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  • Rescue boat questions.

    Question 1: When embarking and disembarking a rescue boat does this need to be done when the boat is in the water? Or can you embark it and go down and up with it.

    Question 2: If your vessel is trading in a tropical area with a high sea temperature is it still necessary to wear full boat suit when in rescue? Or could it be ok just to wear shorts and t-shirt with an inflatable lifejacket on top.

  • #2
    Originally posted by pignutpilot View Post
    Question 1: When embarking and disembarking a rescue boat does this need to be done when the boat is in the water? Or can you embark it and go down and up with it.

    Question 2: If your vessel is trading in a tropical area with a high sea temperature is it still necessary to wear full boat suit when in rescue? Or could it be ok just to wear shorts and t-shirt with an inflatable lifejacket on top.
    1. I can't remember if it is actually a requirement that rescue boats can be launched and recovered with their normal compliment of people (I am 99% sure this is the case but don't have a copy of SOLAS handy). However, assuming it is designed to be; you would normally launch the boat with its complement of crew from the designated embarkation deck (on some ships you can also launch directly from the stowed position). You would normally also recover the casualty and crew to this point - unless your vessel has other arrangements such as shell doors or tendering pontoons which provide easier access to the ship/medical facilities for an unconscious casualty. This should be detailed in your SEO.



    2. Again, while there is a requirement to carry immersion suits for the rescue boat crew, I am sure there is no actual requirement that they are used. As you have rightly identified the use of immersion suits in extremely hot and humid climates is in itself dangerous (heat exhaustion, etc). I feel it is safe to say that this would be down to the persons in charge (or master) of the vessel to assess at the time of the incident. For training purposes though your crew should don them to at least ensure they know how to put them on!

    Onboard my current ship; due to trading in hot climates the policy is; It's up to the individual - if we are launching on a clear sunny day with no wind and 30+ degree temperatures to pick up a passenger thats fallen over the side - then immersion suits are not deemed necessary, and would be acceptable for all crew to launch in whatever they turned up wearing + lifejacket.

    Consult: SOLAS / LSA code / Your company SMS which will confirm their stance.
    ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

    ? Mark Twain
    myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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    • #3
      thanks alistaruk.

      I've heard people go on that your not meant put people into a rescue boat or lifeboat unless its in the water (Obviously not in an emergency for the life boat). But you are meant to be able to launch the rescue boat in 5 mins, that wouldn't give you enough time to lower the boat into the water rig a boarding ladder and have everyone in it I don't think.

      Yes that confirms my suspicions. Where I'm currently trading the water is pretty warm, plus its 40+ degrees during the day, so wearing a mullion suit would be a bit daft. I'd prefer to wear a chain-mail suit to protect me from sharks... but I'd probably sink.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by pignutpilot View Post
        I've heard people go on that your not meant put people into a rescue boat or lifeboat unless its in the water (Obviously not in an emergency for the life boat).
        Lifeboat drills are a different matter. Minimum launching crew are to be in the lifeboat whilst it is lowered on the falls. In some cases that can be no-one in the boat as it is lowered, as the crew can be lowered in a rescue craft or by other means and then embark in the boat once it is afloat. It is a mitigation against distrust of lifeboat release mechanisms that have a habit of failing halfway to the waterline and breaking people.

        An MSN refers.

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        • #5
          The myth that you can't be lowered in a boat ( rescue or lifeboat) for either drills or training etc seems be increasing, more than likely due to some issues that Steve raised. The bottom line is that often any restrictions are purely for hoisting the boats based upon max weight limits the winches can take.

          Additionally SOLAS actually states in the small print that ships trading exclusively in hot climates can be excused from having survival suits etc ( subject to TPA's etc in place).
          Pilotage - It's just a controlled allision

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          • #6
            I should note to my above that some boats which are referred to as "rescue boats" are not actually rescue boats as per the definitions in SOLAS and UK legislation thus they may not allow people to be lowered in them.
            Pilotage - It's just a controlled allision

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MSN 1803
              Before placing persons onboard a lifeboat, it is recommended that the boat first be
              lowered and recovered without persons on board to ascertain that the arrangement
              functions correctly. The boat should then be lowered into the water with only the
              number of persons on board necessary to operate the boat.
              The MSN that refers.
              Last edited by Steve; 22 August 2012, 03:31 PM. Reason: Formatting

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              • #8
                Thanks Steve, my point was that as operating crew or anyone going down for training can be lowered (if boat checked and operating procedures allow).
                Pilotage - It's just a controlled allision

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                • #9
                  In regularly used boat, with well rehearsed crew, properly maintained equipment and following the correct procedures there is absolutely no problems. On most Passenger vessels it would take forever to complete drills if you couldn't lower the rescue and/or lifeboats without personnel in them.
                  The rescue boat should be designed to be launched whilst making way (1-3 knots ideally) and manned, so as such you should be drilling that.

