The objectives of this conference, organized by The Royal Institution of Naval Architects, are to raise issues of interest to designers and operators and to promote an awareness of safety issues within the industry.
Passenger ship safety is an area of growing international attention. The changing mix of vessels and capabilities in the world fleet has created a range of new concerns. The dramatic increases in passenger capacity, for modern cruise vessels especially, have aggravated existing problems of shipboard evacuation and emergency management. These problems are further complicated since these vessels often operate in remote or harsh environments. By 2005 it is predicted that 127 passenger ships of over 50,000 gross tons will be in service and in any one night more than 200,000 passengers could be at sea.
A number of organisations are beginning to address these issues, led at an international level by the IMO. The IMO Working Group on Large Passenger Ship Safety is operating under the remit to; "Enhance safety by proactively identifying the future risks large passenger ships may face..." The most recent SOLAS amendments, which came into force earlier this year, have many specific implications for passenger vessels and future amendments are planned to include special provisions for large passenger vessels.