Lifeboats & survivors could this happen again

AL Glover

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Apr 15, 2005
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An interesting question(s)to those that have taken a trip on a ship,(ASHLEY WOULD LIKE YOUR OPINION PLEASE,)
When traveling on a ship-cruise, I believe I heard that within 24 hours of departure, law requires a boat drill,
#1,Is this correct??
#2,When that 1st drill is held, how do you know which boat your assigned to & where is it located,??
#3,How many boat drills are done during your trip & were there any surprise drills,
# 4,FINAL QUESTION,
Even though suppose to be boats for all, but with the different class's,GOD FORBID it should happen,but in a REAL EMERGENCY,what would happen if u did not get to your boat befor it was lowered away.would u be allowed on another??
The reason for this, can't remember the Foreign cruise ship that caught fire but, (and I hope the proper authorities hung this Cap'T by his ???,the cap't & a few select officers got off that ship first & fast to "'go get help"',
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Dec 3, 2000
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Hi Al,

"When traveling on a ship-cruise, I believe I heard that within 24 hours of departure, law requires a boat drill,
#1,Is this correct??"

Yes, it is.

"#2,When that 1st drill is held, how do you know which boat your assigned to & where is it located,??"

I'm not sure, but I will be traveling on the QE2 next month, so I'll find out then. In the meantime, maybe someone else knows the answer.

"#3,How many boat drills are done during your trip & were there any surprise drills,"

From what I have read, their is only the one boat drill and their are no surprise ones.

# 4,FINAL QUESTION,
"Even though suppose to be boats for all, but with the different class's,GOD FORBID it should happen,but in a REAL EMERGENCY,what would happen if u did not get to your boat befor it was lowered away.would u be allowed on another??"

I would think that you would be able to, at least I would hope so! I don't think that they would leave you to fend for yourself. I'm sure I'll find that out as well during the drill.

Best regards,

Jason
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AL Glover

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Apr 15, 2005
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Hi Jason, Thank U for the interesting answers, & hope you enjoy your trip on the QE2,sure I'll B talking to you again, but just want to say now in case I forget, HAVE A GOOD TRIP,StaySafe MY FRIEND,aa
 
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Timothy Brandsoy

Guest
Al & Jason,

I was on the QEII a year ago February. My dad and I went from Los Angeles to Auckland NZ. It's been awhile, so I'm a little foggy about the drills now. I was sick as a dog even before I got on board. Plus my dad was in a wheelchair at the time, so I checked it out for him. I'm ashamed to say I didn't actually do the drill :-( They even checked to make sure (they took roll I think) I knew what stairway to take and where to meet. Plus the instructions were on the door and in the hallways.

When traveling on a ship-cruise, I believe I heard that within 24 hours of departure, law requires a boat drill,
#1,Is this correct??

Yes. If I remember correctly there was a drill even before we left the dock.

#2,When that 1st drill is held, how do you know which boat your assigned to & where is it located,??

It depends on your cabin location. If you are mid/aft like we were, we were to go to a predetermined spot on an upper deck (near the Grand Lounge in our case I think it was) and then to the life boat.

#3,How many boat drills are done during your trip & were there any surprise drills,

There was another more detailed one after we were underway, before we got to Hawaii. There is one after every port for new arrivals. No surprise drill that I can remember.

# 4,FINAL QUESTION,
Even though suppose to be boats for all, but with the different class's,GOD FORBID it should happen,but in a REAL EMERGENCY,what would happen if u did not get to your boat befor it was lowered away.would u be allowed on another??

