Effects of TitanicPls help

Andrew Fanner

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Nov 5, 2003
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Are we differentiating between lifeboats and life rafts here? Last cross Channel trip I did the ship had four actual lifeboats, a rib or two and a liberal supply of canistered liferafts.

Chatting to one of the crew (nowt much else to do on a 6 hour crossing at night), the expectation in the English Channel is that help is only a couple of hours away so all that needs to be done is to keep people from drowning/dying of exposure.
 
Jun 24, 2003
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You know I have tried to be nice in my postings in giving out information and I usually get back some rude remark that I don't know what I am talking about. Fine I am finished with this rude board.
 

Erik Wood

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Apr 10, 2001
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Dave hits at one of hidden secrets of the cruise industry, yes there are enough life saving appartus on board for all, but unfortunatly that means some will be in rafts and not boats, also consider that there (these days) over 2500 passengers and crew on the average cruise ship. International law requires that it be done in 30 minutes. Is this possible??? Probably given perfect conditions, but what sinking occurs in perfect conditions???
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Barbara,
if you're there, I don't think Dave meant to be rude to you at all. I think he was trying to tell you something, in his forthright Aussie way, that he thought you might want to know ie information. I certainly vaguely assumed cruise ships had lifeboat accommodation for all - I count thrashing around in the water trying to get on a cannistered liferaft as something a bit different to an orderly descent in the dry. I sometimes end up feeling as though I don't know anything too, but I try not to mind as it's probably basically true! There are people on this Board who know an awful lot - more than I'd want to in fact - and generally, they are very patient responding to points they must have covered over and over again - it must be trying, sometimes. Anyway - all the best
Monica
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>You know I have tried to be nice in my postings in giving out information and I usually get back some rude remark that I don't know what I am talking about. Fine I am finished with this rude board.<<

Barbara, Dave wasn't being rude. Merely strieghtforward. You might try doing as he suggests and get back to us with what you find out. As large as cruise ships are...and getting larger all the time...placing and adaquate number of boats aboard for all is quite a problem. The reason for this is that you only have so much room to play with in arranging the davits, but also because the sheer numbers of boats required add a substantial amount of topweight.

The topweight added caused problems for several ocean going liners and Great Lakes passenger vessels back in 1912, and I know of one shipping casualty (The Eastland IIRC) where the added extra boats actually caused the ship to roll over on her beam.

Lifeboats present other problems as well in that you have virtually no options on how to arrange them Usually, half go on one side, half go on the other, and if the distressed vessel takes on a substantial list (Like the Andrea Doria) half of the boats are rendered useless. That's why more and more, you see inflatable life rafts with quick release and hydrostatic mechenisms being used in addition or as an alternative to lifeboats. These have sevearal advantages, not the least of which is that they can be launched in any seastate. The same cannot be said of lifeboats.

The disadvantage is that you have to go swimming to get to the thing. If the sea is cold...like it was in 1912...you could find yourself freezing to death befor you ever reached safety.

For obvious reasons, the cruise industry isn't anxious to advertise these facts, but there they are.
 

Erik Wood

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Apr 10, 2001
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The Cruise industry in general hides a lot about the safety practices and abilities of it's crew. The crew can only be trained to react to general situations. Every situation will be different then what you have trained for. Are cruise ship crews prepared to handle a mass evcuation in a short amount of time?? Is any crew prepared for that, and is it possible to really and truely be prepared for that kind of evcuation?? Think of crowding 3000 human beings into a 8 story building that is a thousand feet long and a little over 100 feet wide. Then tell them it is going to sink. What would happen??? Even if all remain calm remember that on average there are 5 passengers to every crew member, both trained an untrained. How can you safely do this??

The flat answer is you can't. You can not safely evcuate a mass amount of passengers in a short amount of time. Evcuation is a dangerous operation even in the best of conditions.

Then remeber that a large chunk of that space is used for the operation of the vessel.
 
Jun 24, 2003
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OK-I called the cruise line and inquired about the lifeboats per passenger question and they informed me that it is the law to accomodate"all" passengers. They also said that there were "no" raft type boats on their line. If you have any more questions on this call 1-800-256-6649.
 
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Mary S. Lynn

Guest
I'm not sure what cruiseline you called, Barbara, and I'm certainly not trying to disparage any information you may have received, but reservation agents who answer a call on an 800 number are going to give you information that they've been told to give you. Some can pull it up on a screen, and others will read from a prepared script. Having worked in the travel industry for a few years, I know that many reservation agents who work for cruiselines have never even been on a cruise, or on any large ship. Technically, yes - it is the "law" to "accomodate all passengers/crew". Erik and Michael have made some very valid points, though. Some "lifeboats" are actually tenders, and are larger than the standard uncovered lifeboat, are equipped with lifejackets, and even have restrooms. They're also located in convenient lowering positions on the ship. Caribbean destinations such as Grand Cayman and private islands owned by cruiselines (Coco Cay, Great Stirrup Cay, Princess Cay, Half Moon Cay) require tendering. I've walked around a few boat decks, and have noticed the differences between the covered tenders and the standard lifeboats. The trend in the cruise industry these days is to build the largest and most accomodating ship possible, and there is MUCH competition! Personally, I wouldn't go on a ship with over 1800 passengers (1000 crew), and prefer the smaller - outdated - ships. I don't need to rock-climb or ice skate or water slide or have a DVD in my cabin. Too many decks and 3000 passengers vying at the same time is just not my idea of a good time, or of feeling safe. The fact that there may be (or not be) adequate lifeboat capacity does not guarantee the safety of any passenger/crew. As pointed out by Erik and Michael, circumstances will dictate any safe evacuation. Now, on the other hand, I would never discourage anyone from cruising. I go anytime I can, but awareness and personal preparedness is a real key factor.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>OK-I called the cruise line and inquired about the lifeboats per passenger question and they informed me that it is the law to accomodate"all" passengers.<<

Which doesn't actually answer the question regarding how many boats and how many spaces there actually are, does it?
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One way you can find out for sure is to check the boats and their rated capacities for yourself, then do the arithmatic. That way at least, you know and would not merely have been told.

