Jump to content
lovenorwegiancruiseline

Holland America Munster Drill

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, mancunian1 said:

chengkp75 asks where I am.  Not sure of the relevance here, but England.

 

I did not say all cruiseships I said the ones I had sailed on which includes Celebrity, Oceania, P&O England, Swan Hellenic, Seabourn, Silversea, Orient Lines, Saga and others.  If there is indeed such a solas rule it would seem many lines are ignoring it wouldn't it.

No, it means that those ships were designed from the drawing board to have indoor muster locations.  Trust me, after 43 years on ships I know the SOLAS requirements inside and out, having a copy of them as a reference on my bookshelf.

1 hour ago, mancunian1 said:

 

I am glad of Coppers input here because you are always told not to use elevators in the event of an emergency and I do not consider I am doing anything wrong in getting to correct deck in a drill before  the full siren.    We do not register at front office until after the drill.  Obviously if registered I would remain in the cabin.   I guess chengkp you are not disabled and are unable to understand the pain and difficulties it causes and the necessity for forward planning.

Not sure why you don't go to guest services before the drill, as this makes the drill more realistic for the crew, knowing how many people with mobility issues they actually have, and how many resources will be needed to deal with them.

1 hour ago, mancunian1 said:

 

I am also confused as to why you think in an real emergency you would be left at the muster station for hours.  I am pretty sure this is not the case and it would be better for the captain and crew to know that you were accounted for in the public rooms assigned.   In a real emergency not all boats will be able to be lowered and leading people to them is a much better option.  For this reason on a couple of ships we have not been given an actual lifeboat.

What public rooms assigned?  Are you talking about ships that have muster indoors in public spaces?  Those are your muster stations, just like the space outside on deck is your muster station on a ship with outside musters.  And, again, you make the common error of many cruisers in misunderstanding what the passenger muster is all about.  The passenger muster is not primarily about getting the passengers to the boats.  The muster is for accountability, pure and simple.  It is to get all of the passengers into a limited number of known locations, so that accountability can be taken and missing people identified so that crew can be alerted or dispatched to find them, and to have the passengers under crew control.  There are far more instances of passengers being sent to their muster stations in an emergency, when the Captain had no intention of abandoning the ship, and then when the emergency is over, often hours later, the passengers are allowed to return to their cabins and public spaces and resume their cruise.

 

As for the statement "not all boats would be able to be lowered", that is another misconception.  Most ships that are sinking (the only real reason to leave the ship), do so upright, and anyway boats are designed to be launched at 15* of heel, which most cruisers feel is "going over".  Even the Costa Concordia, was not listing more than 15* for over two hours after striking the rock, so all boats could have been launched, and only listed above 15* when she ran aground again and the point of contact with the bottom acted as a fulcrum point.  Even then, 23 of 26 boats were launched successfully.

1 hour ago, mancunian1 said:

 

I also cannot agree that you should keep elderly and or disabled people waiting for those who cannot be bothered to attend.  I think my suggested solution would be much better and the officer meeting such people at the desk could have a much stronger impact on them.  I do think too that the longer you leave people in heat by the time you get to the actual drill instructions many people are beyond really listening.

 

However, each to their own views

I do not discount your need to pre-plan due to your disability, but having supervised passenger muster drills during my time on cruise ships, and also being the "on-scene commander" for all shipboard emergencies during that time, directing and co-ordinating the emergency teams onboard, and after 43 years of shipboard drills and emergencies, I still say that the drill needs to be as realistic as possible, or the crew at muster can say, well we don't have to worry about late comers, since we didn't worry about them during drills.  "Muscle memory" is what will take someone who might otherwise freeze in an emergency, and get them to perform their duties adequately.  Remember, as much as you need to pre-plan, the entire crew has pre-planned for emergencies, and you need to let them do their job without adding to the complexity.

 

"Drill instructions" are down the list of importance, many of these "instructions" have nothing to do with the muster drill.  The things passengers should take from a muster drill are:

1.  Show up (know how to get to your station)

2.  Shut up

3.  Listen up for further instructions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is like the instructions you receive before taking off on the plane, you don't listen until something happens.  If it were a real emergency you wouldn't be able to use the elevators or sit down, however if Princess Cruises can put people in the show room and explain the same thing and they are owned by the same company why can't HAL do that?  It is my only big beef with this cruise line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Recruiter66 said:

This is like the instructions you receive before taking off on the plane, you don't listen until something happens.  If it were a real emergency you wouldn't be able to use the elevators or sit down, however if Princess Cruises can put people in the show room and explain the same thing and they are owned by the same company why can't HAL do that?  It is my only big beef with this cruise line.

