Ex-cruise worker shares reality behind lifeboats

Jane McDonald discusses cruising in 2017

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Cruise ship emergencies are a rare occurrence, although they do still happen, which is why safety is paramount onboard. Despite this, a former cruise ship employee revealed a statistic about lifeboat supplies which might sound rather worrying at first.

The ex-cruise worker, who has not disclosed which company they worked for, shared “secrets I learned working on a cruise ship” in a TikTok video posted by the viral entertainment page @attn.

In the video, they explained: “They are only required to have enough lifeboats for 75 percent of people onboard.

“Now, before you start figuring out if you and Jack can both fit on the door, ships are also required to have enough life rafts to make up for the other 25 percent. But which one would you rather be on?”

YouTube channel Casual Navigation went on to further explain that this is perfectly legal based on decisions made at the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea.

@attn Oh, theres also a morgue onboard ������… #yourewelcome #cruise #cruiselife ♬ original sound – attn:

They said: “You may or may not know that legally cruise ships do not actually need to carry enough lifeboats for everyone onboard.

“In fact, The Safety of Life at Sea Convention, the one that came in after the Titanic disaster, specifically states that the minimum number of lifeboats that a passenger ship needs must accommodate only 37.5 percent of the ship’s capacity on either side.

“That’s only 75 percent of the total number onboard. The other 25 percent may be accommodated in life rafts instead.”

Part of the reason behind this decision is down to how much space lifeboats take up when attached to the side of a ship.

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Blogger Cruise Mummy explained: “There is always provision for every person on board a ship to be safely rescued, but physically it would be almost impossible to provide enough lifeboats for everyone on the ship.

“Lifeboats can only take up so much space along each side of the ship, and they need to be able to be lowered to the ocean.

“Also, lifeboats need a person on the ship to launch them, so there has to be an alternate way for them to then evacuate the ship. They could hardly jump once the lifeboat has been lowered.”

A life raft is a small, rigid or inflatable boat carried for emergency evacuation in the event of a disaster aboard a ship.

Youtube channel Casual Navigation explained: “Small life rafts only have a capacity for between one and six people taking them light enough to deploy manually.

“On a ship, however, things are a little different. Their rafts are much larger, often with a capacity for 25 people making them much heavier and much harder to launch.

“[They typically] weigh around 180kg. Much of that weight is the drinking water they need which is one and a half litres per person.”

They can float free from a sinking vessel, although the hope is that you can launch them before the ship sinks.

Most often, passengers board before it is lowered into the water, although most ships also have a rope ladder to allow people to climb down and board at water level if needed.

Life rafts and lifeboats are best kept together, close to where the ship sinks, for the best chance of survival.

This is because the ship’s bridge will send out signals when in danger, each of which shares the ship’s location.

Therefore, this is the area search and rescue teams will first begin looking for passengers and crew.

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