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-   -   Lifeboat Drill (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/travel-gripes/331314-lifeboat-drill.html)

mehawk April 7th, 2007 03:23 AM

Lifeboat Drill
 
I can understand and appreciate the lifeboat drill but, why do they have to conduct it during the time that the ship is pulling away from the dock? They could watch a couple of minutes afterwards and do it before they get into open waters. I understand why they do it when they do but wish it was timed differently. Your thoughts??

Marc April 7th, 2007 03:51 AM

Ours have always occured before leaving the dock; not during sailaway.

I thought the rule was within 24 hours of sailing to have the drill although the only time we had muster drill on second day was when we overnighted one time in Hong Kong and another time in Venice.

mehawk April 7th, 2007 04:51 AM

I've heard that 24 hour ruling before. On the six cruises I have been on, only on my first one were we allowed to watch the sailaway and did the drill afterwards.

kingoftheicedragons April 7th, 2007 08:43 AM

on our cruise, the drill was before sail away, but I think it was scheduled for about sail away time, or maybe a little before that.

My gripe about the drill is that we were actuallywaiting for the drill so we could go get it done, but others had to go back to their room, get their lifejackets, and some people tried hiding on their balconies, thereby making the whole experience a lot longer than it needed to be.

And sail away actually occured at dinner time when we were in the dining room.

Mike M April 8th, 2007 10:40 AM

I have not had a muster drill while the ship was sailing out of port. Granted, I have only two Carnival cruises under my belt but I have quite a few on other cruise lines. I have had three drills "after" we have set sail. These have been on Tahitian, Mediterranean and China cruises. These were about an hour after sailing or the second day when we had done an overnight on the first day.

My biggest complaint about muster drills are people not showing up, taking their time to get there or talking while the crew is going through their instructions. This just makes everything take longer.

Take care,
Mike

richstacy April 8th, 2007 03:24 PM

I've seen them do it at all different times. I guess the critical thing is, they want to get it done before dinner. Only once that I can recall during sailaway though.

DavidBgood April 8th, 2007 03:30 PM

Hey Mike (Mehawk), nice ammo thanks.

Never seen a drill when initially sailing, always the next day.

Folks, have you ever been in a building fire drill?. What happens? Everyone leaves the building and it is timed regarding everyone is safe or not. Good practice.

What happens on a ship is they do the "honk, honk" horn ex times, all the crew are already in place to guide and lead....mmm

Why do they not do an actual evacuation, for every line and for every ship at least once per year?

That is the only way you will know

Your lifeboats all work.
The crew are competent in how they deal with a “sudden scenario�.
How long will take to get everyone off this ship,,,really?

And in X minutes they can prove that everyone on our ship will be safe if the worst happens, and when the crew and the passengers don’t expect it.

But not through….. you know already it is going to happen and the crew and most passengers are “sitting in their cabins, life jacket on� and waiting for it to happen.

Tell the truth, after sailing day or drill day, could you find your "muster station" three days into your cruise?

It’s an exercise they do for legal reasons, nothing more. And it is so down the agenda of some lines that they do it before their customers have become acquainted with the ship and its lay out, ie do it when sailing. That tells it’s its own story, their vision of your safety.

Get the drill out of the way and open the shops and casino.....we need to make money :shock:

colorcrazie April 9th, 2007 02:10 PM

They do at least periodically test whether the lifeboats will lower, but they do it when there are no passengers aboard, i.e. between a.m. debarkation and loading up the next group.
But, I agree that the passenger drill is merely a token nod toward fulfilling the law. I believe that ships sailing out of American waters have to do it before reaching international waters, as it is a US coast guard requirement. Hence the timing. And, even if folks aren't totally familiar with the ship's layout yet, the theory is that they should still know how to get to muster stations.
But, personally, I feel that most drills, whether fire drills on land or boat drills are pretty foolish. People will panic and while some may do better because of the drill, I think that most will not. It would be chaos.
Marty

kimbo April 9th, 2007 02:26 PM

NCL also does the drill after you leave to open waters.