Again, because the ships are designed differently.  Or possibly (I'm not conversant with Dutch maritime law), there is something in being Dutch registered that requires the muster at the boats.

Edited by chengkp75

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/28/2018 at 6:27 PM, Tennessee Titan said:

What is a "munster" drill??

 

5 Star and you dont know what is a munster drill. We must be related. I thought a mustard station was a condiment bar for hot dogs :classic_blush:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

No, it means that those ships were designed from the drawing board to have indoor muster locations.  Trust me, after 43 years on ships I know the SOLAS requirements inside and out, having a copy of them as a reference on my bookshelf.

Not sure why you don't go to guest services before the drill, as this makes the drill more realistic for the crew, knowing how many people with mobility issues they actually have, and how many resources will be needed to deal with them.

What public rooms assigned?  Are you talking about ships that have muster indoors in public spaces?  Those are your muster stations, just like the space outside on deck is your muster station on a ship with outside musters.  And, again, you make the common error of many cruisers in misunderstanding what the passenger muster is all about.  The passenger muster is not primarily about getting the passengers to the boats.  The muster is for accountability, pure and simple.  It is to get all of the passengers into a limited number of known locations, so that accountability can be taken and missing people identified so that crew can be alerted or dispatched to find them, and to have the passengers under crew control.  There are far more instances of passengers being sent to their muster stations in an emergency, when the Captain had no intention of abandoning the ship, and then when the emergency is over, often hours later, the passengers are allowed to return to their cabins and public spaces and resume their cruise.

 

As for the statement "not all boats would be able to be lowered", that is another misconception.  Most ships that are sinking (the only real reason to leave the ship), do so upright, and anyway boats are designed to be launched at 15* of heel, which most cruisers feel is "going over".  Even the Costa Concordia, was not listing more than 15* for over two hours after striking the rock, so all boats could have been launched, and only listed above 15* when she ran aground again and the point of contact with the bottom acted as a fulcrum point.  Even then, 23 of 26 boats were launched successfully.

I do not discount your need to pre-plan due to your disability, but having supervised passenger muster drills during my time on cruise ships, and also being the "on-scene commander" for all shipboard emergencies during that time, directing and co-ordinating the emergency teams onboard, and after 43 years of shipboard drills and emergencies, I still say that the drill needs to be as realistic as possible, or the crew at muster can say, well we don't have to worry about late comers, since we didn't worry about them during drills.  "Muscle memory" is what will take someone who might otherwise freeze in an emergency, and get them to perform their duties adequately.  Remember, as much as you need to pre-plan, the entire crew has pre-planned for emergencies, and you need to let them do their job without adding to the complexity.

 

"Drill instructions" are down the list of importance, many of these "instructions" have nothing to do with the muster drill.  The things passengers should take from a muster drill are:

1.  Show up (know how to get to your station)

2.  Shut up

3.  Listen up for further instructions

 

Thank you, chengkp75, for your usual, insightful comments.  Always refreshing to see a Post  from someone who really knows of which he/she speaks.  Thanks again!!!

👍👍👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too thank chengkp75 for his knowledge and explanations. I especially appreciated the Show Up, Shut Up, and Listen. At both inside and outside muster stations, I get so tired of the constant chatter and laughter of the participants. I really like it when a Captain will say "Quiet on the deck."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, doublebzz said:

Is this correct? I was under the impression that everyone had to attend the muster drill even those that sailed on the immediately preceding cruise.

Last year on the Koningsdam we did B2B2B2B  10 day - 11 day - 10 day - 11 day and only had to go to the drill on the 10 day segments. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/8/2018 at 8:12 AM, Recruiter66 said:

I am not rushing to it this trip only to stand for 30 minutes.

 

And then everybody else will be required to wait for you to finally show up, so they will be standing twice as long...  nice! :classic_rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SJSULIBRARIAN said:

I too thank chengkp75 for his knowledge and explanations. I especially appreciated the Show Up, Shut Up, and Listen. At both inside and outside muster stations, I get so tired of the constant chatter and laughter of the participants. I really like it when a Captain will say "Quiet on the deck."

