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Published on Friday, January 20, 2012

Concordia emergency procedures called into question by new video footage

Carnival is to carry out a major review of its safety and emergency procedures following the Costa Concordia tragedy.

The announcement comes as amateur video footage has emerged showing Concordia crew telling passengers that nothing was wrong and advising them to go back to their cabins, after the ship began taking in water.

It is believed that the delay in deciding to evacuate the ship may have cost lives.

At least 11 people have died and hopes are fading for the 21 who remain missing after the ship hit rocks off the Tuscan coast a week ago.

Rescue workers have been forced to stop their search again after the ship moved in choppy seas.

According to BBC reporters at the scene, rescue officials fear the ship could suddenly slip into much deeper water.

This morning Carnival, which ownes Costa, P&O, Cunard, Princess Cruises and other cruise brands, admitted that the tragic accident had "called into question our company’s safety and emergency response procedures and practices".

Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc, said: "While I have every confidence in the safety of our vessels and the professionalism of our crews, this review will evaluate all practices and procedures to make sure that this kind of accident doesn’t happen again."

The review is being led by Captain James Hunn, a retired US Navy Captain and currently the company’s senior vice president of Maritime Policy & Compliance.

Hunn and senior health and safety executives from each of the lines will review all safety and emergency response policies and procedures, officer and crew training and evaluation, bridge management and company-wide response and support efforts.

The cruise line is also bringing in outside industry-leading experts in the fields of emergency response organisation, training and implementation to conduct an audit of all of the company’s emergency response and safety procedures and to conduct a thorough review of the Costa Concordia accident.

Yesterday at a press conference, the Cruise Lines International Association called for a major safety review by the International Maritime Organisation.

by Bev Fearis

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