Modern Cruise Ship Safety

April 10, 2012 by staff 

Modern Cruise Ship Safety, U.S. Coast Guard finds dozens of minor safety issues on cruise vessels , The Titanic sank one hundred years ago this week, but the recent Costa Concordia tragedy shows that cruise disasters are still real threats.

In January the ship slammed into a rock off the coast of Italy and sank, killing at least 32 people. Passenger Divya Sharma and her husband Sameer describe a chaotic scene moments before the ship submerged.

“We just looked at each other and did what we had to do to survive,” Sharma said.

The couple saved for months for what was supossed to be a vacation to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. They say the crew failed to show them where their life vests were stored and that there was no abandon ship drill.

“We don’t deserve this,” Sharma said. “We don’t deserve the nightmares we still get.”

The Costa Concordia incident is just one example of recent problems at sea. Just this month, a cruise ship caught fire south of the Philippines. In February, a vessel caught fire sailing in the Indian Ocean. In September of last year there was a blaze on a ship off the coast of Norway.

The Coast Guard oversees cruise vessel safety in U.S. waters. Inspectors evaluate everything from how the crew handles fires on board to how quickly they execute evacuation drills and lifeboat drills. Inspectors also examine the physical safety of cruise vessels to make sure they are in working order.

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit obtained inspection reports for cruise ships examined at the Port of San Francisco for the past decade. The reports show that vessels had dozens of deficiencies.

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