That would be Capt. Rens van Eerten then .

 

people need to understand that yours and others lives may depend on the info that is given during the drill. So indeed, shut up, pay attention and respect those responsable for saving your live in an emergency. Full stop.

 

The 3 tier system that HAL applies is very well thought out,  let me try and explain a bit how things work when designing Evacuation procedures and assembly stations on ships. 

 

The Second stage alarm is  very important actually. It gives the crew the ability and room to fight whatever they have to fight and it gives YOU, the passenger the chance to remain in a known location, close to needed medication and close to warm clothes ( take a hat).

the third stage alarm means that all passengers need to assemble to the Assembly Stations ( your Muster Station) ( for the geeks, SOLAS reg II-2/28-1, reg III/6, is why I say assembly station ). Which does not mean an abandon ship but the need to get all passengers into certain, pre-determined zones, safe from hazard, in order to facilitate further decisions by the Master. This Assembly station ( and the whole second stage actually)is also designed to minimize time for the passenger to realize the situation and to get to your station from your cabin.( this is called Response duration and Total Travel duration) I can assure you that all these things are calculated, using complex formula and tables, with differentiations for night and day  for example, calculating congestion pounts etc etc... for calculating purposes a specific demographic is used, males/females, age differences and mobility impaired or not. Example, calculations use 20 percent of passengers over 50 years old and mobility impaired. ( this is Standard, HAL might have more restricted calculation , but these are minima) even walking speed for each demographic is calculated.

 

I know, lots of blablabla, but I just want you all to realize the complexity and that HAL or any other line, spends a lot of time and money to comply with these rules. Assembly Stations are NOT chosen at random and NOT that easily changed.

 

IF an abandon ship is chosen, in case of Koningsdam/ Nieuw Statendam, then you will be escorted to an Embarkation Station, the actual place where you will board your lifeboat ( or raft). 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, iflyrc5 said:

Last year on the Koningsdam we did B2B2B2B  10 day - 11 day - 10 day - 11 day and only had to go to the drill on the 10 day segments. 

It varies by cruise line, but the legal requirement is once every 30 days,  so going on your first and last would have been 31 days, so they did it on the first and third segments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/8/2018 at 9:12 AM, Recruiter66 said:

I could not agree more.  I am not rushing to it this trip only to stand for 30 minutes.

And it's that attitude that keeps us who attend on time there later than we would want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All very interesting.  We always do exactly as told, and stand silently waiting for instructions.  And give dirty looks to the people chatting and laughing, sometimes distracting the crew.  That the drill is for the crew as well, I did not know, but you can always tell which of them are experienced in the job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If people can't pay attention and do what they are directed to do by the crew during a drill at the pier of a warm sunny day did you ever think how these folks will react in a real emergency with the ship listing to 15 degrees, wind blowing at 30 knots, rain and temperatures in the 30s (F)?   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, iflyrc5 said:

If people can't pay attention and do what they are directed to do by the crew during a drill at the pier of a warm sunny day did you ever think how these folks will react in a real emergency with the ship listing to 15 degrees, wind blowing at 30 knots, rain and temperatures in the 30s (F)?   

Some people think they know it all and don't have to pay attention to and/or even attend the drill.  I wish them luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, iflyrc5 said:

If people can't pay attention and do what they are directed to do by the crew during a drill at the pier of a warm sunny day did you ever think how these folks will react in a real emergency with the ship listing to 15 degrees, wind blowing at 30 knots, rain and temperatures in the 30s (F)?   

 

Thoughts like this always go through my mind as I am standing at a Muster Drill. I hope I will never have to find out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Vict0riann said:

All very interesting.  We always do exactly as told, and stand silently waiting for instructions.  And give dirty looks to the people chatting and laughing, sometimes distracting the crew.  That the drill is for the crew as well, I did not know, but you can always tell which of them are experienced in the job.

 

We also do as requested, pay attention and listen to instructions.  We have on a few occasions asked people around us who were talking and obviously not taking the drill seriously,  to please be quiet so that we will all know what to do in an emergency.   They have always shut up and at least looked like they are paying attention. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chengkp75, I think there is one thing your well written post misses about HAL ships. All but the very newest (and the one under construction) have a large number of lounge chairs on the promenade deck.  I'm sure one of the things the crew will be doing during stage 2 of the emergency is stowing those chairs to make room for the passengers to stand at muster.  If people go to the muster station per-maturely, IN ADDITION to all the negative effects you cited they will be interfering with the task of preparing the muster area to accept passengers.

