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  #1  
Old January 15th, 2012, 02:00 AM
ilanas ilanas is offline
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Default Safety Drills for Crew

In the light of the Costa disaster I am curious to know if there is any regulating body that ensures Cruise lines perform emergency, safety and evacuation drills.

I have only cruised once on X and will be cruising again in April 2012 and would feel far more comfortable in the knowledge that the crew are able to perform these procedures.

When we cruised in January 2011 the safety drill was performed within hours of our sailing - which I understood was not done in the case of Costa. More importantly though, is that the crew are proficient in the required emergency procedures.

My daughter works for an International airline as cabin crew. In order for her to be licensed to work, the employees have to undergo an annual two day emergency and safety course followed by an examination.

I very much hope that Cruise lines also have similar preparations for their crew.
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  #2  
Old January 15th, 2012, 02:09 AM
Essiesmom Essiesmom is offline
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If you pay attention to the announcements onboard, you will find that they do many drills on a cruise. Some are done in ports, with lifeboats deployed. Others are done while underway, such as 'man overboard' drills, fire drills, etc. EM
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  #3  
Old January 15th, 2012, 02:29 AM
ilanas ilanas is offline
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Is there any regulated body that can audit the efficacy of the drills?
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  #4  
Old January 15th, 2012, 03:16 AM
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Fixit2010 Fixit2010 is offline
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They do a set number of drills per cruise, most of them are kept discrete to avoid passenger interference. I believe it is the security chief's role to schedule these and some of them are unannounced to the lower levels of crew so they come as a surprise. Infact on the fairly recent TV show "Curise Diaries" which featured a certain Costa ship, they did show drills being performed.
Mind you after seeing the show it put me off cruising with them. The petty bickering that went on behind the scene with some of their staff...

Also on Princess, they publicly announced their drills all the time and you could see groups running all over the ship to perform different tasks.

Regardless of which line, no captain wants to be the one known as the one who lost a ship, that is career over. Further more no member of crew regardless of their position wants to be held responsible for deaths and injuries on their watch. I am pretty confident that most ships perform safety drills to some extent.
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  #5  
Old January 15th, 2012, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilanas View Post
Is there any regulated body that can audit the efficacy of the drills?
US Coast Guard...
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  #6  
Old January 15th, 2012, 08:35 AM
Karen@Steve Karen@Steve is offline
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What about cruises that don't orginate/end/stop at a US port? Isn't there a International Maritime body that oversees this?
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  #7  
Old January 15th, 2012, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
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What about cruises that don't orginate/end/stop at a US port? Isn't there a International Maritime body that oversees this?
Most larger countries have a Coast Guard and probably handle it...
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  #8  
Old January 15th, 2012, 08:52 AM
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The International Maritime Organisation set the minimum requirements. Countries are free to set their own higher standards.
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  #9  
Old January 15th, 2012, 09:51 AM
rucruisn2 rucruisn2 is offline
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The thing that concerns me is that during the life boat drills, at the muster stations, I've seen all sorts of ship employees working the drills. Entertainers are the ones checking passengers seapass cards for attendance, etc. Does the ship have enough crew actually onboard who can launch and run each life boat on the ship? It is reported on the Costa ship that the Captain took off, but where were the other officers? Why was there so much panic? Why, if Carnival owns Costa, wasn't there emergency procedures in place?
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  #10  
Old January 15th, 2012, 11:04 AM
Project_gal Project_gal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rucruisn2 View Post
The thing that concerns me is that during the life boat drills, at the muster stations, I've seen all sorts of ship employees working the drills. Entertainers are the ones checking passengers seapass cards for attendance, etc. Does the ship have enough crew actually onboard who can launch and run each life boat on the ship? It is reported on the Costa ship that the Captain took off, but where were the other officers? Why was there so much panic? Why, if Carnival owns Costa, wasn't there emergency procedures in place?
All the crew on board have to take part in the drills mentioned by Fixit2010. If you stay on board in port you will see and hear the drills happening.

All crew on a ship have duties other than those you see them doing most often. During the recent Infinity dry-dock, a number of waitresses were employed on fire watch, for example.

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  #11  
Old January 15th, 2012, 08:25 PM
jcrandle jcrandle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rucruisn2 View Post
The thing that concerns me is that during the life boat drills, at the muster stations, I've seen all sorts of ship employees working the drills. Entertainers are the ones checking passengers seapass cards for attendance, etc. Does the ship have enough crew actually onboard who can launch and run each life boat on the ship? It is reported on the Costa ship that the Captain took off, but where were the other officers? Why was there so much panic? Why, if Carnival owns Costa, wasn't there emergency procedures in place?
As stated above, the IMO sets minimum standards for the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Seas) requirements. To view one document about the standards for drills see http://thenauticalsite.com/NauticalN...-SOLAS-LSA.htm

The reference states
Drills
Drills shall, as far as practicable, be conducted as if there were an actual emergency.
Every crew member shall participate in at least one abandon ship drill and one fire drill every month. The drills of the crew shall take place within 24 h of the ship leaving a port if more than 25% of the crew have not participated in abandon ship and fire drills on board that particular ship in the previous month. When a ship enters service for the first time, after modification of a major character or when a new crew is engaged, these drills shall be held before sailing. The Administration may accept other arrangements that are at least equivalent for those classes of ships for which this is impracticable.
----------------------------------
NOTE that this is for all ships. Passenger ships have additional requirements
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  #12  
Old January 15th, 2012, 08:29 PM
kenorus kenorus is offline
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Default safety drills

Does not mean that every staff know what they are doing!
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  #13  
Old January 15th, 2012, 09:41 PM
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When we were on the Summit in Bermuda last summer, they were running boat drills every day with ships being lowered, raised, and run in circles in the water. I'm assuming these were not only to practice the critical skills, but also to train and certify the crew in new roles.

