Nexus Consulting Invited to U.S. Senate Hearing on Cruise Safety

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Captain Bill Doherty will provide oral and written testimony following Costa Concordia disaster

U.S. citizens can dial 911 or pull fire alarms anywhere on land during an emergency. Why do we make them check these rights at the dock when they board cruise vessels?

Nexus Consulting Group of Alexandria, LLC, a leading provider of private maritime safety and security solutions, is announcing its participation in a United States Senate committee hearing on cruise safety. Scheduled prior to January’s MV Costa Concordia disaster in Italy, the hearing has added significance with the Concordia’s much-reported loss of life. With questions being raised about the sobriety of the Concordia’s captain and the breakdown in ship-to-shore communication, the U.S. Senate is eager to improve upon existing maritime laws to protect cruise passengers. Recognizing Nexus Consulting’s expertise, the Senate invited Captain Bill Doherty, Nexus’ Director of Maritime Relations, to provide oral and written testimony in the March 1, 2012 hearing.

“Maritime safety and prudence starts with competence; achieved through a combination of training, certification and constant drilling as well as the maintenance of operational and safety equipment,” says Captain Doherty in his written statement prepared for the Senate. “Leadership on ships, as in life, starts from the ‘top down.’”

Captain Doherty’s testimony before the Senate will focus on key improvement areas that Nexus has proposed, including calling on the cruise industry to implement independent passenger distress call systems. Captain Doherty will be proposing enhancements to current international laws that would allow passengers more freedom in seeking compensation following any disasters, as well as improved ship inspection procedures that eliminate possible conflicts of interest. Doherty will also be proposing other significant industry changes: a crew member “zero tolerance” policy towards alcohol and drug use aboard ship and passenger empowerment .

“We have been actively advocating on behalf of cruise passengers in the weeks since the Costa Concordia disaster, and we’re not about to slow down,” says Doherty. “We believe passengers can (and should) demand trained, competent and 100% sober crew members on their leisure vessels. U.S. citizens can dial 911 or pull fire alarms anywhere on land during an emergency. Why do we make them check these rights at the dock when they board cruise vessels? ”

The Senate [Committee for Commerce, Science and Transportation] hearing is scheduled for March 1st, 2012, at 1pm Eastern time. The hearing will be broadcast live over the Internet.

Nexus Consulting Group is taking the lead in demanding change from a key travel industry, with cruise safety specialists and programs designed to assist cruise lines with their safety management. To discuss Nexus’ cruise safety services, please contact Nexus Consulting at 703-224-8984.

To view Captain Doherty’s full recommendation to the cruise industry as a former Safety Manager for a major cruise line, please see the “What can we learn from the Costa Concordia?” white paper on the Nexus site. For specifics on the changes Nexus is proposing for the cruise industry, please see the recent op-ed in Maritime Executive magazine.

For more information about Nexus or to receive a free consultation please contact the sales department at: info (at) ncga (dot) us

About Captain Bill Doherty
Captain Bill Doherty is a 1967 graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, a licensed US Coast Guard Master-Unlimited tonnage, and qualified First Class Pilot, Prince William Sound, Valdez, Alaska. Captain Doherty has served on numerous U.S. Navy warships and was the Head of Maritime Affairs for the Chief of Naval Operations during Operation Desert Storm. Over the course of his career, he has commanded tankers, container ships, research vessels, high-speed ferries, and was an instructor at his alma mater. Before retirement, his latest position was as Safety Manager for Norwegian Cruise Lines. Captain Doherty now serves as the director of maritime relations for Nexus Consulting.

About Nexus Consulting Group of Alexandria, LLC
Established in 2005, Nexus Consulting is a US veteran-owned and operated private safety and security company that places unprecedented focus on compliance while actively protecting passengers, crews, equipment and cargo from maritime threats. Internationally, Nexus Consulting is taking the lead in maritime security utilizing the Nexus Solution. Nexus also offers marine safety and security consulting services to private shipping fleets, cargo vessels and cruise lines.

Visit Nexus online at: http://www.NCGA.US

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