Here is something odd to add to the lifeboat drill that I don't care for...
on NCL .......some muster stations are on the decks where others musterstations are in the main theater. As I recall on carnival everyone meets on the decks right? What about other cruise lines? I know if the ship is going down, the last place I want to run to is the theater! (much less my cabin for my life jacket).

msblackjack April 9th, 2007 03:23 PM

seems to me that Carnival changed their lifeboat drill practice;

the meet up was in different areas; ours was in one of the show rooms; then we had to climb up the stairs with life vests in place to the appropriate deck and section; of course, it takes longer for the "stranglers" to show up then it did for the entire drill. in reality it is a nuisance but really took less than an hour out of the entire trip, I would rather have it done as soon as possible - but immediately after the sailaway, not before teh sailaway - they should just advise everyone to take their lifevests to the sailaway and proceed to their muster station following the sailaway.

richstacy April 9th, 2007 04:31 PM

Ships that have large, wide, walk around promenade decks (all Holland America ships for example) always have the drill on deck right where you would get into your lifeboat. Those that don't, have them at varying public places around the ship, lounges, theaters, etc..

Kimbo, If there was an emergency, why would you want to skip your life vest? Death wish? :)

lulu48 April 9th, 2007 04:40 PM

On Oceania they had muster stations in the dining room/theater then they take you to your lifeboat on the deck.
We had the drill around 5:30 pm before sail away at 6pm on one cruise
We had a late departure from LA at 12 midnight but the drill was still 5:30pm those that arrived later had their drill the next morning.

Fieldmouse April 9th, 2007 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by richstacy
Ships that have large, wide, walk around promenade decks (all Holland America ships for example) always have the drill on deck right where you would get into your lifeboat. Those that don't, have them at varying public places around the ship, lounges, theaters, etc..

Kimbo, If there was an emergency, why would you want to skip your life vest? Death wish? :)

The best life boat drills we have ever had, have been on HAL...very professional and complete.

The worst was on the Celebrity Infinity...

People were wandering around...several exit doors were blocked by crowds of passengers who could not get IN or OUT...so the passengers just stood there blocking the doors.

NO staff member took a count of the passengers...everyone, including crew and staff were laughing and talking loudly with each other that we could not hear any instructions....we had no idea if we were even in the right drill station. My husband finally asked one of the staff that standing around where our station was. His comment: "just stand anywhere...it doesn't matter".

If that ship ever sinks...there's no doubt what the crews priority is going to be!

Meercat April 25th, 2007 08:17 AM

QE2 and QM2 - both of which have promenade decks - do not have muster stations on deck. This is understandable in that in the event the lifeboats needing to be lowered, it would be easier if there were not passengers in the way. Also, I suspect that the crew assigned to muster stations find it easier to ensure that passengers do not 'wander' if they are located within a 'room'.

I, too, find that pre-arranged times for a muster drill does not demonstrate that the muster will go according to plan. But then again, the chances are that *something* is going to get in the way of a muster be it for practice or for real and trying to make the muster as realistic as possible would require many executions. Imagine the mayhem if they did a drill in the middle of a formal dinner? That would go down like a lead balloon. Or imagine that they did a 'trick' and said - sorry - the port side of the ship is a 'no go' area - you'll have to find another route to your muster station under emergency lighting only. Both scenarios are quite realistic.

The crew on Cunard do practice lowering lifeboats, and sometimes an actual 'depart and search for survivors' exercise when the lifeboats are lowered, detached and then circle around some distance from the ship. Quite interesting to watch if you're in port that day....

It's SOLAS regulations that insist on a muster drill to be performed for all *new* passengers joinng a ship that they will be on board for for more than 24 hours, and within 24 hours of departure.

Muster drills go some way to ensuring that passengers (and crew) can at least adher to the basics of getting a life jacket and get from their cabin to their muster station. IRL, the whole process could take considerably longer - especially if the event which triggered the muster was sudden and severe.

However, as in staying in a hotel where you are not required to attend a drill, there is nothing stopping the sensible passenger from thinking how they may best react in the event of a muster being called out of the blue. When you're lying on the sun deck - imagine what you would do to get to your cabin and find lifejacket. Do you really know the quickest safest route? What would you do if that route was unavailable?

On aircraft they request that you pay attnetion to the safety/emergency demonstration. Few do - and tests have shown that those who DO pay attention, and furthermore, those who think *beyond* what they are told, are the ones most likely to survive an emergency situation. Eg. In an aircraft - you *should* look for which exit is nearest. Are there any obstructions on the way to that exit? Is the waif like female cabin attendant going to be quickest to open the emergency exit on the left side or the muscular man with nobody in the adjacent rows on the right hand side of the aircraft?

Plan ahead -and stay alive. God forbid you should need it.

