GAO reviews cruise safety provisions

By Tom Stieghorst
The federal government's General Accountability Office has issued a report on the cruise industry’s implementation of laws to improve crime reporting and passenger safety.

In a review of the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act (CVSSA), the watchdog agency said it found 11 of the act’s 15 provisions are in place.

Of the remaining four, one is under review by the Department of Transportation and three are part of a notice of proposed rulemaking being developed for the Coast Guard.

The CVSSA was passed in 2010, and the GAO was asked to examine whether it was implemented.

It said a policy on how to certify trainers who provide crime scene preservation instruction was underway at DOT. The Coast Guard is developing rules on technologies to detect persons going overboard, on maintaining a video surveillance system to help in documenting crimes on the vessel, and on transmitting communications and warnings from the ship to anyone in surrounding waters.

The report said the Coast Guard and FBI have implemented the crime-reporting sections of the act, but it said they are of limited usefulness.
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