Improve Chances of Survival When Abandoning Ship

MarineLink.com
Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The NTSB recently investigated an accident that required the crew to abandon a weather-damaged liftboat in near-hurricane-force conditions.

Several problems leading up to and during the vessel abandonment negatively impacted the 10 crewmembers’ probability of survival once they were in the water, and four of them died as a result:

  • The company hurricane plan did not account for rapidly and locally developing low pressure weather systems. This reduced the crewmembers’ ability to properly plan for the developing storm and to make an early decision to leave the vessel through routine means before the onset of the storm.
  • The vessel had recently been equipped with two new inflatable throw-over-type liferafts. However, the liferafts were inflated on deck instead of in the water when the crew prepared to abandon the vessel. This led to the liferafts blowing away from the vessel and vanishing in the high winds and seas. The crewmembers ended up clinging to a lifefloat, which, unlike the liferafts, did not provide out-of-water flotation, shelter from the elements, and nonperishable food and drinking water.
  • Although the crewmembers had gathered additional food, drinking water, and other supplies while preparing to evacuate, they failed to take these with them.
  • The vessel was equipped with an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB), which if activated would have quickly alerted authorities and narrowed the search area. However, the crewmembers did not take the EPIRB with them when they abandoned the vessel. As a result, they spent three days in the water before search and rescue assets were able to locate them.


What can mariners do?

  • Develop and execute a thorough weather preparedness plan. Ensure that your plan takes into account surface low pressure systems, nontropical storms, and other weather systems that may form rapidly and locally. (For example, not all hurricanes approach from the east.)
  • Ensure you know how to use safety equipment. Don’t wait until a real emergency to find out whether you know how to properly use lifesaving equipment. Instead, include in your regular weekly or monthly drills a thorough step-by-step assessment of all such equipment, especially liferafts, which can’t actually be deployed during drills.
  • Plan before evacuating. Before an emergency, ensure you know your assigned duties and responsibilities―such as who’s bringing what supplies―and ensure the responsible person is aware of the location of those items.
  • Drill as if it is a real emergency. Conducting realistic drills gets the attention of crewmembers, builds their confidence and proficiency in emergency response procedures, and reinforces a strong safety culture. Review drill performance with crew to identify areas for improvement.
  • Even in coastal waters, plan for the worst. Despite being close to shore and/or in a normally high-traffic waterway, don’t assume that others will be able to come to your immediate aid, especially if your location changes. Be physically and mentally prepared for the possibility of a prolonged exposure situation.
  • Follow your plan. In emergency situations involving high stress and exhaustion, ensure all aspects are covered by running through step-by-step emergency procedures in accordance with established checklists. Use shoreside support resources to assist you with this.
  • Don’t forget the EPIRB. The EPIRB is a vital piece of equipment that can significantly shorten the time necessary to locate and rescue you. Take it with you! In addition, carry a personal locator beacon (PLB); it is an inexpensive and effective device.
  • Stay together in the water. Search and rescue personnel will more easily spot a group of people in the water than dispersed swimmers.
Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Salvage

Sunken WWII Landing Craft Refloated

LCT 7074, the last known landing craft to survive the D-Day invasion in 1944, has been refloated as part of a project to lift and save the vessel which began in March 2014,

How Difficult is it to Obtain a Jones Act Waiver?

The American Salvage Association’s Jon Waldron provides the ultimate cabotage primer. There always seems to be constant chatter about waiving the Jones Act. In reality,

Italy Region, Island Seek $274m in Concordia Damages

Officials for Italy's Tuscany region and the island of Giglio said on Monday they would seek a total of 220 million euros ($274 million) in damages from Costa Cruises,

Casualties

USCG Medevacs Man From Sailboat off NC Coast

The Coast Guard medevaced an injured 62-year-old man from his sailboat Thursday approximately 100 miles east of Kill Devil Hills. Watchstanders at the Fifth

High Seas Becoming Less Secure

Despite the significant reduction in piracy attacks over the last few years it is now widely accepted by the maritime community that the safety of the High Seas

Kleven Wins New Yacht Contract

Norwegian ship builder Kleven has secured a new contract for a high specification, 116-metre long Expedition Support Vessel. The order is placed by Mr Graeme Hart,

Coast Guard

USCG Medevacs Man From Sailboat off NC Coast

The Coast Guard medevaced an injured 62-year-old man from his sailboat Thursday approximately 100 miles east of Kill Devil Hills. Watchstanders at the Fifth

USCG Suspend Search for Crabber Near Anacortes, Wash.

The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a crabber reported overdue near Anacortes, Wednesday. Dean Harvey, 48, of Bremerton, remains missing. Search

Bollinger Delivers 11th FRC to the US Coast Guard

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. has delivered the William Trump, the 11th Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to the United States Coast Guard.   The announcement was made by Bollinger Chief Operating Officer,

Maritime Safety

NATO Unconcerned by Russian Warships in English Channel

A squadron of Russian warships entered the English Channel on Friday but a NATO official dismissed a Russian media report that they were there to conduct military exercises.

High Seas Becoming Less Secure

Despite the significant reduction in piracy attacks over the last few years it is now widely accepted by the maritime community that the safety of the High Seas

USCG Suspend Search for Crabber Near Anacortes, Wash.

The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a crabber reported overdue near Anacortes, Wednesday. Dean Harvey, 48, of Bremerton, remains missing. Search

Government Update

EU Regs on Ship CO2 Reporting Complicates IMO Agreement

ICS Concerned that EU will Preempt IMO CO2 Negotiations.   The global trade association for shipowners – the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) – is disappointed

NATO Unconcerned by Russian Warships in English Channel

A squadron of Russian warships entered the English Channel on Friday but a NATO official dismissed a Russian media report that they were there to conduct military exercises.

Japan Military Wants China "Crisis Management" Pact

Japan's highest-ranking military officer on Friday urged an early start to a "crisis management" mechanism with China amid conflicting claims to a group of tiny East China Sea islands.

Offshore Energy

Japan Military Wants China "Crisis Management" Pact

Japan's highest-ranking military officer on Friday urged an early start to a "crisis management" mechanism with China amid conflicting claims to a group of tiny East China Sea islands.

Wärtsilä Integrated Solutions for Maersk's AHTS Vessels

A new series of six Anchor Handling Tug Supply vessels to be built at the Kleven Verft AS in Norway for the Danish based Maersk Supply Service A/S - part of the A.

Drillsearch Discovers Gas at Varanus South-1

Drillsearch Energy Limited announced a new wet gas discovery on the Western Cooper Wet Gas Fairway of the Cooper Basin. The Varanus South-1 well in PEL 513 (Drillsearch

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2185 sec (5 req/sec)