 

I am currently on the Grandeur of the Seas and have a couple of additional comments.  First, shortly after the Grandeur redeployed to Baltimore (about 2014) they had a fire in something like a galley.  The fire was eventually put out and the vessel made it to a nearby port, but as you say they DID have an extended stay standing under the lifeboats.  That absolutely CAN happen.

 

I also noticed something at our muster drill this cruise.  I'm sure our muster complies with all the necessary requirements but I was surprised we were told to go directly to our muster station as soon as we hear the alarm.  We were discouraged from going back to our cabins for needed meds, warm clothing, and the like.  I like HAL's system a lot better.

 

Roy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

Chengkp75, I think there is one thing your well written post misses about HAL ships. All but the very newest (and the one under construction) have a large number of lounge chairs on the promenade deck.  I'm sure one of the things the crew will be doing during stage 2 of the emergency is stowing those chairs to make room for the passengers to stand at muster.  If people go to the muster station per-maturely, IN ADDITION to all the negative effects you cited they will be interfering with the task of preparing the muster area to accept passengers.

 

I am currently on the Grandeur of the Seas and have a couple of additional comments.  First, shortly after the Grandeur redeployed to Baltimore (about 2014) they had a fire in something like a galley.  The fire was eventually put out and the vessel made it to a nearby port, but as you say they DID have an extended stay standing under the lifeboats.  That absolutely CAN happen.

 

I also noticed something at our muster drill this cruise.  I'm sure our muster complies with all the necessary requirements but I was surprised we were told to go directly to our muster station as soon as we hear the alarm.  We were discouraged from going back to our cabins for needed meds, warm clothing, and the like.  I like HAL's system a lot better.

 

Roy

You are very likely correct in regards to crew clearing the deck.  Going to the muster station on deck prematurely will also interfere with the crews prepping the boats.

 

The Grandeur fire was on the aft mooring deck, near the crew galley, but had nothing to do with the galley.  And yes, they were held at muster stations for a lengthy period, and crew were relocated as some of their muster locations (for that portion of the crew assigned to "assist as directed") are at the aft end of the promenade, which was involved in the fire.  This goodly portion of the crew who are not specified an actual emergency duty (2-300 usually) are there ready to assist the special needs teams as needed to find/assist mobility challenged passengers, assist muster teams with moving passengers to alternative stations if needed, etc, and are quickly dispatched by radio.

 

HAL's system has its pros and cons, in my opinion.  While comforting to passengers to be told to get their warm clothes and medications, the reality is that if you go into the boats, warm clothing won't make much difference (though the huddled bodies will), and given the packing into the boat that makes sardines look spacious, having the ability to hold onto and take medications may not be viable either.  Getting into the boats is a definitively last ditch resort, and once you do, you are in a survival mode, and unfortunately there will be some triage in the boats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Chengkp75.  Sobering words that I hope never to need to pay attention to in real life.

 

Roy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Getting into the boats is a definitively last ditch resort, and once you do, you are in a survival mode, and unfortunately there will be some triage in the boats.

 

Would it be possible to build ships that cannot sink under any circumstance? So obvious unsinkable that UNCLOS and flag states would say that you wouldn't need mustering or lifeboats as the ship is always better than a lifeboat?

 

I mean, ships rely on steel that should be able to handle an iceberg but if it doesn't there's a second layer of metal to keep the water out, and if that doesn't work there are compartments, and if that doesn't work there are lifeboats. But these are a series of "unlikely events" stacked on each other, and history shows that the unlikely is often less unlikely that what the study showed. It needed an incredible long series of unlikely things to go wrong, combined probably less likely than winning the lottery 6 times in a row, and still that's what happened to The Herald of Free Enterprise. (I think my text book on psychology mentioned at least 10 things that should happen at the same time and were deemed nearly impossible or weren't even considered, and they all happened at the same time)

 

Yet a rubber duck never sinks no matter how high the waves, how big the iceberg, how much rain and wind, or even how many torpedos shot at it. If you can build a rubber duck, it would be as reliable as gravity. 

