Cutting lifeboat's falls


L. Colombo

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Nov 22, 2012
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I was thinking... When the final plunge came, Edward Brown cut the falls of Collapsible A with a knife to allow the boat to float. I noticed that cutting lifeboats's falls, if for some reason it isn't possible to unhook a lifeboat in a normal manner, is not such a rare event in naval disasters. Even about the Costa Concordia I found similar reports. For example, the Peruvian crewmember Humberto Morales said that he led about 300 passengers to the lifeboats, and found that the first lifeboat was in charge of a young Filipino crewmember, unexperienced and shocked, so he himself embarked 150 people in the boat and then, since they weren't able to lower it, he cut the falls with a knife.

I was wondering: which are the most usual materials used for the lifeboat's falls nowadays, and which type of blade wold be able to cut them in case of need (small knives, large knives, saws, axes, shears)? Would be better a smooth blade or a serrated blade?
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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NewtonMearns, Glasgow, Scotland.
As Michael said, nowadays lifeboat falls are made of special steel wire. Have been for over 50 years. Forgive me for saying so.. that story about Costa Concordia is pure garbage.

Five lads lost their lives last week on a Thomsons Cruise boat when the lifeboat falls parted. They were lowering the boat during boat drill when alongside in the Canary Islands. The boat fell to the water, killing 5 of them. Didn't make the popular news. Just ignorant sailormen.
Bet if the people killed had been passengers, Sky News and all the tabloids would be screaming foul! and lawyers would be lining up for millions in compemsation. Instead we were dished up as tory about some idiot 18 year old going jogging in the Aussie outback in 40 degree temperatures and getting lost. Heavens! they had him cast as some sort of adventurous hero. What a sicko world we are creating.

My heart goes out to these poor sailormen and their families... Nothing changes!

Jim C.
 

L. Colombo

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Nov 22, 2012
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You're right. As for the Thomson Majesty's incident, I noticed that there was no mention at all in any news broadcasting...Instead, the Carnival Triumph adrift for a fire in the engine room (okay, it is an accident, but no injured) made the news. Why? Because there were annoyed passengers who would protest. It seems that people have a different value; who cares of the lives of some seamen, what is more coming from third-world nations? I remembered for instance the Costa Europa accident in 2010, when the ship hit a pier in Suez, killing three crewmembers. Who cared at that time? Just a two-line paragraph or not even that. Then, after the Costa Concordia, that (and other similar incidents) also made news. The same for the Costa Concordia itself, however. All the newspapers paying attention only to the (small part of) passengers who said "we saved ourselves", "we lowered the lifeboats", "the crew didn't help/wasn't able to do anything" and such claims, as if the whole crew had left the ship first and abandoned the passengers; who asked any crewmember (or simply passengers who didn't tell such stories)? Yes, a sicko world.
 

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