On behalf of the 24 cruise lines and 16,500 travel agency members of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), I would like to express my disappointment in your choice of caption for the story in the July 9 issue, "String of Cruise Accidents Refocuses Attention on Industry." The caption "Passengers should be wary of falling overboard" is not only a grossly inaccurate and irresponsible statement, but a disservice to your audience.
Anyone who has been on a cruise ship and has seen the height of the railing understands that one doesn't just fall over the railing. As set by regulations, cruise ship railings measure 39.5 inches (or one meter) high. In the recent cases of overboards, one was foolish and the other tragic. The cruise lines and the industry are examining to see what additional measures can and should be taken to keep passengers safe. We also encourage cruise passengers to pack their common sense with them when on vacation!
While these incidents are rare and receive a lot of publicity, one of the reasons cruising is one of the most popular vacation options is in large part because of its excellent safety record.
Terry Dale President and CEO, CLIA
Editor's Note: As avid cruisers, we agree that the act of merely sitting on a stateroom balcony does not present a danger of falling overboard. We appreciate Terry Dale's "setting the record straight."