Cruise NewsCruise Ship Incidents Decline 13% As Cruise Safety Improves

Cruise Ship Incidents Decline 13% As Cruise Safety Improves

The cruise industry saw a 13% drop in operational incidents (collisions, fires, breakdowns, groundings) from 2009 to 2013 according to a report from Seatrade Insider.

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During the five year period that included the Costa Concordia incident, cruise capacity rose more than 18% worldwide while operational incidents dropped 13%.

The report by Seatrade Insider also stated that the number of passengers and crew members going overboard declined over the same time period while an increased number (20%) of those who went overboard were able to be rescued.

In addition to this safety report, G. P. Wild’s data analysis showed that the cruise industry had the lowest occurrence of operational related deaths across all modes of travel, including airlines. Cruising was the safest mode of leisure transportation from 2009-2013

In 2013, over 21 million people took a cruise as the number of cruise berths increased from 349,900 to 414,800 from 2009 to 2013. Despite the increase in cruise berths, cruise incidents fell 13%.

There were 102 “significant operational incidents” on cruise ships over the five year span. Incident were defined if there was a delay of 24 hours or more, or passenger/crew members injuries and deaths.  31 passengers and 19 crew members died as a result of these operational incidents from 2009 to 2013.

The number of yearly incidents that included fires, collisions, groundings, technical incidents, rogue wave damages, and person overboards are as follows:
2009: 21
2010: 27
2011: 15
2012: 18
2013: 21

The number of overboards (passengers and crew members) declined from 23 in 2009 to 12 in 2013 according to the report.  Sixteen out of the 96 that went overboard during this time period were able to be rescued.

Data for the report was taken from major newspapers, maritime publications, U.S. Gov’t websites, and a number of cruise websites.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise NewsCruise Ship Incidents Decline 13% As Cruise Safety Improves


  1. In addition to cruising being the safest means of transportation, especially for disabled passengers, it is also the most relaxing, and most enjoyable! I have never heard anyone refer to flying as fun, or relaxing, and driving a car? Never!

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