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Old 11-11-2013, 22:35   #1
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Great Read

Excellent article on disaster preparedness and response.

Lessons of the BOUNTY | WoodenBoat Magazine
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Old 14-11-2013, 07:07   #2
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Re: Great Read

Just finished reading it. "Excellent" hardly begins to describe it. It is far more than a rehash of what happened on the Bounty. It includes a LOT of information about processes and procedures that all seamen should practice, that may have helped to avoid the Bounty tragedy.

A couple of brief quotes that I found especially enlightening:

"Experience in a vacuum doesn’t make us smarter."

"Bridge Resource Management is required to be studied by all who wish to be internationally licensed seamen, because it has been recognized that several heads are much better than one... When done properly, this Bridge Team can amass much more useful information than any captain ever did alone... The officers must be allowed, and encouraged, to contribute, and they should be allowed and encouraged to express their views, but in the end it must still be the captain’s responsibility to make the decision, and he or she has the right to expect officers to support that decision... until those officers (and possibly the crew) feel that there is an inherently unsafe situation. It is a catch-22. You must contribute to the decision. You must expect the captain to make the decision. You must support the decision. But then, if you think that decision is dangerous, you must do something. [This] requires a culture of professionalism and mutual respect, and that is much harder to teach than Navigation and Rules of the Road."

"...You must be able to assess and evaluate all the things that make up your margin of safety, and acknowledge each failure of equipment or loss of function that chips away at it. It is critical that they be viewed in sum, not in isolation. It is a proactive process, not a reactive one. You must build in safety margins deliberately, and recognize them when they fall away."

"It used to be an accepted standard that a ship was safer at sea than in port in the event of a severe storm. However, it used to be that the ship was more important to the owners than its crew was. Nowadays, our priority is to protect the crew first, and the ship second. This may require staying put even though the ship herself is threatened."

"An automobile accident happens so fast it’s probably over before you know it’s happening... But a ship sinking at sea can be a slow process, and unless there is a catastrophic failure such as a major collision, you may be gradually overcome by events and it may be difficult to identify the moment when things have gotten out of hand."

[Interesting comments relevant for anyone who takes on crew that are not family members]

"Imagine... immediately being asked to provide a long list of information, such as: crew list, contact information for next of kin, insurance information... You will face the terrible task of calling the families of the crew, including perhaps telling parents that a son or daughter is dead or missing. You might be asked for.. the ship’s plans, an inventory of survival equipment and communications equipment, and vessel tracking data. The list goes on and on, and it may still be the middle of the night.

"If you haven’t ever planned for this kind of event... you may be instantly overwhelmed and project to the world an image of disorganization and incompetence. That could shift the attitude from one of sympathy to hostility very quickly..."

Seriously--read the whole article. Worth far more than the time it will take you to read it.
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Old 14-11-2013, 07:21   #3
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Re: Great Read

I have been especially reflecting on his comments about experience. We generally assume experience makes us safer, but I find his argument that the opposite can be true very compelling.
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