                  The fear of rescue/lifeboat is generally down to incompetence, most accidents involving them are down to 'Human Error'.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AncientMariner View Post
                    In regularly used boat, with well rehearsed crew, properly maintained equipment and following the correct procedures there is absolutely no problems. On most Passenger vessels it would take forever to complete drills if you couldn't lower the rescue and/or lifeboats without personnel in them.
                    The rescue boat should be designed to be launched whilst making way (1-3 knots ideally) and manned, so as such you should be drilling that.

                    The fear of rescue/lifeboat is generally down to incompetence, most accidents involving them are down to 'Human Error'.
                    I disagree with you. Even the best of training and maintenance by ships crew lifeboats are still a serious danger to human life. See the following accident report into the cma cgm christophe colomb accident where an officer and a cadet died, no training or maintenance by ships crew could have prevented it. There are plenty other cases like this, and there will certainly be many more deaths due to lifeboats malfunctioning, especially on ships with a high free-board where the boats are launched from high up. Lifeboats should be called Deathboats.

                    http://maritimeaccident.org/tags/christophe-colomb/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AncientMariner View Post
                      The rescue boat should be designed to be launched whilst making way (1-3 knots ideally) and manned, so as such you should be drilling that.
                      I prefer 10knots. We've only had a few accidents.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ok,

                        As Pilot Chris and AncientMariner have already said it is more than acceptable to launch lifeboats and rescue boats for training purposes with crew present.

                        Wether you would do it while underway is a different matter and we certainly wouldn’t be launching our lifeboats while moving for a drill - we do however regularly launch our tenders while moving less than 3 kts - the main difference being the tenders have an officer / deck crew in them during launching (who by assumption know what they are doing) whereas our lifeboats would not.

                        ---

                        As AM has said it is a weekly occurrence onboard most passenger vessels. Onboard present ship we have 16 lifeboats and do it with a crew of 5-7 people present in each boat every 2 - 3 weeks (usually one side one week, other side next week); This has obviously been risk assessed and since the boats are each designed for 110 - 150 persons, 5 - 7 people is no where near the safe working load for the boat or the launching arrangements.

                        Further to this, there are SOLAS REQUIRED regular inspections of the boats; there is the monthly inspection of lifeboat equipment which includes a quick review of the securing and launching arrangements - let’s face it I as an officer am not going to climb into the thing in the stowed condition to check the equipment inside it without checking its not going to move / fall off!

                        We also during each drill (weekly) lower the sea side boats to embarkation deck and prepare them for lowering - even if we aren't physically lowering them. Again in this position one of the officers physically goes to each boat and checks that everything appears to be in order and that the bowsing tackle have been correctly rigged.

                        ---

                        The majority of accidents involving lifeboats, and please note I say majority not all, occur during recovery. Most of which are due to the on-load release system being incorrectly reset or damaged. This is ultimately human error although admittedly some designs of on-load release make it easy for you to make the mistake!

                        On the ships I have sailed on with on-load release EVERY member of the crew of the lifeboat were aware of the dangers - they all followed the procedures correctly and double checked everything. For instance the simple 2-3 second act of checking the on-load release hooks were locked visually by looking into the mechanism at the hooks (instead of just relying on the indicator at the helm position) probably avoided a few accidents as on occasion it was found to have not reset correctly.

                        Other procedures such as hoisting the boat 1m from the water, stopping and then physically checking everything is correctly set probably would have prevented other accidents had they not been correct.

                        So in short, proper training & an understanding of the crew as to why it is so important they follow procedures combined with good maintenance and procedures should minimise the risk of anything happening during lifeboat drills.

                        Pignutpilot, I think you are being a little bit sensationalist with “Deathboats” - true there are claims that they have killed more people than they have saved recently - but thats generally because if you’re using it for real your not going to try and get it back onboard!

                        In your linked article; again ultimately its human error; on the part of the initial installer and the subsequent inspector - one could also argue that the ship would of had opportunities to spot this during their regular safety inspections of the lifeboat but I won’t go down that route.

                        On a side note: I am pretty sure that every person who works at sea in the deck / engine department knows that if a nut is connected to something that moves it normally has a split pin in it to stop it coming loose. The part in question in this accident was part of the link from the block to the boat hook - not the boat itself - therefore it would have been easily viewable. Even without that basic knowledge the fact the aft block had a pin in it, and the forward block didn’t would have aroused suspicion if anyone had physically checked before carrying out the drill / recovery.

                        [The full official accident report is http://www.beamer-france.org/BanqueDocument/pdf_284.pdf if anyone is interested - the english version starts half way through]

                        Unfortunately accidents are nearly always the result of a series of small things which on their own wouldn’t of been a problem coming together to cause a problem.
                        ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

                        ? Mark Twain
                        myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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