The cruise industry has branded a recent television documentary questioning ship safety “insulting” as it gears up to respond to concerns raised by the Titanic centenary.
The Channel 4 documentary, Disasters at Sea: Why Ships Sink, claimed crew safety briefings were little more than sales pep-talks.
David Dingle, Carnival UK chief executive and UK spokesman for the Passenger Shipping Association, the European Cruise Council and International Cruise Line Association, said: “That was bordering on insulting to our crew members.
“The programme overlooked all the advances we have made to managing and training our people.
“It overlooked the fact that the Titanic disaster was the trigger for the creation of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (Solas).”
Dingle said the cruise industry was preparing to publicly address concerns as the Titanic disaster is marked this weekend, and the Concordia salvage and investigation grabs further headlines.
A second Channel 4 documentary on Concordia was due to air on Wednesday night.
Dingle said he believes the cruise industry is so safe that had the Concordia incident not happened, the Titanic anniversary would have been an opportunity to celebrate advances in ship safety. He said: “I’ve not seen quoted anywhere the fact that in the 10 years before Concordia there were 223 million cruise voyages taken and the loss of life was six passengers and 22 crew.
“Official data shows cruising compares extremely favourably to other means of transport. Had it not been for Concordia, we would have been celebrating; instead, a lot of questions are being asked.”
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