Man Overboard Technology: Should Cruise Lines Take the Plunge?
In a nearly $40 billion market conditioned by bottom-line numbers and thin margins, cruise lines are hard-pressed to invest in areas that do not result in significantly increased sales. One such budget dilemma facing the industry focuses on installation of technology intended to detect passengers who fall overboard during voyages. While only about 25 of the 22 million passengers who book cruises each year fall overboard, each life lost at sea draws attention to the safety devices available to protect travelers (www.cruisemarketwatch.com, 2016). Maritime regulations require cruise ships to use passenger surveillance systems. However, cruise lines are yet to be required to install more expensive, and at times problematic, man overboard (MOB) technologies. In this case, students are asked to consider both ethical and financial implications to determine whether cruise lines should invest in added MOB infrastructure.