EU improves rules on cruise passenger safety
From the Titanic to the Costa Concordia cruise ship disasters are big news. Unfortunately they are not as uncommon as we would like to think. However in the event of such a disaster occurring in the future the EU announced recently that the presidency has reached an informal agreement with the European Parliament on new rules to digitalise the registration of ship passengers.
The purpose is to make the exact number of passengers and other information immediately available for search and rescue services in the event of an accident. At present, valuable minutes may be lost because the data on people on board is stored by the shipping company, and the search and rescue centre has to get hold of the company’s contact person to obtain this information. In digital form, the information will be directly accessible.
To make it easier to assist victims and their relatives, the recorded data will include passengers’ nationality. The current rules already require the shipping company to register the name, date of birth, gender, and – if the passenger so wishes – the need for special assistance in an emergency.
Under the new requirements, data will be sent to the relevant authority in electronic format within 15 minutes of the ship’s departure.
Member states will have two years from the directive’s entry into force to incorporate the new rules into their national legislation.