If you read my post, I was mostly upset about the comments concerning children and yes I believe the children should be first off. I didn't find it "humorous" that someone would leave a child behind. After that, I guess it's first come first serve although I would help as many people as I could. Would I try to save my own family? Sure I would just like anyone else.
I have a couple of comments on this subject....first and foremost...if it's a choice between a child and me...the child wins hands down..my child or anyones child. I don't know anyone who could live with themselves after the fact..knowing they could have saved a child but chose themselves and the child perished.
Secondly....Yes...9/11 changed my views on alot of things...and yes a cruise ship is a possible target...but don't you think the cruiselines have come up with disaster plans or improved their didsaster plans with regards to terrorists?
If there was an explosion such on a ship such as the one posted earlier, first of all..unfortunatly...the immediate casualties would result in less lifeboat space needed(not to seem cold hearted). Second of all..like was also mentioned there is double if not more lifeboat space and life jackets on a modern ship.
In the event of a trajedy on a trans-ocean voyage...The coast gurad or military can be on the scene rather quickly by air....I don't know that it would take 5 hours to initially reach a troubled ship.
Better yet instead of talking doom and gloom...let's all pray it never happens!!!
"In the event of a trajedy on a trans-ocean voyage...The coast gurad or military can be on the scene rather quickly by air....I don't know that it would take 5 hours to initially reach a troubled ship."...............Sherri
I find it considerably troubling people fail to realize the difficulties of launching a rescue and the time it takes. You don't just send four planes out to pick up 3000 passengers and crew. Where is the plane going to land? A helicopter is slower and can pick up a few dozen, but only one at a time. They have a limited amount of fuel and must have enough to return. The weather has to be stable as well.
A boat takes considerably longer to reach a downed vessel and must also have fuel enough to get there and back. And it takes time to retrieve people out of the water.
You are also assuming radio contact is available. Not necessarily! The electronics could have been destroyed. In this unfortunate case, even if notification of a problem was given, the exact coordinates of position may not be known. Suppose the explosion took out the bridge and with it the captain, chief engineer, navigator, and other staff?
Re-read the previous post. Edmund Fitzgerald was 17 miles from Michigan and in radio contact. No survivors. Dona Paz was 110 miles from Manila, a U.S. NAVY rescue squadron was launched, they were unable to save anyone. Andrea Doria, 100 miles from Boston, in radio contact with ships and shore, other ships were turned around to help. People still were unable to be saved.
I hope it never happens, but that doesn't lull me into believing a false sense of security.
What I got from the Andrea Doria "read" was that most souls who were lost were injuries from the collision not failed rescue efforts. One little girl did die after a brain concussion ... it wasn't clear whether she suffered it during the collision or in being tossed into a lifeboat.
Arguendo, if there were a mid-ocean problem, any other ship out there would probably have plenty of fuel.
I don't know about redundancies in nav electornics in Thomas' scenario aboard the ship, but an explosion on the bridge would be well above the water line. Having had considerable opportunity to oberve lifeboats on our recent cruise (tender ports) they seem to have very advanced communication capabilities.
The two great passenger tragedies, Titanic and Andrea Doria, could have been avoided if Loran were available. Unfortunately, it was for military use only during the 50s and not put into general service until later. I don't have the patience to read the SOLAS regs about Loran but I would be surprised if it's not a requirement.
So, unless my pet metorite were to strike or there were a conscious act of terrorism or felony stupidity on the part of the brdge or corporate (think of Fantome of the Windjammer fleet, even though the passengers had been disembarked), it's unlikely that there would be any situation when an evacuation of a passenger ship would be anything less than semi-orderly.
Probably the ickiest scenario I can come up with is an evacuation with something like 250 kids aboard attending the kids' program. The chances of hooking them up with their parents during an evacuation are NOT very good on today's mega-ships and could result in some very scared (but, most likely, safe) kids and parents.
In Andrea Doria lots of families were separated, spread among three vessels.
Even my beloved Meridian (then Sun Vista at the end of her days) safely evacuated all her passengers before coming to rest at the bottom of the sea. And she was a VERY old ship by today's standards.
For information, Loran C was supposed to be phased out by 2002 if I recall correctly, but was given a reprieve for another 10 years. It is now scheduled for discontinuance in 2012, or somewhere around that year. GPS, or global positioning system, is replacing it. But both of these systems are recievers. Not transmitters as a radio. However, all ships are required to carry EPIRBS which are registered by boat and owner and broadcast a radio beacon for location information. However again, they operate on battery power which is NOT everlasting. You won't find the Energizer Bunny at sea.
And as far as any other ship out there having plenty of fuel. Could be. But not necessarily. There is a "point of no return" where you don't have enough fuel to turn around and get to the sinking vessel. And a Captains first priority is the safety of his own crew, passengers, and ship.
I think the real threat today IS terrorism and a coordinated attack at the helm, life boats, power systems, and hull. I just fear people don't want to believe it as we didn't want to believe anyone would want to crash themselves into the WTC for their God.
We had a hard time believing Kamikazes in WWII (I wasn't around then, but I CAN read). It's mind-boggling to believe that Queeg's father was killed in a typhoon at sea after an extremely distinguished career in the USN during WWII. The war was over, and he was just heading home to his wife and young son. Nature got in the way.
