Safety At Sea

15th September 2005, 16:52
My two trips back to sea this year made me wonder how passengers who have never been to sea before or didn't understand nautical terms on board would cope in an emergency and would their lack of knowledge aboard ship cause a problem such as a fire. On my recent cruise to Norway I was comparing life aboard cruise ships to my time during the 'line voyage' era. Crew wise it is very different, although in a funny sort of way just the same if you can make any sense of that?!. But what stood out like a sore thumb was that in that week, I can't remember a nautical word being used except the masters address during passenger muster station. After that, it was all shoreside words. People had no idea where starboard or port were, bow or stern or even which way the ship was heading once inside. Most knew that the floor was a deck but words like bulkhead and deckhead was alien to them. And few knew where the lifeboats were. That word boat came into being a lot because most thinking the ship itself was a boat, could not understand how other boats came into the equation when having to abandon ship. Yes, some were that thick!. Not many I am glad to say but enough to make me worry if we had to abandon ship because muster stations seemed total mayhem. So what would a real situation be like?.

On the ferry, it was a smokers paradise. I don't think they could smoke in their cabins, so they concregated wherever they could setting off spinklers in some cases indicating that the system was working, but they were also out on deck smoking throwing the lighted fag over the side. We all know that you should never do that because the fags blows into the deck below, but they did not know this or were told. Luckily on the ferry, the decks were steel and usually wet, so the likelyhood of a fire caused by this is very remote, but one fag did blow in through a door as a passenger opened it and loads were stubbed out on the carpet inside, but on cruise ships there are more situations where a fag blowing in could cause a fire. Back to the ferry, safety announcements are played as the ship sails, but that is it. No muster stations with better information like on a cruise. Although I did see a demonstration of how to put on a life jacket in one of the public rooms and possibly other safety information, but it was not mandatory as on a cruise. Also, on the ferry, life jackets were not in the cabins. Well, not mine anyway.

So my question is should we be concerned that so many landlubbers are going to sea these days. Would they understand what to do when crew went into autamatic mode or would crew have to translate nautical words they use in their own weekly drills to words passengers understood. And is throwing lighted fags over the side a problem, or am I looking for something that will never happen?.

Certainly closer to home people are losing their lives all the time by going to sea with no knowledge of it, but do members think there could be a problem on cruise ships or ferries having explained my concerns?. (Cloud) David

15th September 2005, 17:02
Pictures later. Going out now. Got to cross the Solent this evening. It's a bit choppy which may stop the Cats. The problems we have to face when living on an island?

15th September 2005, 23:00
The cats will stop more often due to bad weather now the old cats are detained.

15th September 2005, 23:56
Cigarettes stubbed out on the carpet says as much about the quality of the passengers as anything else. Life jackets in the cabins would probably end up in the passengers suitcases.

John T.

Paul UK
16th September 2005, 14:21
I agree Ferries have a strange breed that travel, I feel that they think that because it is a "Short" trip thet dont need to pay attention.

Certainly on Cunard, P&O and Princess the drills are taken seriously and I have know an absentee from the drill be collected to ensure all know what to do in the event of an Emergency.

By the way I am a land lubber that just loves ships and the sea.


16th September 2005, 18:24
I have always found that the general public lose all sense of common sense when they get on a ship. The amount of times I've heard someone say they haven't found their sea legs - and we haven't even left the berth! On the Wightlink ships, we have mezzanine decks. If we have coaches on board, the decks are stowed, but passengers will still insist that their car is behind that door, even though there isn't a deck there!

16th September 2005, 22:10
Nothing wrong with being a landlubber Paul. Many enthusiasts are well aware of the rules of the sea, and shipboard jargon. Others don't pay attention as you say.

It seems you must live close to me Moaf, and would seem to work on Wighlink ferries?. And how nice to hear you refer to the vessels as ships and not boats like just about everybody who travels on them?!. David

18th September 2005, 11:28
Thats right David. The car ferries are ships, not sure about the cats though. I've always refered to them as boats.

18th September 2005, 11:55
The cats are a bit of a grey area moaf. They are neither ships or boats really. I usually just refer to them as cats. Have they sorted the problems out now with Lady Pamela and Patricia?. David

Paul UK
18th September 2005, 14:10
Hi David

No I dont even work on the ferries.

I always thought that a boat can go on a ship Ie Life boat but a ship can not go on a boat.


19th September 2005, 16:01
Quite right Paul. David

20th September 2005, 10:50
Patricia and Pamela still not sorted David. Few things to sort out first like getting MTU to confirm the highest exhaust temperatures that they can run and installing CCTV in engine rooms. In my opinion, they should be scrapped - throwing good money after bad really!