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Could a cruise ship accident happen in San Diego?

As residents likely know, San Diego is one of the most popular cities in the U.S. for cruise ship departure and arrival. So following the fatal boating accident off the coast of Italy last month, it is only natural that San Diego residents and travelers from across the country are wondering: could an accident like that happen here?

According to a lieutenant with the United States Coast Guard, which helps keep the San Diego bay and nearby areas safe and clear for boat departures and arrivals, the likelihood that such a crash would take place here is slim. "It is an excellent natural harbor with very little currents and very little hazards in terms of shoal water," Lt. J.G. Ryan Beck told a local news outlet. "The only restriction is really Ballast Point, which is the narrowest point of the channel in San Diego Bay."

Regardless of those assurances, the crash of the Costa Concordia, which is owned by San Diego-based Carnival Cruiselines, understandably has many travelers on edge. In that accident, in which more than 30 people died, passengers reported that safety drills and emergency evacuation procedures were not followed properly.

Therefore, if you are going on a cruise ship vacation, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with such safety procedures and be ready to spring into action at any time. In addition, know where your children and other family members are at all times. In addition, speak up if you believe safety procedures have been skipped or shortened. Being proactive and insistent may ultimately save your life.

Source: La Jolla Light, "Coast Guard reminds San Diego of safe travels despite Costa Concordia accident," Michael Pines, Jan. 22, 2012

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