Rockefeller Not Easing Up on Cruise Lines, Calls Another Hearing
By Theresa Norton Masek
July 17, 2013 9:05 PM
Sen. John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV isn’t easing up on the cruise industry — he’s called another hearing to focus on consumer protection in light of recent ship incidents. “I’ve been told time and again that cruise lines will change, that things will get better for passengers. But according to our investigation, it doesn’t seem like things have changed,” Rockefeller said. “I’m coming to this hearing with an open mind, but so far the cruise lines haven’t been willing to make enough changes that matter on their own. I expect straightforward answers from our witnesses, not more empty promises about how things will get better after the next safety review.”
The hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Eastern time July 24 at 253 Russell Senate Office Building. It is titled, “Cruise Industry Oversight: Recent Incidents Show Need for Stronger Focus on Consumer Protection.” The hearing will be shown via a webcast.
Rockefeller has been engaged in a tussle with cruise lines going back to March 2012, when he held a hearing after “a series of alarming safety incidents on cruise ships.” He stepped up his battle this year after more incidents, including the Carnival Triumph fire, which lost power in the Gulf of Mexico for several days in February. After that incident, he wrote the CEOs of Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Line, asking for more information about their passenger safety, security, and health practices.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
During the past 50 years cruise ships and ocean liners have carried over 500 MILLION people. During that same period, 32 passengers died on one sinking ship - the Costa Concordia. That was tragic and sad. But nobody else has died on a sinking cruise ship in over 50 years.
The cruise industry should be able to do better. But can you name any other industry on planet earth that can come even remotely close to matching such a good safety record?
Last year alone 1,230,000 people around the world died in auto accidents.
40,000 of those auto fatalities were in the USA, a country very proud of it's auto safety programs.
Last year alone - just in the USA - nearly 500 people died in riding lawn mower accidents.
It appears that one of the most dangerous places on earth today is the space between Senator Rockefeller and a television camera.
Rockefeller is like all politicians; they are like a dog with a bone if they think it'll get them press coverage!
It's too bad that they, like the press, always want to concentrate on the negative and never consider the positive. Plus, their loyalties are often misplaced when you look at the facts.
As you alluded to, in 2011 (the last year for complete annual statistics), there were 32,367 auto fatalities in the US out of a population of 311,591,917, which equates to 10.39 fatalities per 100,000 people.
By comparison, as stated by Christine Duffy, President & CEO of CLIA, the cruise industry has an exceptional safety record compared with other forms of passenger transportation. According to GP Wild, an independent source of analysis and data on the cruise industry, in the decade prior to the grounding of the Concordia, there were a total of 28 fatalities on cruise ships related to an operational casualty out of 223 million guests and crew who sailed during those years. Twenty-two of those fatalities involved crew members and only six were passengers.
(Operational issues directly relate to passenger safety. Yes, there were more than 6 passengers who died during that time, such as medical reasons including heart attacks, but those were due to non-operational issues and not associated with passenger safety.)
So, let's get this straight, 32,000 people died in automobile accidents in one year and only 6 passengers died on cruise ships in 10 years and Rockefeller's focus is where?
I think our representatives need to spend their time more wisely and where it's needed to make a difference in the best interest of the majority of the people.
__________________ 47 Cruises & Counting! Favorites: Paul Gauguin to Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises in Europe; any of the Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America for 12-nights in the Baltics & Russia; RCCL for 14-night Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America for 14-day Alaska cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days in Hawaii including a 7-night NCL cruise; Oceania for 25 days in Asia; & 3 months touring Europe by train. And many days spent in all-inclusive resorts!