Thursday, September 15, 2011
A cruise ship caught on fire off the coast of Oslo, Norway killing two crew and injuring nine forcing all the passengers to evacuate the cruise ship. Preliminary investigations reveal that there had been an explosion in the ships engine room causing a fire that led to the death of two crew members and injuring nine others. Everyone was evacuated safely off the ship and no passengers were hurt. The ship was relatively small, 207 passengers and a crew of 55.
Later in the day, the fire had been reduced and was under control but the vessel had been taking on water and listing to one side. The main challenge now is the stability of the ship in an effort to keep it from sinking.
The fire started at 9:20 am local time and the passengers were all safely evacuated onto the life boats within a matter of minutes. According to the crew, everything went smoothly and there was no panic.
This case is an excellent example of crew preparation and the necessity of educating passengers as to the location of their life vests and the appropriate evacuation procedures. Every cruise ship goes through what is commonly referred to as a “muster” most experienced cruise passengers have been through many musters and they are not much fun. While the chances of actually have to debark a ship under emergency situations such as those experienced by the aforementioned cruise ship are rare, having the experience, wherewithal and knowledge to do it efficiently, calmly, and properly is what saves lives.
It is well known in the industry that the biggest enemy of a ship is a fire. A serious fire can spread quickly and dangerously throughout a ship if not properly contained therefore, it is extremely important that the crew be well versed in the process of evacuation and that the passenger’s cooperate implicitly in the evacuation exercises. If the muster were not practiced by the crew and the passengers, chaos would ensue leading to death and significant injury.
The crew of the this cruise ship must be commended for its excellent execution of the evacuation process and no doubt saved lives and prevented injury.