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  #14  
Old January 15th, 2012, 09:50 PM
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If you are reading what the media is reporting remember that the media has been reporting a lot of incorrect information.

Myth:

No one was given a lifeboat drill.

FACT:

The ship runs circular Med cruises out of Savona, Italy weekly. Conducting on Saturday would satisfy current IMO/SOLAS regulations which require ONE per week. The MAJORITY of passengers embark and disembark at Savona. The majority of passengers on the ill-fated cruise did in fact receive a drill, last Saturday.

With this particular cruise, you can embark at ANY port where it stops. You stay on seven days and then you get off at your embarkation point. Sort of like a HoHo bus, but not unlimited.
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  #15  
Old January 16th, 2012, 01:34 AM
rucruisn2 rucruisn2 is offline
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And if you listen to eye witness reports of people on the Costa ship you will hear of crew who had NO CLUE what to do. There was zero leadership. Some crew had only been on this ship for 5 days and had as yet had no safety draining. Life boats were being run by crew who were guessing on what to do. Shame on Costa cruse line and ultimatly Carnival Cruise Line for allowing this lack of safety traing to occure. In answer to the orignal poster's question of if the crew is trained for safety, I think not. Some yes, but as in this case, panic took over and what training they had left with the Captain.
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Old January 16th, 2012, 04:27 AM
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My daughter joined Silhouette on Friday and her first crew meeting was in relation to safety.

Training crew to the required standard isn't the problem. it's panicing passengers.
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  #17  
Old January 16th, 2012, 10:41 AM
Can'tstopcruising Can'tstopcruising is offline
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Quote:
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My daughter joined Silhouette on Friday and her first crew meeting was in relation to safety.

Training crew to the required standard isn't the problem. it's panicing passengers.
Perhaps the required standard is inadequate.
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  #18  
Old January 16th, 2012, 10:51 AM
CathyCruises CathyCruises is offline
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Training is one thing when the situation is stable. Passengers make their orderly way to their muster stations after having first stopped off at their cabins to retrieve their lifejackets; crew is in their assigned area by the elevators directing people down the staircases, etc.

But when the ship is lying on its side and you are walking on the walls instead of the floors, when the staircases are inpassable, when the lights are out and everyone is screaming, it's a whole different story. I think that to have gotten 4200 people safely off the ship in those conditions, when half the lifeboats are under water, and the captain has abandoned ship, something must have been working right. Time will tell the whole story, but right now I am surprised there aren't more people unaccounted for.
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Old January 16th, 2012, 11:29 AM
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I do know that all staff on the cruise ship is trained in emergency procedures. I've talked to experienced bar staff who had mentioned training they had to go to and when I questioned why they needed more training they indicated that it wasn't for their main job but for emergency procedures and that all crew have to be trained for various emergency functions with periodic retraining.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyCruises View Post
... I think that to have gotten 4200 people safely off the ship in those conditions, when half the lifeboats are under water, and the captain has abandoned ship, something must have been working right....[emphasis added]
I think you're right, or at least I hope you are. While a lot of things appear to have been done very improperly there must have been something working correctly to evacuate over 4,000 people from such terrible conditions.

One thing that occurs to me is the way the press sensationalizes stories. If the press interviewed 100 passengers and 98 said the crew did a great job and their evacuation was fine and 2 said the crew was terrible and it was chaos then which story do you think the press would run with? I'm sure there are many passengers that experienced chaos but I also suspect many were treated properly.

To me it seems that the biggest problem, other than the initial accident itself, was the way the top officers did not provide correct timely information and instructions to either the passengers or the crew.
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Old January 16th, 2012, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyCruises View Post
Training is one thing when the situation is stable. Passengers make their orderly way to their muster stations after having first stopped off at their cabins to retrieve their lifejackets; crew is in their assigned area by the elevators directing people down the staircases, etc.

But when the ship is lying on its side and you are walking on the walls instead of the floors, when the staircases are inpassable, when the lights are out and everyone is screaming, it's a whole different story. I think that to have gotten 4200 people safely off the ship in those conditions, when half the lifeboats are under water, and the captain has abandoned ship, something must have been working right. Time will tell the whole story, but right now I am surprised there aren't more people unaccounted for.
I completely agree. Watching a film in a calm safe environment is one thing.
Being thrown around in darkness, with no leadership, people pushing and shoving, water seeping in, some people freezing in fear, others on adrenalin highs, you have no idea how you will react unless you train in those conditions. To get nearly everyone off is an achievement.
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