On Saturday, the Italian cruise line Costa Crociere SpA announced new safety measures that would now be enforced on their ships. The cruise line will now “have real-time tracking of its ships’ routes and will impose limits on its captains’ absolute authority.” These new safety measures are a direct response to the disaster in January with the Costa Concordia which killed 32 people. A major complaint of those aboard the Costa Concordia was that they had not received safety evacuation training to prepare them for any potential emergency. Now the Costa cruise line says it plans to give the training before the passengers even board the ship and that they will keep track of those who miss the training, offering make-up sessions to ensure everyone is prepared. In addition, Costa Concordia captain Francisco Schettino has been blamed for delaying the evacuation alarm in regards to when the lifeboats could be lowered. With then new safety measures, the captain will not be the only one able to issue the order.
Members of the captain’s team will also participate in the decision. In addition, because as a result of the fact the Costa Concordia was directed so close to shore, an unauthorized diversion according to Costa, Costa said it was launching a fleet-wide monitoring system that allows the company to follow the routes of its vessels in real-time and pinpoint the exact location of each ship to detect any unexpected changes in course.
These safety measures were released at the same time Costa announced its newest 670-million addition, the Costa Fascinosa. This is now the largest Italian cruise ship, holding 3,800 passengers. In October another ship to join the Costa fleet will be built, holding up to 4,928 passengers. According to the Costa chairman and chief executive Pier Luigi Foschi, the newest Costa ship was needed to help the company in its recovery from their disaster in January. According to Foschi, “Costa has bounced back and booking volumes are back to the same levels recorded this time last year, ahead of our own expectations.” Two bodies still remain unaccounted for from the Costa disaster and cleanup operations have begun. To read more about this matter, please see this article