The Costa Concordia shipwreck tragedy in the Mediterranean has sparked a review of safety standards on cruise ships. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee announced in a press release that it will conduct a hearing in February to review cruise ship safety including operating standards and crew training requirements.
Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) said in the release that “The Costa Concordia tragedy is a wakeup call for the United States and international maritime organizations to carefully review and make certain we have in place all appropriate standards to ensure passengers’ safety on cruise ships.” He said that “The Committee will review the events of this specific incident, current safety measures and training requirements set by law and international maritime transportation agreements to ensure this mode of transportation remains as safe as possible.”
Mica stated that the tragedy appeared to be preventable and the hearing is an effort to prevent such tragedies in the future. Current U.S. laws and regulations will be reviewed in relation to vessels at U.S. ports and in U.S. waters but they do not necessarily apply to Americans cruising internationally. The United Nations Agency that regulates international shipping, the International Maritime Organization, will review the details of the recent tragedy and the current international maritime safety treaty, the Safety of Life at Sea Convention.