The think tanks have been predicting incidents such as the WTC for a l-o-n-g time. But I don't know that even those bulb-domes could have forseen what did happen with any sort of accuracy.
Under SOLAS, ships are probably as safe as they can possibly be made. I doubt that another passenger liner will ever be holed by an iceberg or another ship. Terrorism is now a fact of life in the 21st century.
Let me call attention to an earlier note when I was kind of flipped when two people with third-world sorts of names were (a) not on board an aircraft or (b) not admitting to it. Their luggage was removed and I was nervous. If I had not been reassured that the luggage was being pulled, I would have left the aircraft. Maybe that's racial/name profiling, but so be it.
Barring an act of terrorism, I feel as safe on a ship as I do in my own living room. Maybe safer. I can't move the living room in case of a hurrricane or a tornado and ships' captains can certainly avoid nasty weather. We are on pretty good terms with Mother Nature due to the sophisticated systems in place. It's the human factor we may never be able to control.
I would've been nervous too on that plane and with you I probably would've exited the plane had I not been assured the luggage had been removed. Others may think it won't happen to them but I suspect everyone victimized had the same thought. Remember, to everyone else in the world you are someone else.
Name profiling???? Probably yes, but it's also probabilities and statistics. We have not been hit by terrorists named Tuapolo or some South Pacific Island resident. Until it happens I'm not worried about somebody with that name.
I believe there are measures a ship can take to further enhance the security of the passengers. Currently, while in port and for 3 miles out a coast guard boat is on patrol and escort services. Great, what happens after 3 miles? Are there any armed security to prevent a boat from running along side? When the ship pulls into a foreign port it is not always escorted at all.
I'm sure there are many more. Have they thought about them all?
Freak accidents happen and the only thing you can do is be educated and aware of the safety procedures on a ship, airplane, etc. If you are on a plane and feel that something is wrong, you may want to go with your instincts. Although airlines and cruise lines do take precautions to keep peassengers safe, there are no guarantees. Of course you could stop cruising or flying because there might be a fire which might disable the craft which might cause some people to have to wear a vest and float in the ocean and maybe wait to get rescued but why worry about it? I am not saying that you should be reckless in your decisions but you shouldn't worry about those kind of freak accidents. They are always going to happen. As for the threat of terrorism, you cannot predict this either and must use your best judgement. If a situation doesn't feel right, then you may want to go with your instinct and get off the plane or whatever. All I'm saying is that you should always be aware of the things around you and use your best judgement but dont let pure fear prevent you from traveling. If you lived life his way you waoldn't want to drive anywhere because somebody else on the road might think you are somebody else and shoot you or run you off the road. Maybe you should avoid going out at all and stay home. Although the police could come to your doorabd try to take your kids away and you to jail because they think you are a suspected drug dealer when actually the suspect they have already arrested gave them the wrong address to protect his friend. (Happened to my mom)
Sorry this is so long but my point is dont worry about things you cant control. Just deal with them the best you can.
Unfortunately, as Pamda pointed out, there are usually a substantial number of elderly or disabled passengers on board who don't have equal access as the able bodied. But if the decision has to be made to either help them and sacrifice yourself or save yourself and sacrifice them which one are you going to choose?
Some people on this board will say, "how cruelly arrogant can you be to take the last seat in the lifeboat when that poor woman in the wheelchair is drowning." I have to be honest.................I'm taking the seat.
Thomas, Let me know when you're cruising next. i won't bring my children.
Things are scary out there right now. I have a cruise planned for October. Anything can happen but if we make ourselves crazy about what has happend we'll all lead dull miserable lives. Try to enjoy yourself and happy cruising.
What worries policy makers now is a biological or chemical attack on a cruise liner. I was listening to NPR earlier this week where they did a drill involving the release of Smallpox on a cruise ship from Port Canaveral. In that scenerio, the ship would have the exact oppisite response than abandon ship, rather a shipwide quarantine. A more realistic conventional terrorist attack would be to set fire to the ship. The ship would most likely NOT be a total loss, but many could die from the resulting fire and panic. I would love to hear from those who survided the emergencies at the WTC and Pentagon on 9/11 to find out how closely the drilled procedures were different than what actually happened under emergency conditions.
I heard on Fox News this morning of an FBI alert in Seattle's Pugeot Sound of a possible underwater terrorist threat. Their claim is a possible bomb attached to a ship underwater. They claim that it is less likely to be on a commercial tanker but rather a cruise ship with a lot of passengers aboard.
I'm still going on my cruise regardless. I'll just make sure I know where the life boats, exits, fire extinguishers and life jackets are at all times. And I'll keep the Mrs. close by all the time. I like that part anyway.
As a former Princess Cruises Officer that was in charge of a Muster Station, I can assur all the guys out there that the phrase "women and children first" has dissapeared from any major cruise line following US coastguard instruction. The time it would take to seperate the women and children would jeopordise the entire evacuation. Modern cruise ships are designed for simple evacuation of all passengers within a set time limit. Most lifeboats will accomodate around 125, and life rafts around 25. On the last ship I served in had 16 life boats and 64 liferafts, enough for 125% of the passengers and crew to evacuate safely. Remember, however that the cruiseship itself is the safest and most reliable lifeboat anyway!!!!!