The Norwegian government has appointed a committee to investigate challenges for preparedness related to increasing cruise traffic in Norwegian waters.
“Cruise traffic has increased in recent years, both in Svalbard and along the coast of the mainland. A serious incident involving a cruise ship with a high number of passengers onboard represents a particular challenge, says Norwegian Minister of Justice and Preparedness Monica Mæland.
“The Viking Sky incident reminded us all about the potentially vast extent of a serious incident involving a cruise ship. There is thus a need to conduct a thorough investigation to map challenges and preparedness for cruise traffic along the Norwegian coast and in Svalbard”, Mæland continues.
The ten committee members are further to look at Norway’s ability to coordinate and manage a serious incident involving a cruise ship as well as assess the ability to manage a high number of injured and non-injured evacuees on land.
The committee is to place particular emphasis on measures reducing risk and to bring recommendations as to how the cruise industry itself can contribute to maintaining, improving and dimensioning its preparedness.
The committee is to get an overview over existing knowledge foundations and coherently compile existing recommendations related to cruise traffic and incidents in recent years. The committee is also to familiarize itself with how other Arctic coastal states develop preventive measures and what adjustments they initiate in order to manage cruise traffic. The committee is to assess the opportunities for learning and for transferring experiences to Norwegian conditions.
The Cruise Committee is to submit its report by 19 December 2021.
The committee consists of
Svalbard Governor Kjerstin Askholt, Longyearbyen
Vice President Expedition Karin Strand, Bergen
Professor Odd Jarl Borch, Bodø
Sea Safety Director Arve Dimmen, Hareide
Senior Engineeer Jan Reinert Vestvik, Haugesund
Retired Coast Guard Commander Ottar Haugen, Tønsberg
Professor Ingrid Bouwer Utne, Trondheim
Director Frigg Jørgensen, Tromsø
Operative SAR Inspector Tore Wangsfjord, Bodø
Secretary-General Rikke Lind, Nesodden
This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.