Desdemona01 April 25th, 2007 11:55 AM

On all of our cruises on HAL the life boat drill has always started 30-45 min. before sailaway. Even with the self-absorbed stragglers who show up late, we still have plenty of time to get back to our cabin, stow our life vests, and go to the sailaway.

Fieldmouse April 25th, 2007 01:57 PM

Just a thought...what happens IF you cannot get to your cabin and to get your life vest?

Do/will they have enough life jackets on the upper decks for several hundred passengers?

BTW: We noticed while doing a walking tour of the bottom decks...the large iron doors that are used to seal off those decks in case of water getting through the hull, etc. Wouldn't want to be caught down there if there happens to be a leak :shock:

Mean Dean April 26th, 2007 12:39 AM

Fieldmouse,

The cruise ships carry life jackets galore! Not only are they in your cabin, but there are lockers full of them on several of the decks, and there are more of them still inside the lifeboats.

Dean

IBCRUZIN' April 26th, 2007 11:36 AM

I am probably 1,000% wrong but I thought the mustard dill LOL had to be BEFORE the coast guard would sign off on each sailing.

I also may not remember properly but I do not remember a mustard dill on my first cruise back in 1999. Were they doing these drill then also.

Fieldmouse April 26th, 2007 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mean Dean
Fieldmouse,

The cruise ships carry life jackets galore! Not only are they in your cabin, but there are lockers full of them on several of the decks, and there are more of them still inside the lifeboats.

Dean

Thanks...good to know!

kimbo April 26th, 2007 07:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fieldmouse
Just a thought...what happens IF you cannot get to your cabin and to get your life vest?

That is why I said...one of the last places I would want to go is my cabin!
You don't know what obstacles may be in your path from where you are to your cabin.

And by the way....do yall really think, if while cruizin all of the sudden its very obvious the ship is goin down...the siren goes off .... do you think everyone is gonna be thinkin ..."Man, I need to get to my room for my life vest!" Nope, Its gonna be a mad rush to the closest spot next to a life boat.

reverendjeff April 26th, 2007 09:00 PM

Last week we were sent to the lounge for the drill. We stayed there while they checked the halls and other common areas, listened to instructions as to how to wear the vest, and then it was over. At first I thought, What's up with this? Do I really want to come to the lounge if this tub goes down? Where is my life boat?
Then I figured that the purpose was more about Carnival being able to get everyone in one place calmly, and not so much an instructional opportunity for the guests.

mateli April 26th, 2007 10:12 PM

Hi!
I was once on a Russian ship and the lifeboat drill happen the day after at noon and belive me it was very very serious.They checked if everyone attended this drill.No talk.no music we had to listen. Mateli

Meercat April 27th, 2007 11:06 AM

They certainly want people to go to the muster station, because they have a duty to check that everybody is accounted for. Anybody who fails to arrive at their muster station within a reasonable period of time, will cause the crew to go searching for that person, and in so doing, put themselves and possibly the ship in danger as they will not be able to attend to other duties. All crew are assigned a duty to perform in the event of a muster or abandon ship situation.

As for not returning to your cabin to don a lifejacket - and instead go straight to the muster station - you may regret this later when your're sitting shivvering in a lifeboat without TPA (Thermal Protective Aids) ie. warm clothing. Also, at this point you may realise that you're without that essential medication you were instructed to take with you - and people dying from (Eg.) heart attacks in lifeboats does not exactly boost morale!!!

Actually, in real life, people do not panic and run straight from the sun deck to the muster station. They normally follow instructions (esp. when scared).

Re. The Watertight doors - You should have been mustered a long time before these doors close. But the answer to the question is 'Yes' if you get trapped between a set of these doors - you're trapped. My wife managed to get herself trapped for half an hour between these doors with several other people

despite the warning made several times that a water tight door test was going to be held on deck 5 at hh:mm.

In a real life situation, I suppose that if the ship was truly sinking and you got stuck between these doors for whatever reason - well - you'd probably live for a few minutes after the ship goes down - and the hull will probably implode under water pressure. Which is better than dying of suffocation over a period of two days. Nobody will attempt to rescue you as recovering the sunken ship even if possible - is going to take months - and there's no way for them to cut a neat little hole in that water tight section and hoist you out without getting your feet wet.

To avoid this scenario - best book a suite on a high deck. But hey, they're normally the more expensive ones. Now we know why.....

Fieldmouse April 27th, 2007 11:55 AM

Meercat:

My husband is a manly man...but when he saw those 'doors' that was it...he said, "we're never booking any cabin down in the bowels of the ship'
I guess the reality hit him. It's all vacation fun and games, but the situation can suddenly become deadly serious.

