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Gard Guidance Masters

2.8.6.1 GENERAL

Passenger vessels carry the most precious of cargoes, namely people. Owners of passenger vessels have their own standards of operation that must not only comply with strict international regulations but also with even stricter national regulations. The following guidance in respect of prevention of personal injury to passengers should be considered only as general guidelines and are not exhaustive. Every passenger vessel has a different design and layout and every company has particular instructions in its SMS and SSP that the Master and his/her officers must be thoroughly familiar with and follow strictly.

Passengers enjoying a holiday on board a vessel, whether a cruise vessel, ferry or cargo vessel, are exposed to an increased risk of personal injury due to
  • less attention being paid to possible dangers due to the relaxed atmosphere
  • increased alcohol consumption
  • the movement of the vessel and an unfamiliar environment
  • adverse weather conditions.

    Not surprisingly, slips and falls as well as trapped fingers are the most common causes of claims on board passenger vessels. The sudden interruption of a holiday due to a personal injury is often accompanied by disappointment and discontent resulting in large claims, not only for the costs of medical care and treatment but also for pain and suffering. Claims for loss of enjoyment or frustration may also be brought in some jurisdictions, and national consumer legislation provides an ideal climate for such claims.

    Although owners and operators of passenger vessels will each have a particular safety policy, some points are worth mentioning.