The USCG issued an alert concerning passengers’ high-risk behaviours onboard a vessel that sometimes lead to severe injuries or fatalities; The Coast Guard highlights that potential offenders could be fined up to $34,000.
The USCG recommends that passenger vessel owners, operators, and other responsible parties should follow the steps below:
- Announce during the passenger orientation safety brief or with signage that standing or stepping onto benches and railing are prohibited.
- Provide an adequate number of crewmembers and employees to detect and deter high-risk behavior that could result in a person going overboard.
- Post signage warning passengers of the penalties that may be assessed for any passenger who enters the water in an unauthorized manner.
In the past, there have been many accidents and fatalities because of high risk behaviours on a vessel.
A striking example, is passengers deliberately jumping from the vessel in water, as a man did onboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship. The man filmed his jump and posted it online, leading to the cruise company banning the man from travelling on its cruise ships.
These actions are dangerous not only for the passengers, but for the vessel, crew and the other passengers onboard.
A passenger who intentionally jumps into the water from a commercial passenger vessel or who falls from the vessel as a result of high risk-behavior may be considered to be interfering with the safe operation of a vessel as defined by 46 U.S. Code 2302.
… USCG’s statement notes.
The IMO has published a safety animated video with key messages for passengers’ safety, as ‘Safety standards on domestic passenger ferries should be as stringent as those on international vessels,’ according to Bekir Sitki Ustaoglu, Head Asia-Pacific of IMO Technical Co-operation Division.