I would assume so. I was starboard, my dad was port side on the same deck. If the ship listed to one side, one of us would have been boatless! They aren't by Classes any more per se, but by Restaurant: Queens Grill, Princess/Britannia, Caronia and Mauratania. Of course the Queens Grill (private tables) had all her patrons on the upper decks, some with penthouses! We had Mauratania's group seating, 12 or so to a table, but the food was still wonderful! We were guests at the Princess Grill, while it was objectively nicer, I was just as happy with our new found friends at our group table :)

BTW the Ship's Doctor was great. I was well within 24 HRS. There's a decent gym on board too. I didn't gain a pound, even though I ate at every opportunity :)

Jason, have a great time! I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

Tim
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
In response to the general question of "Could this happen again?", I believe the answer to that is a resounding yes. Modern cruise ships have been doing nothing if not getting larger and the potential for carnage that would make the Titanic look like a minor booboo is enormous.

The old adage of "No plan survives first contact with the enemy." applies quite well here, as I've had the opportunity to learn the hard way. On my first ship, we trained for battle damage almost constantly, but when the caca hit the fan for real, it wasn't a cruise missile which did a number on us, it was a fire which gutted one of our machinary rooms, injured 37 men and killed 6! We were lucky that the fire parties were on the ball for that one, as the closest land to swim to was hostile.

Drills within 24 hours of leaving port for a passenger vessel are nice, and lifeboarts for all is even better, but when things go wrong in the real world, you can bet that the people running the show will have to figure out things as they go along. Nasty surprises will be the norm!

And while lifeboats for all is nice, anyone who thinks this is a cure-all is going to be in for a very rude awakening. Casualties at sea are messy and often chaotic affairs where Murphey's Law reigns supreme, as was learned by any number of ships over the years.

The Andrea Doria, Yarmouth Castle, Morro Castle, and Lusitania all had lifeboats for everybody aboard, but people still died and in large numbers on some of them. The Titanic was odd man out because she sank on a more or less even keel and that at least made it possible to get all but two of the boats away. Accidents since then have rarely been as tidy. With the Andrea Doria, they were extremely lucky that rescue ships were close at hand as within five minutes of being T-boned by the Stockholm, the Doria took on a 22 degree list, rendering half of the lifeboats useless. Had it been a little different, the story would have had a far grimmer ending.

That there will be another bad accident is, IMO, inevitable. It's only a matter of time. All it will take is the usual mix of poor training, bad judgement, and likely as not, ill trained crews and equipment that's not working as it should.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Dec 3, 2000
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Hi Al,

You're very welcome! Thanks, I'm looking forward to my trip on the QE2!

Hi Tim,

Thanks, I can't wait! It is a dream come true!

Hi Mark,

Thank you for that info! I stand corrected!
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Best regards,

Jason
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Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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As usual, Mike Standard presents the realistic view. There was very nearly a major cruise ship accident in 1999. The cruise ship Norwegian Dream neatly t-boned the container ship Ever Decent. The collision bulkhead on the cruise ship held and she made port with a seriously rearranged bow. The container ship survived with the aid of good subdivision. Had the situation been reversed, who knows how Norwegian Dream would have fared? If a big container ship, or worse, a tanker, hit a cruise ship at 20 knots, the results would be serious, to put it mildly.

The accident was evidently caused by inadequate crew on the bridge of the cruise ship and the OOW being overwhelmed by many things happening at once, due to numerous ships being around.

The sea will never be safe but today it is being made more dangerous than is necessary by inadequate or poorly trained officers. Nautici cavete!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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If one cares to really go into the collision-at-sea from HELL scenerios, imagine if you will a collision between a very large cruise ship and a liquified natural gas tanker. This would give a really new and ugly meaning to the term "going out with a bang."

And please don't think it can't happen. LNG tankers are everywhere on the oceans and smart ship drivers tend to give them a wide berth. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible in areas such as the Straits of Mallacca or a harbour, and even the best shiphandler can get surprised by an idiot who thinks he can beat the odds.

Lifeboats? Well, not to worry, since you won't be around anymore, you won't be needing them.

Cordially,
Michael H.Standart
 
Dec 4, 2000
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I urge some rational thinking here.

Life in general is filled with dangers, and more so when you venture where people don't belong--like the middle of an ocean. However, in 2002 taking a cruise ship is probably safer on all counts than driving a big-city freeway at rush hour.

