SAFETY IS OUR FIRST PRIORITY
CF Mekong River cruises puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to health and safety
“Fire ! That is the biggest risk for a cruise ship,” eager beaver Va La answered. The purser for Toum Tiou 1 was responding to a question from Bart Maaswinkel, the health and safety expert engaged by CF Mekong River cruises to conduct a comprehensive training workshop to the crew.
“That is right,” says Maaswinkel, marine consultant of Dutch Swiss Marine, who then proceeded to demonstrate the myriad ways a fire can ignite in a ship. The Dutch national then pointed out simple but effective precautions on how a fire can be prevented.
CF recently engaged Maaswinkel, a Swiss expert on safety, to train all crew members of CF Mekong River cruise ships on health and safety onboard the vessels. More than just a classroom workshop, the participants also took part in fire drills and emergency evacuation procedures.
All of this part of a systematic plan of the company to reach its goal of being the safest cruise company on the Mekong. Says Naidah Yazdani, Asia Director of CF Mekong River cruises,” We aim to have zero accidents, no matter how small. We are part of Croisi Europe, one of the largest river cruise companies in the world. As such, our health and safety standards for our Mekong cruise ships must be of the highest of standards.”
Engaging Maaswinkel was not cheap. But, as Yazdani says, “it is money well-spent as we consider the safety of our passengers and crew our highest priority. The Zurich-based consultant also presented a comprehensive safety audit to the company.
Yazdani was quick to point out that safety was always ingrained in the company’s operational culture. “We have always prioritized safety. This year, we decided to up the ante.” Masswinkel concurs. “ The current policies and procedures of CF Mekong River cruises are about the best I have ever seen.”
The training workshop will not be a one-off affair. Fire drills and emergency evacuation procedures will be conducted on a monthly basis. “We want everyone to be fully prepared in case of an emergency,” adds Yazdani.
And, just how well received was the training? “I did not realize that it is so simple and yet so effective,” says Soun San, head mechanic of Indochine. “By following such simple steps, we are able to ensure that our ship is truly safe.”