Feature

Cruise ships keep looking for further innovations, passengers stay safe

By Staff Reporter

Cruise ships should constantly look for further innovations to keep passengers safe. State-of-the-art equipment has turned the tide against potential cruise ship disasters.

Statistically, cruising is largely a safe venture – the likelihood of passing away aboard a cruise ship is about 1 in 6.25 million. Even if any mortality is too many, recent research shows that cruising is still one of the safest ways to travel and enjoy leisure time. However, failures in emergency responses, engineering, or seamanship, are lingering issues.

Cruise ship catastrophes, despite their rarity, attract sensationalist global media attention when they occur and can cost cruise ship businesses millions of dollars in lost income. Cruise ship accident data is not prolific, but from available statistics, there have been 448 ‘major’ cruise ship accidents since 2005. Between 2000 and 2019, a reported 623 cruise ship passengers and crew died in these accidents. 

It should be noted that more than 20 businesses operate 323 cruise ships across the world, and these ships have a combined passenger capacity of more than 540,000. The overall number of passengers and crew members killed aboard a cruise ship each year, although not insignificant, pales compared to the number of people who embark each year. 

Furthermore, cruise companies take numerous preventive measures, exchanging faulty parts of the boat and running various drills. It significantly lowers the risk of a potential cruise ship disaster.

Technology has also become far more sophisticated in terms of weather forecasting. WRI, for example, have a team of marine meteorologists to suggest routing and forecast conditions with continuous monitoring of high-resolution model data, RTOFS ocean current data, ASCAT/SSMI satellite-derived wind analysis, land/ship/buoy observations and Global Data Assimilation Systems (GDAS).

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