 

 

A cruise line could spend a lot of money for ships to be a bit larger, with space all around the ship to be completely filled with polystyrene or something that doesn't burn, to effectively have a rubber duck and advertise with "no life boats", "no muster drills", "no obstructed view". Maybe even "as unsinkable as a rubber duck, even if the Captain is a show off from Italy". 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

Would it be possible to build ships that cannot sink under any circumstance? So obvious unsinkable that UNCLOS and flag states would say that you wouldn't need mustering or lifeboats as the ship is always better than a lifeboat?

 

I mean, ships rely on steel that should be able to handle an iceberg but if it doesn't there's a second layer of metal to keep the water out, and if that doesn't work there are compartments, and if that doesn't work there are lifeboats. But these are a series of "unlikely events" stacked on each other, and history shows that the unlikely is often less unlikely that what the study showed. It needed an incredible long series of unlikely things to go wrong, combined probably less likely than winning the lottery 6 times in a row, and still that's what happened to The Herald of Free Enterprise. (I think my text book on psychology mentioned at least 10 things that should happen at the same time and were deemed nearly impossible or weren't even considered, and they all happened at the same time)

 

Yet a rubber duck never sinks no matter how high the waves, how big the iceberg, how much rain and wind, or even how many torpedos shot at it. If you can build a rubber duck, it would be as reliable as gravity. 

 

 

A cruise line could spend a lot of money for ships to be a bit larger, with space all around the ship to be completely filled with polystyrene or something that doesn't burn, to effectively have a rubber duck and advertise with "no life boats", "no muster drills", "no obstructed view". Maybe even "as unsinkable as a rubber duck, even if the Captain is a show off from Italy". 

 

You're describing the "swiss cheese" model of accident prevention.  Even though Swiss cheese has holes all through it, only when all the holes line up does the cause of the problem reach the catastrophic result.  ISM and planned maintenance systems are designed to keep the holes from lining up, but there is always the possibility of the worst happening.  Nothing is absolute, there is no ship that can't sink, like there is no car that won't have an accident, or a plane that won't have a disaster, but you design so that the possibility is as low as possible.  

 

As for the Herald, there was one root cause, and the checks and balances that should have been done weren't, so that the root cause drove right through the holes to the sinking.

 

Yet, a rubber duck will sink if you puncture it.  If a torpedo hits a rubber duck, you better believe it will sink.

 

As for putting foam (typically in marine structures this is syntactic foam (metal or ceramic filled with hollow spheres)) around the hull of a ship, there is a serious problem with that.  Once you fill a space with foam, it is now inaccessible to inspection, or even NDT (non-destructive testing) like ultrasonic thickness testing to determine the structural condition of the steel and the welds.  This is one of the problem with the Duck boats (like the one that sank a few months ago in Missouri), is that the Duck doesn't have any reserve flotation (if the bilge pump fails, the duck will sink), and yet USCG will not allow filling the hull with foam as then the steel is no longer inspectable.

 

Can you build an airplane that will never fall out of the sky?  No more than you could build an unsinkable ship.

 

And that would be SOLAS, not UNCLOS.  But, even as "flawed" as ships are currently, they are still better than the lifeboats. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Yet, a rubber duck will sink if you puncture it.  If a torpedo hits a rubber duck, you better believe it will sink.

 

As for putting foam (typically in marine structures this is syntactic foam (metal or ceramic filled with hollow spheres)) around the hull of a ship, there is a serious problem with that.  Once you fill a space with foam, it is now inaccessible to inspection, or even NDT (non-destructive testing) like ultrasonic thickness testing to determine the structural condition of the steel and the welds.  This is one of the problem with the Duck boats (like the one that sank a few months ago in Missouri), is that the Duck doesn't have any reserve flotation (if the bilge pump fails, the duck will sink), and yet USCG will not allow filling the hull with foam as then the steel is no longer inspectable.

 

Can you build an airplane that will never fall out of the sky?  No more than you could build an unsinkable ship.

 

And that would be SOLAS, not UNCLOS.  But, even as "flawed" as ships are currently, they are still better than the lifeboats. 

 

I'm not saying the ships are "flawed". I've felt completely safe on them, but the drills are a nuisance and I'd like a ship without lifeboats. And if the ship simply cannot sink because there's too much foam in it, I might convince others to cruise.

