Tracking Cruise Ship Safety Is a Difficult Task

A century after the RMS TITANIC sank and claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people, the cruise industry now boasts its ships are one of the safest means of transportation in the world. According to Carl Bialik, however, a Yale University graduate who writes for The Wall Street Journal as “The Numbers Guy,” the safety figures reported by the cruise industry are “imperfect” and no regulatory agency maintains a comprehensive count of cruise ship fatalities, making it difficult to accurately track cruise ship safety.

According to Bialik, the cruise industry frequently cites safety statistics compiled by GP Wild International Ltd., a company that gathers data from news stories and other public sources. The main concern about this method of compiling data is that any cruise ship fatalities not reported to the public will be overlooked. Moreover, GP Wild excludes from its statistics deaths from drowning after going overboard and deaths from natural causes.

Further complicating matters, no single regulatory agency is currently able to comprehensively track cruise ship deaths. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) collects safety records, but according to a recent column by Bialik, approximately three-fourths of IMO member states do not report incidents, and the IMO has no sanctions to impose on countries that do not follow its reporting requirements. The maritime research organization IHS Fairplay also collects maritime fatality statistics, but the number of deaths reported by IHS Fairplay and the IMO vary greatly.

Most people would probably agree that cruise ships are safer today than they were in the days of the RMS TITANIC, but it’s difficult to pinpoint just how much safer. If you have suffered a serious injury onboard a cruise ship or lost a loved one in a cruise ship accident, contact a Boston maritime attorney today to learn about your legal rights.

Latti & Anderson LLP –Boston maritime trial lawyers