NTSB Cruise Ship Safety Forum

Cruise Ships: Examining Safety, Operations and Oversight
The National Transportation Safety Board held a public forum on cruise ship safety and oversight on March 25-26 in Washington.

The forum, Cruise Ships: Examining Safety, Operations and Oversight, reviewed the regulatory framework, ship design and fire protection, operations and corporate oversight of cruise ships. It explored some recent high-profile incidents. The forum’s goal was to encourage dialogue among industry stakeholders, regulators, and the general public to better understand cruise ship safety and oversight. Participants included regulators such as the U.S. Coast Guard, vessel owners and operators, researchers and industry groups.

The Cruise Ship Safety Event can be seen here: http://ntsb.capitolconnection.org/032614/ntsb_archive_flv.htm

Coast Guard inspects cruise ships without warning

The Coast Guard began unannounced inspections of cruise ships this month, to focus more attention on ships with the most complaints during routine inspections, federal safety officials learned Tuesday.

Coast Guard Capt. Eric Christensen told the National Transportation Safety Board that his agency inspected 140 foreign cruise ships last year when they reached U.S. ports and found 351 discrepancies from international safety standards.

The most common problem in 44 cases: Fire-screen doors intended to hinder a fire didn’t close properly, he said. Other problems found included lifeboats with cracked hulls, obstructed means of escape and crews unfamiliar with what to do in an emergency.

Coast Guard inspects cruise ships without warning USA Today

Italian Police Detain Somali in Migrant Shipwreck

Police in Sicily have detained a 34-year-old Somali alleged to be the organizer behind the smugglers’ ship packed with migrants that sank off the coast of a southern Italian island, killing more than 365 migrants.

Police on Friday announced the detention of Mouhamud Elmi Muhidin, who faces charges of kidnapping, sexual assault, people trafficking and criminal association with the goal of aiding illegal immigration. The suspect was identified by survivors.

Italian Police Detain Somali in Migrant Shipwreck ABC News

Cruise ship scare in Venice

Carnival Sunshine comes ‘dangerously close’ to shore.

The head of Italy’s Senate committee on art and culture called on the government to limit cruise ships passing through the Venice lagoon after an alleged close call over the weekend reignited local fury and fears of a disaster like the Costa Concordia crash off Tuscany last year that killed 32 people. “After the tragedy of the Concordia, there is still a safety risk tied to the passage of large ships. Especially in Venice, there is an intolerable risk percentage. The government must apply (changes) immediately,” said Andrea Marcucci. On Saturday witnesses reported that the 100,000-ton Carnival Sunshine passed within 20 meters of the Riva Dei Sette Martiri waterfront, not far from St Mark’s Square.

Senators call for action after cruise Gazetta del Sud
Call for action after cruise ship scare in Venice UPI
UNESCO asks Italy to limit access of cruise ships to Venice after Costa Concordia disaster Daily Mail
Are Cruise Ships Damaging Venice? The Daily Beast

Cruise Industry’s Reputation Continues To Sink Months After Carnival Triumph

Consumers have wide-ranging questions of quality standards and shipboard safety following a series of high-profile accidents starting with Costa Concordia in January 2012 and culminating (though not concluding) with Carnival Triumph this February. A new poll of 2,052 U.S. adults, conducted between May 14-16 (prior to the recent fire aboard Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas), shows that perceptions of the industry’s top brands haven’t only remained below their pre-incident levels, they’ve fallen lower.

Cruise Industry’s Reputation Continues To Sink Months After Carnival Triumph