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Cruise Ship Safety Jumps To The Forefront

Following a spate of problems, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has launched a cruise ship safety review task force that will focus on safety in the cruise ship industry.

Radm. James C. Card, the USCG's chief of marine safety, security and environmental protection, has commissioned the task force in response to four recent passenger vessel mishaps that required the offloading of passengers. Although the USCG said there is no indication of a link between the incidents, Radm. Card felt that the occurrence of four mishaps in a span of six weeks necessitated a review.

At press time, the task force has begun inspection of about 125 cruise ships currently operating in U.S. waters and embarking from U.S. ports. The task force agenda includes: a review of trends within the cruise ship industry to identify possible causal factors leading to the four incidents; identification of possible safety system inconsistencies within the industry and issues of concern to the USCG; making recommendations for improvements as required, and working with industry, through partnering, in implementing adopted recommendations.

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