Cruise Liners: How Safe Are They?

Lisa Stark looks into the safety and reliability of today's cruise ships.
2:24 | 01/15/12

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Transcript for Cruise Liners: How Safe Are They?
The natural question is should I -- -- any plans to go on a cruise after all -- in question here was owned. By the American company Carnival Cruise Lines ABC's Lisa stark who covers the transportation -- press has an answer this morning from Washington listen to warranty of. Good morning Dan -- the cruise industry will tell you that it's extremely safe to take a cruise and really they do have a very good track record. But this tragedy shows once again how quickly. Things can turn from fun to fear. This looks like a scene from a Hollywood movie. It was -- real life disaster for those -- off the coast of Spain in 2010. Three huge waves crashing into the ship during the storm -- passengers died. It's rare but terrified. In 2005 a freak wave over seventy feet tall crashed into a cruise liner reaching the tenth floor. Rock and roll. -- mansion up against the -- seems that slammed into a cruise ship in the Antarctic. One off the coast of Egypt and shattering windows and sending furniture flying in a break from winter. This is the image the cruise industry sells and for the estimated fifteen million who popped onboard ships in 2010. The majority of them Americans this is just what -- -- Ships have a redundancy of back up systems if they were to lose one of their generators Christiansen design with their holes divided into water tight sections so if one or two sections is breached the ship stays afloat. They have sophisticated navigation systems sonar radar GPS to guide the crew. And in the case of an emergency whether or rogue wave seven steering problem or a fire on board. The ships are required to have life jackets and life -- space for every one. They're also required to hold an evacuation drill -- within 24 hours of setting sail. For those -- the cost of Concord via the drill was set for the following day. Now most of them. Honored safety standards as you can imagine came about after the Titanic tragedy here in the early nineteen hundreds. Why those requirements is that those lifeboats be able to be loaded and launch within thirty minutes of the captain calling to abandon ship. In this case the problem seemed to be that. That call wasn't made by the time it was it was simply too late.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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