The biggest danger to the average passenger resides unseen in the galley. An incident of mass food poisoning would quickly swamp any cruise ship's medical staff and equipment. Yet, people who have grown up on Titanic stories openly discuss their fears sinking while they gobble down the food.

Also, there is a tendency to confuse the "down side" of an accident at sea with the risk of that accident occurring. Death is always the price of an accident at sea--but that's also true of flying, driving, and stepping in the bath tub.

My point is that every passenger should pay attention to all details of the lifeboat drill, including how to wear a life vest. And, everyone aboard a ship or staying in a hotel should find at least two pathways to safety in a fire. These are prudent measures. But, after being prudent, I would urge anyone aboard a cruise ship to simply have a good time.

Life is meant to be enjoyed, despite the risks.

-- David G. Brown
 

AL Glover

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Apr 15, 2005
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TO ALL,WOwwwwwwwwww, Thank U MY FRIENDS for the answers, as I said i spend 2 yrs shipping as a merchant seaman,on my last trip(the DelAlba) we found our ship was going to vietnam,(during the conflick)carrying jeeps, buss's,general items, then would be sold,as we were getting close, I remember our ship was buzzed twice, and once we were docked each crew member had a 24 hr military guard that was withus at all times,(no wasn;t scared) the only thing that I disliked was when we were in port, a guard on the ship shot a young boy swimming in the channel toward us,(maf me mad, but then,""he could have gad explosives on him,we don't take any chances"".
I want to again thank all for the answers & information, and the main thing I learned while 'shipping" was U do not realize how "'small" u are on this earth until you get to open sea & see ""nothing",but it DEFFINATELY MAKES U REALIZE how well we as AMERICAN have it made when we come back "home"
 
Dec 2, 2000
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David Brown makes one damned good point concerning food poisoning, but one could add just about any other disease to the list as well. Ships are very confined environments where one is constanly in close contact with others, and on a passenger vessel or a large warship, this could involve a cast of thousands.

While it's true that collisions, fires, etc could cause a catstrophic loss of life (Wouldn't be the first time, and it won't be the last!) we never think that our deadliest enemy could very well be Attila the Germ.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Timothy Brandsoy

Guest
Michael,

I just read this (old) post. Kind of prophetic considering all the problems cruise ships have been having the last year or so!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Attila the Germ you mean? Well, we've already discussed how things have gone sour over the past year or so. Given the problems the cruise industry had filling cabins post 9-11, this was a turn of events that they really didn't need.

I shudder to think what would happen if something really virulant got loose on board. Even the largest vessel with the best medical facilities could be turned into a ghost ship in a week...or less.
 

Erik Wood

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Apr 10, 2001
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Amen brother David, Amen!!!!

If I didn't know any better I would think that he was a passenger boat Captain.

Paying attention during a boat drill and learning where exits are and how to properly put on a lifejacket will save your life. If you and I where on a sinking ship, I would know things based on the actions of the crew that you wouldn't. But common sense tells you when the ghost gives up the ship. If you know where things are when things are good, you will remeber where things are when things are bad.

Disasters at sea will always happen as long as there is a ship on the sea. You can't control mother nature, you can build something to try to with stand nature, but when mother ocean wants you she will have you.

Dave makes a great point, ocean travel is far safer then it was 90 years ago. There are so many regulations and laws in place that ocean travel is probably safer then vehicular travel on a mass scale. Let me say that when I say ocean travel, I mean on a well run ship.

To some extent shipboard gallies have to follow more strict guidelines then restraunts and the penalties can be twice as stiff. Ask the QE2, or the Norway or the Carnival Conquest.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Just found all this. Bit late, but never mind. Never been on a cruise ship, but I can tell you I never feel very safe on European ro-ro ferries. Two nights across the Bay of Biscay to Spain on a huge thing with no real decks to speak of (keep the customers inside and they spend money..); God knows where the lifeboats actually were, no drill; and trapped in a tiny cabin below the car deck which has no bulkheads. Remember the Estonia?