 

I don't understand how a Duck boat sank if it had enough foam around it, that can't have been the problem. Even if you can't inspect it, foam never lets you down. 

 

A rubber duck that is filled with foam will not sink. Puncturing, torpedos, atomic bombs, it will not sink. IMHO there's no need for inspection as foam is extremely reliable to stay afloat unless gravity stops working.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

I'm not saying the ships are "flawed". I've felt completely safe on them, but the drills are a nuisance and I'd like a ship without lifeboats. And if the ship simply cannot sink because there's too much foam in it, I might convince others to cruise.

 

I don't understand how a Duck boat sank if it had enough foam around it, that can't have been the problem. Even if you can't inspect it, foam never lets you down. 

 

A rubber duck that is filled with foam will not sink. Puncturing, torpedos, atomic bombs, it will not sink. IMHO there's no need for inspection as foam is extremely reliable to stay afloat unless gravity stops working.

 

 

The duck boat did not have any foam in it.  It is not the foam that needs inspecting, it is the steel, that has an unfortunate tendency to corrode in sea water, and welds that have an unfortunate tendency to also corrode, or fail from fatigue, that need to be inspected.  These need to be inspected from both sides.  If you could make a structure that can hold as much weight as a cruise ship holds, simply out of foam, go for it, you'll make millions, but it just can't happen, as foam, at least any foam available today, does not possess the necessary structural strength to hold shape under repeated flexures caused by the sea.

 

And foam can let you down, it can and does break down with age.

 

And a rubber duck filled with foam doesn't hold anything else.  Where do the passengers go?  Even a rubber duck completely filled with foam will sink when enough weight is put on it's back.  A life jacket, which is essentially a block of foam, is only rated for a certain number of pounds of flotation, around 18-20 lbs.  This amount of flotation, coupled with the body's natural flotation, will keep your head out of water.  However, if I tie 180 lbs of steel to the life jacket, it will go down like a rock.  Leave a small air space in your rubber duck, and if you puncture it and let it fill with water, there is no guarantee it will stay afloat, it depends on how much water and how much foam is there within the duck to determine whether it stays afloat or not.

 

Most pleasure boats are made with foam filled flotation chambers, yet how many of these sink every year?  Thousands.  Why?  Because they fill with water (that space inside the boat that makes it useful and not just a block of floating foam), and the water outweighs the flotation of the foam.

 

What you are proposing would be a surfboard (a foam plank, or block) with all the equipment (engines, propulsion, etc) on top, and all the accommodation on top.  This would raise the center of gravity, to the point where the ship would roll over (how easy is it to fall over on a surfboard?).  Otherwise, if you have space in the hull (even with foam all around it), anything that starts to fill that space with water (broken sea water pipe, ship rolls on side and hull windows break allowing water in, or rolls to the point where the non-watertight doors on the promenade deck start letting water in and you get downflooding, will sink a ship when the water weighs more than the flotation.

Edited by chengkp75

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A look inside a crew-assigned life raft on Volendam during an abandon ship drill (for crew)

HAL VODM raft training.jpg

HAL VODM raft training #2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While my civilian brain has difficulty accepting the idea that a ship cannot be filled with sufficient foam to make it unsinkable I will trust Chengkp75 professional opinion on that (and I think I also have heard of a number of wooden shipwrecks on the bottom).  I will for a minute assume it is possible and I still don't like what I see.

 

While sinkings and major disasters happen all too often with 3rd world ferries, there have been blessedly few modern cruise ship disasters.  The only major cruise ship disaster I can think of in the 21st century is the Costa Concordia.  THE COSTA CONCORDIA DID NOT SINK.  It is not enough that a ship stays on the surface; if major parts of the ship flood, if the ship turns on it's side, or power is completely lost, the situation will be dire, even if the ship does not sink.

 

An unsinkable ship with no survival craft.  Sorry, I want no part of it.

 

I want to add that if the reason to make a ship unsinkable is to do away with the muster drill I am pretty much lacking in sympathy.  Even on a mass market ship which alternates 3 and 4 day cruises, the crew will drill at least 50% more than the passengers.  On a HAL ship doing cruises of 7 days or more, they will go through the drill more than twice as often as we do it and in far greater detail.  If they can do that for our safety I can't complain about doing it once on a cruise.

