Thursday, September 12, 2013

Safety at Sea - a priority for a tall ship

When hundreds (sometimes thousands) of miles from land on a tall ship, safety on board is essential.
Bark EUROPA is very conscious of this, so unexpected drills in man-overboard and abandon ship procedures, also how to combat a fire serve to remind everyone how vulnerable we are on the ocean.

The abandon ship procedure is one of the first lessons everyone who steps aboard must learn.
When the alarm is sounded everyone aboard must don a full immersion suit to protect themselves from the cold water. There are plenty of lifeboats on deck to accommodate everyone should the necessity to abandon the vessel arise.

In a man-overboard emergency, the victim must first be located.
Then the victim must be plucked from the sea.

Derk is seen here in his immersion suit after rescuing the man-overboard (in this case, an orange buoy).

Fire is perhaps the biggest hazard on a sailing ship and when the alarm sounds, the crew are well trained to combat the hazard.
With hoses and extinguishers and dressed in full fire-fighting gear with breathing equipment, they are armed to fight a major blaze.

The results of a fire can include injuries - burns or smoke inhalation.
In this exercise, the ship's doctor, Tammi, with assistance from Claire (voyage crew medic) resuscitates a patient suffering smoke inhalation

While any disaster is being fought, the crew must bring the ship to a halt as quickly as possible.
This is no easy task if the ship is flying along making 8 or 9 knots.
Rather than waring or tacking, which can be a slow procedure and covers quite a distance, the ship can be hove to by bracing one set of square sails around and against the wind, to act as a brake.
For a man-overboard, the engines are put into reverse and the ship brought around.
Captain Eric throws the helm over to come about.
My 23-day voyage on EUROPA was uneventful, as far as major disasters were concerned. But it was reassuring to know that everyone knew what to do should an unexpected hazard occur.
Re: Sailing Dutch Tall ship, 'Europa' on Australian Bight - August/Sept 2013

1 comment:

Linda Collison said...

Excellent information! Having just finished reading Walter Lord's A Night to Remember, the classic account of the Titanic tragedy, it's good to see safety drills rehearsed at sea.