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Costa Concordia Company Introduces New Safety Measures For Costa Fascinosa Ship

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The Costa Concordia disaster claimed more than 30 lives
The Costa Concordia disaster claimed more than 30 lives

The company behind the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster has introduced a raft of new safety measures as it launched a new liner.

As the new Costa Fascinosa ship was delivered to Costa Crociere in Venice, the firm said it was adopting a requirement for all passengers to be trained in emergency procedures before their vessel leaves the port.

It has also brought in an advanced system to monitor fleet routes, involving both on-board and ground staff, plus a recent industry policy to limit bridge access to only those with operational functions,

The initiatives come after more than 30 lives were lost when the Costa Concordia struck rocks off the coast of Italy and turned on its side on January 13.

In implementing them, Costa Crociere will be moving "even further ahead of current regulatory requirements", the company said.

Costa Fascinosa, which will carry 3,800 total passengers, was billed as the new flagship of the Costa Cruises fleet and the largest Italian-flagged cruise ship afloat.

The liner sets sail from Venice tomorrow bound for Slovenia, Trieste and Croatia.

Costa Crociere said its fleet expansion programme would continue in the coming years with the construction of a new 132,500-tonne liner due for delivery in October 2014 and accommodating up to 4,928 guests.

Company boss Pier Luigi Foschi said the Concordia disaster had not deterred holidaymakers and that bookings had since returned to normal levels.

"The delivery of the Costa Fascinosa is an important stepping stone on our company's road to recovery," he said.

"After the recent incident, despite the economic downturn and the impact on consumption, Costa has bounced back and booking volumes are back to the same levels recorded this time last year, ahead of our own expectations.

"Our share of the market in the main countries where we operate has not been affected. We were, are and will remain number one in Europe."

The Costa Concordia ran into a reef and capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio after Captain Francesco Schettino made an unauthorised diversion from his programmed route.

He was arrested and accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship.

Some passengers said afterwards they had never taken part in an evacuation drill before the vessel capsized, although one had been scheduled.

At the time it was stipulated that a lifeboat and evacuation drill for all guests must be conducted within 24 hours of embarking,

In February another cruise liner operated by Costa Cruises was cast adrift in the Indian Ocean when an on-board fire left it without power.

Some 636 passengers and 413 crew members were on board the Costa Allegra but none were injured.

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