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Old 24-02-2013, 20:08   #1
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Cruise Ships & Life Boats?

From an article in today's NYTimes discussing the spate of recently disabled cruise liners and related safety issues:

"Oasis of the Seas is daunting. It carries enough lifeboats for 6,500 people; or 1,000 seats fewer than its maximum capacity. "

I had thought that after Titanic, there were changes in international conventions ensuring that all cruise ships would have to carry adequate lifeboat capacity for everyone aboard. But apparently Oasis is allowed to carry only some 85% of what might be needed.

Has the Times mispoke? Or are the cruise lines really being allowed to set themselves up for another disaster at sea?


[Mods, if this would be better off in another section, please feel free.]
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Old 24-02-2013, 20:27   #2
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Re: Cruise Ships & Life Boats?

give every 12th passenger a gun...................
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Old 25-02-2013, 08:16   #3
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Re: Cruise Ships & Life Boats?

“... Both U.S. and foreign flag passenger vessels on international voyages must have sufficient lifeboats and life rafts on board to accommodate l00 percent of the total number of persons on board (SOLAS Regulation 1llf21.1.1 and 46 CPR l99.2U1(b)(1)).
At least 75 percent of this capacity must be lifeboats. Further, the references (a) and (b) require equal distribution lifeboat and life rafi arrangements on both sides of the vessel.
In addition, the vessel must have additional life rafts to accommodate 25 percent of the total number of persons on board (SOLAS Regulation llIr’21.l.2 and 46 CF R 1.99.20l(b)(2)).
As an example, a foreign-flag passenger ship which may carry 4000
passengers and crew must have survival craft for 5000 persons, of which lifeboats must serve at least 3000 persons ...”

http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/csncoe/do...aft%20NFFS.pdf
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Old 25-02-2013, 08:27   #4
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Re: Cruise Ships & Life Boats?

I think Gord nailed it. Perhaps their combined lifeboat and liferaft capacity is at 100%? Being a little cynical here, perhaps the NY Times intentionally left out this little fact to make the cruise line look bad?
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Old 25-02-2013, 09:00   #5
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Re: Cruise Ships & Life Boats?

Thanks, Gord.

David, the Times often has an agenda but cruising is good for business which is good for the city and for newspaper circulation, so unless they've got a vendetta...I'd just write it off to simple incompetence. Casually not mentioning "there are liferafts for the other thousand."

In the 70's when finance companies were buying up newspapers and tv stations because they were so popular, and then trimming those ridiculous news department costs, there was a story. Bigshot MBA comes down to the Times to check out the newsroom, and sees five reporters just sitting in a back room playing poker and smoking. He says, well, that's gotta go, we're not paying reporters to play cards, obviously you don't need them. And the news editor replies, oh no, you don't understand. They're just playing cards while they are waiting.
Waiting for what?
Well, if the Queen Mary sinks at the dock while a Pan Am flight crash lands at JFK and someone is shot at the UN so the mayor has a heart attack, we'll be able to cover all the news and still have just one spare reporter.

These days? Forget hiring anyone with technical experience, or hiring copy editors and proofreaders and fact checkers. I wonder if the cruise line was too scared, or just too cheap, to offer to comp the Times on sending a reporter on a cruise to actually see what the experience is.

Or they could try the Disney approach: "Castaway LifeBoat Experience! You and your family and fifty of your new best friends will spend seven days and six nights in a lifeboat aboard our newest cruise ship! Better view than an outside cabin!" and you can charge 'em extra while solving that pesky trade-off between boat space and cabin space.<G>
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Old 25-02-2013, 09:21   #6
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Re: Cruise Ships & Life Boats?

Yep. They didnt include life rafts.

Journalists never let the facts interfere with a good scare-mongering story.
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Old 25-02-2013, 09:35   #7
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Re: Cruise Ships & Life Boats?

Scare mongering, yup. Hey, now that the Times is too small to wrap fish, they have to find some other reason to sell it.

But as they also point out, with the exception of Concordia, the cruise industry has been very lucky in that there have been a number of recent fires, a number of ships dead in the water, and so far, very very lucky that the weather has been damned near perfect. I'd hate to be on one of those top-heavy actively-stabilized behemoths with no power, taking 30 knot winds and 20 foot seas. Without the stabilizers, beam to, just how far might they roll?

If nothing else, someone needs to figure out how to get some more capable tow vessels deployed faster. Maybe throw a two dollar "rescue fee" onto each ticket, and ask the nearest warship to come throw a line, with the taxi meter running.

Or perhaps, to just set up more portosans outboard of the stern rail.<G>
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Old 25-02-2013, 09:43   #8
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Re: Cruise Ships & Life Boats?

They make look unstable, but they all meet very strict build regulations and stability requirements ( that dontn take into account stabilisers). Arguably they are better built then the titanic was.


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Old 25-02-2013, 09:47   #9
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Re: Cruise Ships & Life Boats?

Once one of these tubs lists to a certain point half the lifeboats become useless.
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Old 25-02-2013, 10:20   #10
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post

Or they could try the Disney approach: "Castaway LifeBoat Experience! You and your family and fifty of your new best friends will spend seven days and six nights in a lifeboat aboard our newest cruise ship! Better view than an outside cabin!" and you can charge 'em extra while solving that pesky trade-off between boat space and cabin space.<G>
Does the lifeboats have a composting head and do you have to tote away your own pee?

Just curious.
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Old 25-02-2013, 11:08   #11
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Re: Cruise Ships & Life Boats?

dave, how far does that stability take into account "dead in the water" broadside during a storm with 5000 passengers all trying to reach an upper deck because there's sewage in the dark cabins below?

Even when everything is working, bow-on, in 20' seas they get a good tossing around.
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Old 28-02-2013, 08:43   #12
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Re: Cruise Ships & Life Boats?

Statistics, like art and pornography, are in the eye of the beholder. Or so I'm told.
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Old 28-02-2013, 08:47   #13
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Re: Cruise Ships & Life Boats?

3 days, with 5 other crew, 200 miles north of Bermuda, in June 1922, in a 12ft ships boat, before a southbound steamer picked them up.
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