Major Cruise Ship Accidents throughout History

Published: 29th March 2010
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The story of the most famous of all cruise ship accidents has been retold a number of times in movies and books. The Titanic sunk on its maiden voyage killing 1500 people. The cruise ship was the largest ocean liner of its kind and was thought to be indestructible until it hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912, only about a third of the passengers on board survived.

In recent years, there have been a number of cruise ship accidents but nothing to compare to the Titanic. When the Greek ship, the Sea Diamond, ran into rocks off the coast of Santorini in April of 2007, almost all of the 1600 people on board were rescued before that ship could sink. Two of the passengers on board were killed. In most of the cruise ship accidents in the past 25 years, the passengers on board were saved before the ship could sink. Many of the people on board the Admiral Nakimov were not that lucky though. The Soviet cruise ship collided with a cargo vessel on August 31, 1986 in the Black Sea and 79 people were killed and more than 300 others were never found.

There are other types of cruise ship accidents that are much more common. In 2009, more than a dozen people went overboard from cruise ships and died. In most of the cases, it is believed that some act of negligence by the person who went overboard contributed to the death. They were either drunk or purposely went beyond the barriers set up by the cruise lines to keep passengers back.

The U.S House of Representatives has passed a number of new laws recently aimed at making passengers on cruise ships safer. The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009 sets new standards for vessel design and construction which aim to limit the number of cruise ship accidents. It also sets several changes in procedures for reporting deaths and investigating other crimes that occur on board a cruise ship. The Act mandates video surveillance on board to monitor criminal activity and requires crime scene investigation training and certification for vessel crewmembers.

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