Safety & Security
The shipboard environment is very different from working ashore. The ship may be hundreds of miles from the nearest fire station or emergency service, so the ship’s crew must know how to respond and manage every situation. You will be expected to carry out your part in the Ship’s Emergency Response Plan (ERP); training and drills will teach you how to carry out your duties. Remember, emergencies can happen at any time and you should always be capable of carrying out your duties even outside of your work time.
The information below covers basic emergency response and safety/security policies and procedures.
Blue Emergency Station Card
On joining the ship, you receive a blue Emergency Station Card from your supervisor and are taken to your Crew Alert Station before the ship sails for an explanation of your duties. The blue card contains important safety information. You should read this card carefully and carry it to all drills, along with your life jacket, warm clothing, and head covering. If you are in doubt about any of your emergency duties, or do not understand the language on your blue card, ask your supervisor.
These are a requirement and are held regularly. You will be expected to take an active part—no one is exempt from these drills unless exempted by their Head of Department after approval from the Staff Captain. You must always wear a hat/head covering and warm clothing during Emergency Drills.
Health and Safety
Your health and safety, and that of your colleagues, is of the utmost importance. The ship’s officers and shore authorities frequently conduct safety inspections. Please be sure to follow all safety instructions and report any hazards or unsafe practices or equipment to your supervisor immediately.
The Health, Environmental, Safety, and Security (HESS) Committee—made up of elected representatives from all departments—meets monthly. You may present suggestions for improving the safe, healthy, and hygienic operation of the ship to your representative at any time.
Personal protective clothing and safety equipment will be provided and you will be shown how to use it. This equipment must be used by those involved in work of a potentially hazardous nature. If protective clothing becomes damaged in any way, report it to your supervisor. A replacement will then be provided free of charge. Never block any item of safety equipment. Ensure that escape routes are kept clear at all times.
First Stage Response
In the event of a fire or other emergency, the Officer of the Watch will call for the First Stage Response—a group of key personnel who will investigate the incident. No action is required by other crew members, although you should be aware of the incident’s location and listen for further announcements or signals.
The continuous ringing of the alarms indicates a crew alert. On hearing this signal, go to your cabin and collect your life jacket, warm clothing, essential medication, and a head covering, then proceed to your crew alert position.
General Emergency Alarm
Seven short blasts and one long blast of the alarms and ship’s whistle alert passengers to go to their cabins and collect their life jackets, warm clothing, and essential medication and proceed to their Muster Station.
Boat Muster Station
This is where crew assemble when ordered to abandon ship. You should familiarize yourself with your designated station. Upon direction from the Bridge, report immediately to your station.
This command is given verbally over the radio by the Captain. This will not normally be broadcast over the ship’s public address system.
In-Port Manning (IPM)
Statutory requirements mandate that a number of crew members must stay on board when the ship is in port to assist passengers in case of emergency. Your supervisor will post IPM information and advise you when you are required to serve. As far as possible, IPM is covered by staff already on duty.
Always keep your life jacket in its designated place in your cabin when it is not being used—do not store it in a locker, cupboard, or elsewhere outside your cabin. Alert your supervisor immediately if there is no life jacket in your cabin when you first arrive or if your life jacket becomes damaged.
Three long blasts on the ship’s whistle indicate a person has gone overboard. If you see anyone jump, fall, or be pushed overboard, throw a life buoy or anything that floats over the side of the ship and inform the Bridge as quickly as possible.
The Security Office issues each crewmember a Laminex photo ID (A-Pass), which is your official ship ID. Look after your A-Pass at all times and never lend it to anyone else. Similarly, never use another crewmember’s A-Pass. To ensure the ship’s safety and security, you are required to show your A-Pass when leaving and returning to the ship. If you lose your A-Pass, you must report it to your supervisor immediately and be aware that disciplinary action will be taken against you. When you leave the ship at the end of your contract, you must return your A-Pass to the Crew Manager.
Ship Safety and Security
During your first two weeks on board you will be required to attend two orientation sessions. Pay attention during these and ask questions if you are unsure of anything. You should have three safety booklets in your cabin:
- An Introduction to Safety at Sea
- Basic Sea Survival
- Fires on Ships
If you are a Stairway Guide or Muster Personnel, you will attend a separate training session. If you have any questions or need additional information, speak with your supervisor or department manager.
Fire is one of the most dangerous hazards at sea. In your cabin, never hang anything over or on lamp shades. You are not allowed to have naked flames or candles in your cabin. If your work involves heat, either in the Galley or the Engine Room, take extra care. Never leave anything unattended on a hot plate, stove, or deep-fat fryer. Remove any item from the stove and isolate the power before you walk away.
If you see smoke or discover a fire, you must immediately raise the alarm by activating one of the manual red fire alarms located throughout the ship. If the fire is small and you are not going to put yourself in danger, you can then make one attempt to extinguish the fire using an appropriate extinguisher (as described on your blue Emergency Station Card and shown to you during Tier 1 Crew Orientation). Try to contain the fire by closing fire-screen or cabin doors and evacuate the area by knocking on cabin doors and shouting “Fire.” Try to telephone the Bridge (14000) and tell the Officer of the Watch exactly what you’ve seen and done and then, if safe to do so, wait for the Assessment Party to arrive.
These are a statutory requirement and are held before the ship sails on each cruise and at various times thereafter. Your supervisor may ask you to be present at these drills.
Splashtight and Watertight Doors
The officer responsible for safety will provide an induction prior to the vessel’s departure, including information on the safe operation of splashtight and watertight doors. When at sea, if the watertight doors are closed, do not open them. Instead, use the emergency exit. If the doors are about to close or are closing, do not walk through them. Violating either policy is not only a disciplinary offense but is dangerous and could injure or kill you.
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