Costa Concordia and cruise ship’s boat drill law

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People who work on the cruise ship know how important boat drills are for the safety.
Boat drills for passengers are a must-do within 24 hours of departure of the ship by international law. The cruise line I work for chooses to perform a boat drill for passengers before departure, like many other cruise lines. The boat drill in general is a simulation of the emergency onboard the ship. It prepares passengers to be aware of the escape routes and the location of their emergency station, where the boats are. All the ships are different; sometimes the lifejackets are situated in the cabins, sometimes on the deck where the boats are. Crew has a boat drill every week, or once in 10 days, which is obligatory to attend. Also every crew member has many safety trainings and is not allowed onboard without necessary certificates. We are tough about safety on the ship and emergencies that can happen and panic us have to avoid. We all are part of the evacuation teams, whose main task is to help passengers to find their way out and be safe.


Then again, when a real emergency happens, the human instincts work first; even after being told millions of times that guests are first. We are all human beings and when panic starts, it doesn’t matter no more who you are, rich or poor, passenger or crew or the captain, everybody tries to survive that’s all. In the most recent episode with Costa Concordia, journalists were saying that crew were rushing out to the boats in front of passengers, which is of course shocking and not acceptable. Why then nobody mentions brave people who were their helping other people first, not thinking of saving their lives. If you decide to stay and help, is a brave choice, but a very risky one as well, might be you won’t be able save your life afterwards. Many passengers from Costa Concordia were saying that after emergency happened, not alarm was sounded for like an hour. Well, first of all it is a big decision for the captain and his team to sound Abandon ship alarm. First, they have to try make all emergency teams work together, coordinate their actions and see if they can avoid abandon ship operation. They have to be sure that the ship can’t stay floating n longer. If it can, then it is safer for people to stay onboard, than to get in evacuation process. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be too long, so if it is necessary to abandon ship, it won’t be too late.

Costa Concordia was lucky that the part of the ship still remained above the sea level and they were not in the middle of Atlantic ocean doing one of the cross Atlantic itineraries many cruise ships do.


I still believe that cruise ships traveling is the safest kind of transportations nowadays. It’s beautiful and enjoyable time for the passengers, amazing way of traveling around the world and being paid for this for crew.

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