 

Roy

 

 

Edited by rafinmd
Crew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

The duck boat did not have any foam in it.  It is not the foam that needs inspecting, it is the steel, that has an unfortunate tendency to corrode in sea water, and welds that have an unfortunate tendency to also corrode, or fail from fatigue, that need to be inspected.  These need to be inspected from both sides.  If you could make a structure that can hold as much weight as a cruise ship holds, simply out of foam, go for it, you'll make millions, but it just can't happen, as foam, at least any foam available today, does not possess the necessary structural strength to hold shape under repeated flexures caused by the sea.

 

And foam can let you down, it can and does break down with age.

 

And a rubber duck filled with foam doesn't hold anything else.  Where do the passengers go?  Even a rubber duck completely filled with foam will sink when enough weight is put on it's back.  A life jacket, which is essentially a block of foam, is only rated for a certain number of pounds of flotation, around 18-20 lbs.  This amount of flotation, coupled with the body's natural flotation, will keep your head out of water.  However, if I tie 180 lbs of steel to the life jacket, it will go down like a rock.  Leave a small air space in your rubber duck, and if you puncture it and let it fill with water, there is no guarantee it will stay afloat, it depends on how much water and how much foam is there within the duck to determine whether it stays afloat or not.

 

Most pleasure boats are made with foam filled flotation chambers, yet how many of these sink every year?  Thousands.  Why?  Because they fill with water (that space inside the boat that makes it useful and not just a block of floating foam), and the water outweighs the flotation of the foam.

 

What you are proposing would be a surfboard (a foam plank, or block) with all the equipment (engines, propulsion, etc) on top, and all the accommodation on top.  This would raise the center of gravity, to the point where the ship would roll over (how easy is it to fall over on a surfboard?).  Otherwise, if you have space in the hull (even with foam all around it), anything that starts to fill that space with water (broken sea water pipe, ship rolls on side and hull windows break allowing water in, or rolls to the point where the non-watertight doors on the promenade deck start letting water in and you get downflooding, will sink a ship when the water weighs more than the flotation.

Water can be the most powerful force in the world and it can sink anything and it can turn anything over and over.

On another note regarding so called life boat drills-- I always recommend to cruisers and crew to be sure your life vest is tried on and adjusted properly when you arrive to your cabin. An emergency is no time to try to get into a life vest for the first time in your life. For multiple people in a cabin use post notes to identify your own life vest. At the so called lifeboat drills, I never hear any statements to the effect to go to your cabin and put your life vest on and adjust it to fit. I have been on a cruise ship that hit another ship. Fortunately it was only a minor incident but the wife and I were ready.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a note.  The drills that passengers participate in are not "lifeboat drills".  They are "passenger muster" drills, the major purpose of them is to get passengers in limited, known, locations under crew control, where accountability can be taken.  90% of the time that passengers are sent to the muster stations in real emergencies, there is no thought whatsoever on the part of the Captain that the boats will be launched.  Muster drill is so that we know that everyone is accounted for, both passengers and crew, and the emergency teams can concentrate on the emergency and not on lost souls.  As for lifejackets, they are not of primary importance to your survival, and if actually put into the boats, you would most likely remove them for the sake of room to exist.  The crew in the emergency teams do not have their lifejackets with them while fighting a fire, and they will not have time when the Captain finally decides to abandon ship (long after the passengers are away in the boats) to go get them.  They will get into life rafts without lifejackets, and will be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

 As for lifejackets, they are not of primary importance to your survival,

 

Really?  Then why have them at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

...........................  The crew in the emergency teams do not have their lifejackets with them while fighting a fire, and they will not have time when the Captain finally decides to abandon ship (long after the passengers are away in the boats) to go get them.  They will get into life rafts without lifejackets, and will be fine.

 

That is 100% correct info by Cheng as usual. On HAL, fire teams, hose handling teams, the emergency response support team, the SCBA bottle refill team, etc. do not bring with them, or wear, life jackets when responding to a fire alarm. What might, or might not, be different on HAL vs NCL, if the Captain directs his crew to abandon ship (and the majority of crew are assigned to self-inflating life rafts, rather than lifeboats/tenders), they have the option to pick up and don a life vest stored in cabinets on boat deck

 

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and indoor

 

 

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing and indoor

 

Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

 

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and indoor

 

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and indoor

 

Image may contain: one or more people and people standing

 

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

Edited by Copper10-8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, John, if lifejackets are quickly available, they will get them, but if none are near the rafts, then they'll do without.  I'm assuming the last photo is the crew without specific emergency duties, who are "assist as directed".  Good to get them some basic firefighting refresher training during drill.  They may be tasked to collect extinguishers around the ship to take to the emergency teams.

 

HAL team organization looks very similar.  The 4-5 guys/gals who suit up and man the hose on the fire teams, the "BA controller" who handles getting reserve air bottles for the team, and the recorder with the board to record time on air for the team to tell them when to back out for refill.

 

I see "me" in the second photo, the "on-scene commander".  Really a mental chess match in how to deploy the 50-60 crew on the various teams to address each individual emergency in each individual location and circumstances.  Got my heart going, and stretched my logical thinking processes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

...........................

 

I see "me" in the second photo, the "on-scene commander".  Really a mental chess match in how to deploy the 50-60 crew on the various teams to address each individual emergency in each individual location and circumstances.  Got my heart going, and stretched my logical thinking processes.

 

And then you have to do it, at times, for the U.S. Coast Guard who will be monitoring your every decision and will go over their findings during the debrief :classic_cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I understand you correctly @chengkp75, those beloved, wide wrap around promenade decks are why we have outside muster drills on HAL? That makes sense from a safety perspective. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

And then you have to do it, at times, for the U.S. Coast Guard who will be monitoring your every decision and will go over their findings during the debrief :classic_cool:

First time I did it, was for a USCG inspection, whew.  As US flag, we had USCG inspections of safety drills every 3 months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, chengkp75 said:

First time I did it, was for a USCG inspection, whew.  As US flag, we had USCG inspections of safety drills every 3 months.

 

Lucky you! :classic_wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, POA1 said:

If I understand you correctly @chengkp75, those beloved, wide wrap around promenade decks are why we have outside muster drills on HAL? That makes sense from a safety perspective. 

 

 

Precisely.  On a cargo ship, you have your muster station out on deck at the lifeboat, directly behind the air intake fans for the engine room, and the exhausts from the engines.  Hearing is very poor, much worse than conversation from ill-mannered passengers.  But, because there is sufficient space next to the boat, that is where the muster station has to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

Lucky you! :classic_wink:

Lots of "pucker factor" on that one.  Plus I had to kill the nurse and medical team who came to command through the fire.

Edited by chengkp75

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Lots of "pucker factor" on that one.  Plus I had to kill the nurse and medical team who came to command through the fire.

 

Always  "interesting" when crew doesn't pay attention to the announcements and walks through the hot zone, or a crew elevator door opens right in the middle of it and out they come. We used to write"PIN's" for repeat offenders which meant a visit to the staff captain's office

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

Always  "interesting" when crew doesn't pay attention to the announcements and walks through the hot zone, or a crew elevator door opens right in the middle of it and out they come. We used to write"PIN's" for repeat offenders which meant a visit to the staff captain's office

Yeah, some of those are pretty funny.  And boy, did the nurse get indignant over being "killed".  We had one Safety Officer who thought it was a good idea to observe the "fire" from the scene (which is a good idea), but then to stop and instruct the fire teams on how best to do something (not a good idea if you are striving for reality in training).  My teams had complained several times about this, and I had spoken to him to hold his suggestions until the debrief, but he kept on doing it.  I told the fire teams that the next time he did this, they were to notify me that they had a "violent person" in the fire zone.  I had Security don SCBA's, and go zip tie his hands, and we didn't release him until the debrief.  Staff Captain was in on it, but the Captain got a real chuckle, and it brought some humor to the debrief when we explained why the Safety Officer would be slightly detained as he was being escorted by Security.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

What you are proposing would be a surfboard

 

OK, another dumb idea totally destroyed by the expert. Thank you for taking the time to do so each time 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

We had one Safety Officer who thought it was a good idea to observe the "fire" from the scene (which is a good idea), but then to stop and instruct the fire teams on how best to do something (not a good idea if you are striving for reality in training).

 

That's like a driving test where the examiner warns you to stop at a red light. Something must have gone wrong giving that Safety Officer a contract in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Victory Cruise Lines Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win a free 9-night cruise on Victory II
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2018
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×