Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1
As you pointed out, the ship fire started in the Engine Room. The greatest number of fires at sea - especially serious fires - start in the engine room.
But there is absolutely No Smoking allowed in the engine rooms on all ships. Anyone caught smoking in the engine room of a cruise ship would lose his job - and end his career - immediately.
Please bear in mind that I have never smoked, and never will. I have no good reason to like or support smoking or smokers. The biggest pain in my life is listening to hundreds of passengers every week complaining to me about smokers and smoking.
Now getting back to the title and subject of this thread; "Princess Smoking Policy". Prohibiting smoking on ships would no doubt make the ships a bit safer from fire. But nobody reading this message will be able to cite a single case where a cigarette on a ship started a fire that killed or even seriously burned somebody.
Shouldn't we all be worrying a bit more about things that really do harm and kill people ?
As of January 2011, the US Government reports that the single biggest killer of Americans is obesity related diseases. All types of cancer - including the cancers caused by smoking - are now in distant second place.
What are most cruise passengers doing more of than anything else every minute of every day?
Stuffing their pie holes, and joking about how much weight they are gaining on this cruise.
This is truly dangerous. I have people dropping dead on my ship nearly every week.
The causes, nearly every time?
Heart attacks and strokes related to obesity.
We never find any burn marks on the corpses we keep in our onboard morgue.
We really need to re-assign our priorities when we think about safety and death.
I fought 37 major fires during my navy years. Several were started by cigarettes improperly extinguished by careless smokers. Most were in engineering spaces. Some were in berthing. One engulfed the Mess Deck and trapped about two dozen sailors in the forward engine room while we were tied to a pier. Ships are steel coffins loaded with flammable objects, floating in water...
I was on the USS South Carolina during that rescue mission. The press releases don't mention the man who died on the freighter, horribly burned to death. They also don't mention the Russian destroyer that was circling the burning freighter for many hours before we arrived, waiting for them to abandon ship before providing assistance. (Possibly to permit salvage?) They donít mention the helicopter we lost and the subsequent need to rescue its crew.
More than 30 years later I still get willies from what I saw when we first arrived. The crew was huddled on the weather deck at the front of the ship and had been for so long that many were suffering from exposure. To them, the end of the world consisted of a burning hell of flames not more than 100 feet away. Making it worse: It was dark and raining in abeam seas with high wind.
I learned many things from this episode.
>Every fire is a major fire when you are the one who might get burned.
>You always consider the unpleasant possibility of abandoning ship in the middle of the ocean while fighting a fire on a ship.
>Death by fire is one of the most horrible ways to end a life.
I don't smoke, never have. I have asthma and other respiratory issues. Yet, I would never consider legislating or regulating to restrict the ability of another person to smoke on a cruise ship--knowing the potential deadly consequences--after the government receives tax revenue for selling cigarettes to that person. The proper term is for this is hypocrisy. On the other hand, I believe the death penalty is appropriate for anyone tried and convicted of starting a fire on a ship, regardless of who/how many perish.