Hundreds of thousands of tourists enjoy going on cruise vacations every year, on destinations all over the world. Thankfully most cruise voyages are both fun and absolutely safe. But unfortunately, sometimes unexpected situations arise which endanger passengers. When these incidents happen, we want the best possible safety measures in place on the vessel, to make sure as many passengers as possible emerge from the incident alive and well.
Safety should always come first, which is why regular ship inspections by the proper authorities are of paramount importance. Also important? Information sharing, so that both the industry and the public are aware of risks. In this article, Kemplon Engineering shares the top 10 cruise ship infractions of 2014, as recently reported by the United States Coast Guard (“USCG”) Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise.
The USCG issued 329 cruise ship deficiencies in 2014, and announced the top 10 most common ones. Fire safety is the most common issue. On 31 occurrences, Fire Screen Doors were not operating properly, with damage to sequencing bars, to the doors themselves, or to the pressure differential between spaces. Blocked Means of Escape was noted in 26 occurrences. On 25 occurrences, there were shortcomings in Crew Training and Drills. There were also deficiencies in Lifeboats and Rescue Boats (21 occurrences) and Improper Use of Spaces (17 occurrences) to round up the top 5.
The other common infractions were deficiencies in Fire / Smoke Detection; Fire Suppression Systems; problematic Pollution Prevention Equipment; Emergency Lighting and Oil and Fuel Leaks in engine room spaces.
Many of the violations were addressed even before the examiners were able to finish the exam. For deficiencies that cannot be immediately addressed, depending on the violation, the USCG may require corrections to be made before the vessel leaves the port, within the next 30 days, or upon entry at a following US port after coming from a foreign port.
The Coast Guard did not provide information on which cruise lines have been cited for violations, but a representative did note cruise lines are often quick and responsive to addressing deficiencies.
^ “Fire screen doors top list of cruise ship deficiencies.” MarineLog, 30 Apr 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. http://www.marinelog.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=9104:uscg-fire-screen-door-problems-top-list-of-cruise-ship-deficiencies&Itemid=229
^ Masek, Theresa Norton. “Coast Guard Lists Most Common Cruise Ship Infractions.” Travel Pulse, 29 Apr 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. http://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/coast-guard-lists-most-common-cruise-ship-infractions.html
^ “Top 10 Cruise Ship Deficiencies of 2014.” The Maritime Executive, 30 Apr 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/top-10-cruise-ship-deficiencies-of-2014
^ U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “United States Coast Guard Top Cruise Ship Deficiencies of 2014.” USCG.mil. Web. Accessed 10 May 2015. http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/csncoe/docs/Top%20Defs/Top%20Cruise%20Ship%20%20Deficiencies%20of%20%202014.pdf
^ Walker, Jim. “USCG: Top Cruise Ship Deficiencies for 2014.” Jim Walker’s Cruise Law News, 28 Apr 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2015/04/articles/fires-1/uscg-top-cruise-ship-deficiencies-for-2014/