Captain Bill Wright, senior vice president of marine operations for Royal Caribbean International answered questions from travel agents about cruise safety during a visit to the UK last week.
Captain Wright was in charge of the 5,400 passenger ship Oasis of the Seas when she launched over two years ago. Carnival Corporation is the parent company of Costa Crociere SpA, which owns Costa Concordia and also owns the world’s two largest cruise liners.
The Captain was in London for the Cruise Lines International Association Passenger Shipping Safety Conference and took questions from agents during a phone conference, answering questions about crew safety procedures and the industry’s safety record.
Royal Caribbean International has withdrawn UK advertising for the time being in the days following the Costa Concordia tragedy.
Capt. Wright said the cruise industry is one of the most highly regulated in the world, and emphasised:
“Agents should be simply talking about the facts about the safety record we have. Although tragic, this was a highly unusual event.”
He said there were just 21 fatalities resulting from incidents at sea out of 117 million passengers carried worldwide between 2005 and 2011.
A thirteenth body was pulled from the partially-submerged Costa Concordia, which may become a fixture off the coast of the Tuscan island Giglio over the weekend, and as the body is yet unidentified and unaccounted for, there are concerns that there may have been passengers on board who may have been “unlisted” although one of Concordia’s officers dismisses this theory.
Reports in the press today say a Hungarian woman telephoned her family after the ship capsized but has yet to be accounted for. Costa Concordia’s Captain Schettino is being held under house arrest accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship..