Carnival Will Review Response Systems

January 20, 2012

Carnival Corp, whose luxury cruise liner Costa Concordia capsized off the coast of Italy last week, said on Thursday it will conduct an audit and review of safety and emergency response procedures at all of its cruise lines.

Carnival Chief Executive Micky Arison said in a statement that the disaster, which left 11 people dead and 22 missing, “has called into question our company’s safety and emergency response procedures.”

Nearly a week after the 114,500-tonne ship capsized off the Tuscan coast, hopes of finding anyone alive in the partially submerged hulk have all but disappeared.

The senior vice president of Carnival’s maritime policy and compliance, retired U.S Navy Captain James Hunn, will lead the review. Hunn will report to the board’s Health, Environment, Safety & Security Committee and Vice Chairman Howard Frank.

In addition, Carnival’s health, environment, safety and security committee has hired outside experts in the field of emergency response to conduct an audit of its procedures.

Carnival also said it supports the call for a comprehensive evaluation of safety regulations by the International Maritime Organization, which it said was requested earlier today by the Cruise Lines International Association.

The cruise ship disaster off Italy’s coast is drawing fresh scrutiny to the gaps in international safety rules and standards but the costs involved may mean there is little appetite among the world’s major shipping nations and companies for big changes anytime soon.

While an international regime exists for the training of mariners on everything from car ferries to cruise ships, enforcing that is very much a national affair.

Shipping executives, insurers and maritime attorneys say the problem is one of cost – the cost of more comprehensive training schemes like those used in the military. It is a burden that shipping nations and their largest shipping companies do not want to shoulder.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba and Yinka Adegoke in New York; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)

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