’t have my life vest in an emergency I will get one at the lifeboat. I have been told I will get one at the muster station. In fact, during a muster drill on Millennium my wife was given a life vest at our muster station during the drill by a crew member who had that responsibility. We boarded early and she lost track of time and came directly from the solarium. I came from our stateroom.

    I have never had a problem communicating with any crew member during the muster drill at the muster station, in the hallways and stairwells on the way to the lifeboats, or at the lifeboats.

    I have found the crews on Celebrity very well trained to do their jobs, including for emergencies, as evidenced during muster drills. I do understand that under the pressure of a real emergency some may fail at their job, but I suspect those failures will be few.

    Finally, if I had as low a confidence level in Celebrity as a cruise line as you say you have, I wouldn’t consider cruising with them. In fact, you seem to have such a low opinion of cruise line crews in general, based on my read of your post above, I don’t understand why you take cruises at all. 

  • Anonymous

    Hi. The crews practice lowering lifeboats often. For example, everytime a tender is required to bring passengers to shore when the ship can’t dock the crew gets this practice of lowering lifeboats too.

    During each muster drill, one lifeboat must be lower during the drill according to SOLAS regulations. Morevoer, different lifeboats are expected to be lowered in rotation throughout a ship’s sailings during drills, so that eventually each lifeboat has been lowered.

    Also according to SOLAS, all lifeboats must be lowered at least once every three months and launched at least annually.Personally, I suspect these rules are adequate, but I’m also sure they will be reviewed by maritime experts, in light of the Concordia tragedy.

  • Anonymous

    I thought the Captain deliberately beached the ship after the hole was made.  Placing the hole up makes sense.  By placing the ‘good’ side into the sand/mud the weight should also keep the ship from moving. I am trying to remember my sailing days and what my Dad would do. 

  • Ton

    i think in the end the way the escape routes are shown and the crew(who do know the ship) are more important than the drill

    if the drill is so important why not have them in hotels, some of them in vegas have 5 times the capacity and a lot less escaperoutes

  • Ton

    1 of the ways it could happen is if the water starts to shift, it happened with the herald of free enterprice, if a vessel takes on water and makes a turn (which happened here when the captain turned back toward the island to beach her) you get waves inside the vessel which destabilise her.

    What i found disturbing is the speed with which she listed. While it is a given that any hole big enough will sink a vessel, the design should be geared to slowing it down and keeping the vessel as stabile as possible to buy time to launch the rafts and let the rescue start, the titanic was doomed but it took way longer to sink than this one.

    In fact if the junior officers had not decided on their own to  start with the evac, by the time the captain ordered it it would have been to late.

    Between her returning to shore and listing so bad that launching the rafts was difficult was a very short period. once she was on her side people had a stabile platform again but i is not hard to imagine what could have happened if it had been the atlantic (bigger waves colder water) or if it had not happened so close to a rescue base. The truth is that this could have been a true disaster with thousand or more deaths with only a few small differences

    l

  • Anonymous

    It appears the captain tried to take the ship into shallow waters after hitting the rocks B., but the ship sits on a reef, not a beach, and apparently it’s a very precarious position.

  • Anonymous

    The “escape route” shown each passenger during the drill may not be available in a real emergency. They may be blocked by debris, fire, or watertight doors, for example.

    More important than the actual route taken to the lifeboats are understanding what you should do in the event of an emergency, that you immediately go to the muster station when the alarm is sounded, and follow crew instructions, so the crew can get you off the ship as safely as possible. It’s possible the crew might even guide you to the muster station if there is a problem getting there. I’ve been on ships where that was part of the drill too, where they simulated a fire location so some passengers had to be routed by crew members to the muster station.

    During the drill each group of people from a muster station are only taken through one route. You are not shown multiple routes so you might know multiple ways to get to the lifeboats. Often the route is through areas of the ship normally “off limits” to passengers. The idea is the crew determines the best route for the passengers at each muster station and guides them through it.

    Of course, all of this depends on the captain and crew actually doing their job, which was apparently not the case with the Concordia.

  • Anonymous

    I was civil.  I consider “if you don’t agree with met, don’t go” to be a cheap comeback, especially from someone who had no experience with what I was posting about..  I’ll travel  how I please and comment how I please.  If I’m violating your TOS, please show me where they are published.

    I believe the TOS would allow me to say I have  no confidence in the crew of any cruise ship.  You yourself say “the failures will be few” when that is clearly not the case in major evacuations.  The crew bails.  Everything you mentioned is dependent on a competent crew and to depend on human factors in an emergency could be a fatal mistake.  You say below that you hope crews will get more training, so how you can fault me for talking specifics is puzzling.  Unless you recieve free trips from Celebrity and that ought to be disclosed.

