Following the IMO Maritime Safety Committee meeting from 16 to 25 May (MSC 90), a new set of safety guidelines has been made available to the passenger shipping industry.
The circular, Recommended Interim Measures for Passenger Ship Companies to Enhance the Safety of Passenger Ships, is the outcome of in-depth discussions of the lessons learned from the Costa Concordia tragedy. The document encourages Member States to recommend that passenger ship companies conduct a review of operational safety measures on their vessels. At this point, compliance with the recommendations is not mandatory.
The recommendations include the storage of additional lifejackets in public areas on cruise ships so that passengers do not need to return to their cabins in an emergency; the availability of emergency instructions for passengers in the languages spoken onboard; and the holding of passenger muster drills before departure on ships where passengers are scheduled to be on board for more than 24 hours.
In addition, the circular covers stricter rules on access to the navigating bridge to minimise unnecessary disruptions and distractions. Voyage planning also comes under consideration, particularly with regard to compiance with existing regulations.
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