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New ship safety laws announced

06 December 2012 09:23

New regulations are set to come into force to improve safety within the cruise sector

New regulations are set to come into force to improve safety within the cruise sector

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has announced a raft of regulations designed to improve safety on board ships. Among the measures that will come into force in 2014 are new safety drills and lifeboat loading procedures. At a meeting of the IMO safety committee in London, it was agreed that in light of the Costa Concordia cruise liner tragedy in January this year, mandatory passenger safety drills should take place prior to departure or immediately upon embarkation.

Draft amendments to a section of the International Safety of Life at Sea convention were also approved by the committee, making it a requirement for musters of newly embarked passengers before or immediately upon departure. Previously, the convention stated the musters should take place within 24 hours for journeys longer than a day.

People thinking of heading on a cruise should still consider taking out cruise travel insurance, particularly as the new regulations will not come into force until potentially the end of 2014. The next stage is for the amendments to be circulated for consideration and they will be up for discussion again at the committee meeting in June 2013. A number of operational measures will be put in place until the mandatory ones come into force.