    Celebrity’s PUBLISHED policy of no life jackets at muster drills because of some sort of convenience factor is a disaster waiting to happen. Maybe others have the same policy, I don’t know.  I’ve cruised Celebrity six times I think and have never thought their policies were prudent.  Life-threatening?   In an emergency, definitely.  The odds of such an emergency, slim.  Again, I’m still allowed to cruise even though I think that. I’ll be prepared for self-rescue should something happen.

  • http://www.tripso.com/author/ned/ Ned Levi

    I have never faulted you for talking specifics, but the tone you used when you spoke.

    One thing that’s crystal clear is unfortunately a continuation in your posts to provide misinformation about Celebrity Cruises.

    You have stated that Celebrity told you that if you don’t have your life jacket with you during an emergency, if will be provided to you at the lifeboat.

    You have also stated that Celebrity, in their “published policy” state that passengers shouldn’t bring life jackets when participating in the muster drill because of “some sort of convenience factor.”

    Both of these statements are incorrect. Celebrity’s written policy about passengers bringing their life jackets to muster drills or real emergencies is,

    “Guests should not bring life jackets to the muster drill. Our procedures direct guests to proceed directly to their muster stations in the unlikely event of an emergency and upon hearing the emergency signal. This reduces the chance for cross-traffic and improves response time at muster stations, as guests do not need to return to their staterooms to retrieve their life-jackets if they are in another part of the ship at the time. Crew members will provide guests with life jackets at the muster stations. In the unlikely event of an emergency, one of the most important aspects is to account for all persons onboard, and this process facilitates that accountability.”

    So, Celebrity will provide a life jacket to those needing it at the muster station as everyone commenting on your posts has said. Moreover, the reason for not bringing life jackets to muster drills or real emergencies (unless you’re in your stateroom when the alarm sounds, of course) is because it improves the speed at which passengers will arrive at their muster station and check in, which improves the speed, in the event of a real emergency, to get the passengers and crew off the ship as quickly as possible, in order to save lives.

    Of course, you left out the fact that I don’t support the policy of passengers not having to wear life jackets at muster drills. I said, “Second, having attended many muster drills myself, I have witnessed countless passengers put on their life vests so badly, that if ever thrust in the water, the vests would come off. The IMO must require life vests be worn by passengers during the muster drill and every passenger’s vest be inspected and if improperly worn, shown how to do it right.”

    As long as everyone at the muster drill, who doesn’t bring a life jacket to the muster station, receives one at the muster station, during the drill, so they can learn how to properly put it on and secure it, I think the policy to proceed directly to the muster station for the drill, without detouring to one’s stateroom makes sense. During a real emergency it makes even more sense for most passengers to proceed directly to the muster station, where they would be handed a life jacket, without stopping at their stateroom, to speed evacuation, with some exceptions, which I will touch on in an upcoming article.

    Indeed, the evacuation of a ship is dependent on the crew. The more practiced the crew, the better trained the crew, the better and safer an abandonment of the ship will occur if necessary. As I said, in the pressure of an emergency some crew members on Celebrity and other cruise lines will fail, but they will be small in number. On the whole, I expect some chaos, as I experienced on an airplane emergency landing and runway evacuation, but that will come from passengers generally, not the crew, similarly to the exemplary flight crew on my plane.

    You said that in the case of major evacuations of cruise ships the failures of ship’s crews have been significant and that the “crew bails.” Would you care to elaborate, and name some instances that this happened to the major cruise lines, in the last decade or so, especially of Celebrity Cruises?

    The thing is, unless you plan to take a lifeboat or liferaft off on your own, or jump into the sea, you’re going to have to depend on the crew. If you’re going to find a safe way to your muster station or to your lifeboat or liferaft, you’ll likely have to depend on the crew.

    No one questioned your right to take a cruise on Celebrity, only why you would, considering how incompetent you apparently think their crews are, (You said, “I have zero confidence in anyone on the ship to help in an emergency.”) how little you think of them as a cruise line considering you don’t believe their policies are prudent, etc.

    In fact, after you said, “I have no confidence in the crew of any cruise ship,” for the life of me, I don’t understand why you take any cruises at all. You must be on the edge of your pool “seat” with every lurch, strange noise, shutter, bang, and vibration the ship has. That can’t be fun.

  • Anonymous

    It is still in shallower water and keeping the damaged side up.  I agree with Ton.  Had a damage like this been done in open waters, more deaths and possible sinking could have taken place.

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Ned Levi has been researching cruise ship safety for some time, beginning with the proposed legislation, the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act. In light of the Costa Concordia cruise ship tragedy, Ned has reviewed the SOLAS regulations which govern cruise ship life safety and proposes several important changes in the regulations to better ensure cruise ship passenger safety.