Tougher Safety Rules Sought for Cruise Ships
The National Transportation Safety Board asked the Coast Guard on Friday to seek tougher safety standards for electrical systems, engines and lifesaving equipment on foreign luxury liners operating out of U.S. ports.
The proposal could affect dozens of ships, some of which were built under safety guidelines dating back six decades, according to the safety board.
“Our fear is that there are cruise ships operating in and out of American ports, carrying thousands of passengers annually, that do not meet the latest standards,” board spokesman Brent Bahler said.
The board said the May 26, 1990, grounding and fire on the Regent Star near Cape May, N.J., justified tightening guidelines for main and emergency power systems, machinery and lifesaving equipment.
The changes are needed to “reduce substantially the level of risk on board passenger vessels,” the board wrote in a letter to Adm. J. William Kime.