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 June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Salvage

Concordia Tow Update: Smooth Sailing

The Costa Concordia wreck removal team reported this morning at 10:30 a.m. that after 22 hours of navigation, the convoy was over 50 miles off Giglio Island with about 140 miles from Genoa Prà-Voltri.

Legislation Grants Funding for EU's EMSA

EU Council Adopts Regulation on EMSA Funding The European Union Council adopted a regulation yesterday to finance the actions of the European Maritime Safety

Concordia Expected to Reach Genoa Saturday

The Crowley Maritime Corp. subsidiary TITAN Salvage and partner Micoperi have confirmed that the Costa Concordia – the Concordia class cruise ship that wrecked along shores of Giglio Island,

Casualties

Concordia Tow Update: Smooth Sailing

The Costa Concordia wreck removal team reported this morning at 10:30 a.m. that after 22 hours of navigation, the convoy was over 50 miles off Giglio Island with about 140 miles from Genoa Prà-Voltri.

Concordia Expected to Reach Genoa Saturday

The Crowley Maritime Corp. subsidiary TITAN Salvage and partner Micoperi have confirmed that the Costa Concordia – the Concordia class cruise ship that wrecked along shores of Giglio Island,

Concordia Finally Heads for Scrapyard

The rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia began its journey to the scrapyard on Wednesday, after a two-year salvage operation off the Italian island where the cruise liner capsized two years ago,

Coast Guard

Bollinger to Build 6 More FRCs for the USCG

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., Lockport, Louisiana, announced the award of six additional USCG Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). The U. S. Coast Guard

Alaska Welcomes USCG Admiral Papp Arctic Assignment

Alaska Senate Majority informs that it welcomes news that Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., the 24th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard since May 25, 2010, has been appointed by the U.

USCG, Agencies Search for Downed Plane Near American Samoa

Coast Guard and local agencies are responding to a plane crash near Pago Pago International Airport after a single-engine plane crashed into the water Tuesday night.

Maritime Safety

Mediterranean Boat People Numbers Near 100,000

Almost 100,000 boat people have made the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe this year, a roughly 60 percent increase on the whole of last year,

Hall Joins Bouchard Transportation

Retired Active Duty Coast Guard Commanding Officer Brian Hall has joined Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc., the nation’s largest independently-owned oceangoing petroleum barge company,

Maritime NZ Oil Spill Response Review: Submissions

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) says it invites submissions on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy 2014 (the draft Strategy). The draft Strategy, (available at http://bit.

Government Update

Maritime NZ Oil Spill Response Review: Submissions

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) says it invites submissions on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy 2014 (the draft Strategy). The draft Strategy, (available at http://bit.

Alaska Welcomes USCG Admiral Papp Arctic Assignment

Alaska Senate Majority informs that it welcomes news that Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., the 24th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard since May 25, 2010, has been appointed by the U.

Trading Dutch Well Placed to Pursue Russia Sanctions

The seafaring Netherlands prides itself on being a trading nation, reluctant to let politics get in the way of a good deal. But since the downing, allegedly

Offshore Energy

New Crewboat Design for Offshore O&G Market

Upgraded crewboat design employs carbon-reinforced composite materials and is lighter, faster and more fuel-efficient than alternatives. Marine Oil Transportation

2,545 Candidates Vie for 11 Positions at Maersk Drilling

Maersk Drilling reported 2,545 applicants for the 11 MITAS engineer positions available within the company in 2014. The Maersk International Technology and Science Program,

GDI Awards N-KOM US$110-M Contracts

Gulf Drilling International (GDI) Limited, a subsidiary of Gulf International Services (GIS), the largest oilfield service company in Qatar, has awarded two contracts

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar 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: 0.2038 sec (5 req/sec)