In the whole business of safety at sea, there are several major players and topics to consider. In today’s world, modern ship technology aims to prevent another tragedy like Titanic from ever happening again. But also in today’s world, security surrounding ships in port and at sea has come clearly into focus to address a threat of terrorism not thought of in the days of Titanic.
“The cruise industry’s highest priority is to ensure the safety and security of their passengers, crew and vessels” says the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise association, dedicated to the promotion and growth of the cruise industry. CLIA is composed of 26 of the major cruise lines serving North America and is an organization that operates pursuant to an agreement filed with the Federal Maritime Commission under the Shipping Act of 1984 and serves as a non-governmental consultative organization to the International Maritime Organization, an agency of the United Nations.
Today’s cruise ships meet or exceed increasingly more stringent safety standards set before them. Cruise lines today are engaging technology like never before too.
Celebrity Cruises recently rolled out a new design of ship built from not the passenger’s point-of-view like Titanic but from the hull up. A new teflon-like coating on the hull reduces fuel consumption by allowing the ship to sail more smoothly through the water.
Cruise ships are “plugging in” when docked too. The Port of Los Angeles recently became the first with the ability to provide shoreside power to three different cruise lines. Using the Alternative Maritime Power system, ships from Princess Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line can now turn off their polluting engines while in port.
On the matter of security, cruise ships give safety in this area high priority as well.
“Security procedures include the 100 percent inspection of all passengers, their carry-on baggage and luggage. Each crew member holds a U.S. seafarers visa and has thus undergone a U.S. State Department background check prior to visa issuance. In addition, all crew members and guests are placed on an official manifest and may embark and disembark only after passing through a security checkpoint. Once a ship is underway, only documented employees and fare-paying passengers are on board” adds CLIA.
We often focus on flashy events like Kid Rock hosting a theme cruise, a new emphasis on fitness at sea or tips for those about to go on a cruise. But at the end of the day, all hoopla aside, these are still very large ocean-going vessels that often sail very far away from the safety of land.
You better believe cruise lines have safety as their top priority.
Even with today’s modern technology, even with all we know and have learned since Titanic, even today’s cruise ships are no match for an angry mother nature.
Flickr photo by Mecookie