We had a small taste of how suddenly things can change on our Alaskan cruise last year. While cruising Hubbard Glacier, the Celebrity Infinity veared twice suddenly to avoid some ice. Everyone and I mean everyone, ships staff included, had that 'alert' what's happening fear in their eyes...

Not funny or easy to dismiss...

kimbo April 27th, 2007 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meercat
To avoid this scenario - best book a suite on a high deck. But hey, they're normally the more expensive ones. Now we know why.....

Unless you are unfortunate enough to have something like in the movie
The Poseidon...where the ship rolls over... :shock:

thasic April 28th, 2007 02:30 AM

Actually, what happened in "The Poseidon" and "The Poseidon Adventure" (the original movie) is impossible. A tidal wave, or more correctly, a tsunami (which is what supposedly hit the ship) only crests in shallow water. When the wave is at sea it appears as an elongated lump of water with a very shallow amplitude (or wave height) only a few feet high and a wavelength of a mile or more.

A cruise ship would likely not even feel the wave pass beneath it while in open water. The wave begins to crest as it approaches the coast, all the energy of the wavelength being trasfered to the amplitude of the wave, thusly creating the wall of water.

Beyond that, most tsunami never reach an amplitude any where near what was depicted in the movies. The tsunami with the greatest height ever recorded was under 30 feet, and most are 10 feet or less, so even if a wave managed to crest in the middle of open waters, it would hardly have enough force to severely rock a huge cruise ship, much less topple it.

I have a background in the US Navy, but the information is easy to find online.

paddletoe53 April 28th, 2007 11:47 AM

i have been on three cruise all the muster drills were done befor sail away

Meercat April 28th, 2007 12:43 PM

I have the impression, from this thread, that people take the matter of safety as either being 'a joke' or 'any shudder is a sign that we're sinking'.

I'd be most interested to read the opinions of a true professional who could advise us 'passengers' of just what is and is not something we should think about.

When you count back over the years, whilst there have been many incidents that attract attention, in actual fact, there have been very few (any?) sinkings of cruise ships. ie. Abandon ship - lifeboats. Nevertheless, history tells us that *anything* can happen and the better prepared the ship's crew and passengers are, the less 'cost' to all - in any form.

We need not ponder over films or theoretical mega Tsunamis - we need to be aware of what the ship can and will deliver in terms of passenger protection.

As for 'turning turtle' - only a marine architect can comment - and even then - a whloe lot depends on x y and z.

The bottom line is - attend lifeboat drill - *listen* *think* and be prepared just in case that most unlikely and unlucky event pays you a visit. Just like airline passengers.

Fieldmouse April 28th, 2007 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meercat
When you count back over the years, whilst there have been many incidents that attract attention, in actual fact, there have been very few (any?) sinkings of cruise ships. ie. Abandon ship - lifeboats. Nevertheless, history tells us that *anything* can happen and the better prepared the ship's crew and passengers are, the less 'cost' to all - in any form.

The bottom line is - attend lifeboat drill - *listen* *think* and be prepared just in case that most unlikely and unlucky event pays you a visit. Just like airline passengers.

There have been a few incidents of sinking cruise ships.

1. The Sea Dimond 2007 (1600 passengers...2 lost)
2. In Feb. 2006...and Egyptian Cruise ship (1300 passengers...lost?)
3. Oceanos Sept of 2006 (Captain and crew abandoned passengers)
4. The Sea Breeze (small cruiser, sunk off Virginia Coast)
5. The Sundancer...it sunk after limping into port and docking at Vancover Island.

We don't want to be an alarmist...but 'stuff' does happen. Better to have a prepared mind set...And as the Captain and crew from the Oceanos proved...you CAN'T always depend on the crew!

The above is all I could find in a super quick Google search...but the point is..
Even if it never has happen before, but finally happens TO YOU or your family or friends, etc....well, isn't that just one time too many?

Aidan April 28th, 2007 07:33 PM

Cruise ships may not be susceptible to tidal waves in deep water, but they are certainly to rogue waves, which can reach 100 feet. Recall the Norwegian Dawn incident, where a wave broke cabin windows on deck 10.

Tidal waves can be much higher than 30 feet. The Scotch Cap lighthouse in Alaska was destroyed by one in 1946. The lighthouse was about 30 metres above sea level.

Cheers, Aidan


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