The tragedy in Italy this weekend has definitely shaken many individuals who will be traveling on cruise ships, no doubt. While we are awaiting the causative details of this tragedy, we already know that Captain Francesco Schettino had deviated from the ship's charted course. Five fatalities are the current count as of this writing, with many more injured amongst the 4,000 passengers and crew. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those whose hearts are grief-stricken from this event.
I, for one, have been curious since the unfolding of this accident, as to how one might be prepared for having to abandon ship? What should I consider in such an event and what kinds of unique supplies would enhance my EDC on a cruise? Here are the main points of what I have found, but please continue your studies to fit other potential situations:
- Be sure to have the appropriate PFD (Personal Flotation Device) secured & worn properly.
- Be sure to have an EPIRB (Emergency Positioning Indicator Radio Beacon) with you whenever you're out on open waters, and activate it immediately when abandoning ship is imminent.
- Grab the “ditch-bag” if possible, as well as any other flotsam (potentially useful objects) before evacuating, if possible…i.e. fresh water/filter/purifier
- Secure a safe distance from the sinking vessel within a life-raft/dinghy.
- Assist other victims as possible.
- Maintain calm & gather available resources. This includes provisions & means of shelter to reduce exposure to the elements.
- If with others, establish clear communication & priorities.
- Assess & continually reassess provisions, situation, & opportunities.
- Don't lose hope, maintain morale.
- Abandoning Ship Procedural Recommendations
- Advice for your “Abandon Ship Bag”
- Distress Signals
- How to Abandon Ship
- What to do if your ship capsizes?