>>They also said that there were "no" raft type boats on their line.<<

That's interesting. Hopefully, it's not exactly true. If the ship takes on a list, if it's substantial enough, then half the boats would be rendered useless. While the inflatable boats/rafts may not be a sure thing, they're at least a sporting chance.

By chance could you offer the name of the cruise line?
 
Jun 24, 2003
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The tenders on this ship were NOT located in the ship area as I had previously observed. I had noticed them before in the bow area. At Grand Caymans the ship line had a tender sent out from the island. If there were any tenders on the ship I did not see them. We were also anchored way out to avoid Port Tax, which by the way, was included in my bill. That info was passed on by a member of Royal Caribbean's crew to some of the passengers in my group.

Mary-I called Royal Caribbean to ask about the lifeboats and the information previously posted is what was relayed to me. The lady got a little snippy with me that I even brought it up. I imagine more truth, whatever it may be, may come more from the crew. It is just sometime to what you want to believe. I totally agree with you on the Mega liners. I like privacy and there is less on the larger liners. The captain relayed to us that there is a new ship being designed to come out in 2005 that will carry a total of 7000 people. Think of the lifeboat requirements for that one.

Barbara
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Dec 2, 2000
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>>Think of the lifeboat requirements for that one.<<

Is that passengers and crew or just the passengers?

>>Mary-I called Royal Caribbean to ask about the lifeboats and the information previously posted is what was relayed to me. The lady got a little snippy with me that I even brought it up.<<

Oh I'll bet. I think at this point, my response would have been: "Okay, I'll call Carnival-Cunard and see if they're a bit more tractable. Have a nice day."

>>I imagine more truth, whatever it may be, may come more from the crew.<<

Likely as not, this observation is bang on the money too. Sailors...once you can win/earn their trust...can be pretty candid about this sort of thing. Next time you put to sea, you might want to try this approach and let us know what you find out.
 
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Mary S. Lynn

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Barbara, the reason your ship (and all ships) have to anchor off of Grand Cayman is to protect the off-shore coral reef in that area, and has nothing to do with port taxes. You'll pay port taxes wherever you go, regardless of tendering.

I've heard about that new RCCL ship. Sometimes I think the modern cruise industry is operating under a 1912 mentality.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Well, at least all you glamorous cruisers will get to have your disasters in relatively warm and empty waters. Think of me, bucketing around in a soggy liferaft at night in the chilly English Channel, the busiest sealane in the world, listening fearfully to the sounds of all those tankers, trawlers, ferries etc. dashing blindly to the rescue....
 
Jun 24, 2003
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Mary-After I read my post I do agree with you about the port taxes; however, our ship was anchored a lot farther out then the other 4 ships that day. One of the crew members from our ship told us that the farther out you were anchored the lower the port tax. So here we go again; who do you believe. It always makes for good discussion.

Michael-The 7000 would be crew and passengers combined.The captain also informed us in order to accomodate the extra passenger load more decks would be added.

Barbara
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Mary S. Lynn

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Barbara - hate to tell you this, but some crew members will tell you WHATEVER to answer questions like: "Why are we anchored much further out?". The answer you got was a lot of..um...shall we say...baloney. Your ship may have arrived later that the other four ships that took the preferred anchorage, but even if you had arrived earlier, you had to anchor according to tonnage. If you were on a Voyager-class ship, you'll always have to anchor further out at Grand Cayman....because the water is deeper. The larger and heavier the ship, the deeper the draft. Port charges really have nothing to do with it, but an answer like you got tends to make a passenger feel justified and pacified. Many crew members resort to illogical answers like that just to make you go away saying, "Oh, gee! Well that makes sense, doesn't it?" And they know you won't bother them again. Port taxes have to do with the number of HOURS you are in port (and the day of the week), and the anchorage position has nothing to do with it.
 
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Mary S. Lynn

Guest
Barbara - hate to tell you this, but some crew members will tell you WHATEVER to answer questions like: "Why are we anchored much further out?". The answer you got was a lot of..um...shall we say...baloney. Your ship may have arrived later than the other four ships that took the preferred anchorage, but even if you had arrived earlier, you had to anchor according to tonnage. If you were on a Voyager-class ship, you'll always have to anchor further out at Grand Cayman....because the water is deeper. The larger and heavier the ship, the deeper the draft. Port charges really have nothing to do with it, but an answer like you got tends to make a passenger feel justified and pacified. Many crew members resort to illogical answers like that just to make you go away saying, "Oh, gee! Well that makes sense, doesn't it?" And they know you won't bother them again. Port taxes have to do with the number of HOURS you are in port (and the day of the week), and the anchorage position has nothing to do with it.