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Muster Drill on the Lifeboat Embarkation Deck.  N.B. Above the heads
of the passengers to the right of the window can be seen one of
the green International Safety Information Signs used in all ships.

In the NAUTICAL LOG Press Folder this morning there was some very encouraging information.  What is being described as a "new policy" but actually is not, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has voluntarily adopted a policy on Muster Drills.  The policy adopted has been in place for many years as a recommendation to meet the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requirement of conducting a Boat Muster Drill within 24 hours of leaving a Port.  In many passenger vessels this made little sense due to the nature of the passage often less than 24 hours to the next Port.  When NAUTICAL LOG was sailing as Safety Officer we usually held the drill just before departure, in fact many passengers were still wearing lifejackets as they waved their good-bys heading out to sea.

This is a result of the MS Costa Concordia disaster, an internal investigation and report released on January 27, 2012 by the CLIA supported by the European Cruise Council (ECC) and the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA).  To meet the SOLAS 24 hour requirement and avoid a repeat of the MS Costa Concordia situation where passengers did not have any Mustering information and indeed where given the wrong information by crewmembers, a Mandatory Muster Drill will be conducted for all embarking passengers prior to the vessel departing from a Port.

This policy is now in place as a "best practice" to be effective immediately. In addition other "best practices" will be shared throughout the Industry when identified as a result of the Costa incident and other sources by CLIA, which has 26 cruise line members.

As a former cruise line Safety Officer one hopes that all crewmembers will be immediately clearly instructed in what information and the correct information to give to passengers in an Emergency.  They should clearly understand not to direct them back to their cabins.  Directions only to Passenger Lounges and or Muster Stations, often the same areas in many vessels.

Finally if you are a passenger in a cruise vessel which DOES NOT conduct this pre-departure Muster Drill  NAUTICAL LOG would like to hear about it.  Please e-mail   with the vessel name and the date of your cruise.  We will follow-up on why the Drill was NOT conducted.

Good Watch

There still remain some 300 of our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  They are living each moment under threat of mutilation or death.  Do you think they will ever be rescued? Do you actually care? Because your National Government does not.  As for the IMO, as you can see from above Post instead of taking the lead on Mandatory Drills as they are supposed too it was the CLIA that took action.


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