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Cruise ship industry fights U.S.C.G.’s proposed safety rules

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The multimillion-dollar-a-year cruise ship industry is giving heavy “push back” to the Coast Guard’s implementation of increased security measures for passengers.

The Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act passed in 2010 required documentation of onboard crimes, standard heights for safety rails, and installation of peepholes in cabin doors.

Now, the final implementation of the law which calls for increased security via surveillance cameras is meeting resistance from top dogs in the industry who fear a cut to their bottom line.

The new guidelines, due out this Spring, will ask cruise lines to add technology “capturing images of passengers or detecting passengers who have fallen overboard.” Further, it will ask for 24/7 surveillance cameras to keep images for 28 days.

Currently, there are some 200 overnight cruise ships world-wide and the the new rule is expected to cost the industry nearly $22 million.

The surveillance cameras would add an extra layer of security for some 12 million passengers who are already shying away from cruising due to failed engines, onboard fires, and rampant illnesses.

Yesterday, Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas announced it has cut short its ten-day excursion due to another outbreak of the dreaded norovirus that has sickened some 500 passengers.

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