Rethinking Cruise Ship Emergency Evacuations and the 19th Century “Solution”: Life Boats

22 04 2019

At the Flying Cuttlefish we have covered two big maritime disasters, the Costa Concordia wreck and the recent Viking Sky near-disaster.

The current large cruise ships are much larger than ships of the past yet they rely on a safety protocol that is a century old.  At the Flying Cuttlefish we cannot help but think there needs to be an entire over-haul of this safety system.

Today there are much more modern materials to utilize and new computer modeling to test out ideas with little expense.

At the turn of the century the safety-net for cruise passengers was the life boat.  Over 100 years later this idea may need a new approach.

  • Ships today are quite a bit larger
  • Recent mishaps have shown flaws in the “old” system.

Let’s look at some common denominators in recent cruise ship incidents.

The problem with these ship disasters, listed above, seems to be once the ship starts to tilt (list) the life-boat launch plan goes out the window.  The most modern, improved life-boat cannot be lowered because the angle of the ship prevents it.  The life-boat idea works great in a calm lagoon but fails in real-time situations with a vessel listing as it takes on water for x,y,z reason.  It also fails in high seas, as in the nearly disastrous Viking Sky incident.

What we are thinking is the whole cruise ship evacuation plan needs to be redone.  Forget about the damn life-boats.  They are for trawlers.
Let’s think about airline escape chutes and box cutters.

The science of plastics and rapid-inflation have improved vastly in recent decades.  Think about automobile air-bags and the material used to make a Zodiac water craft.
And think about the idea of the snap-off box cutter.  Think.  You put out a small sharp edge and to get another you ‘snap’ it off.  It is pre-cut to make the next edge.
Cannot a rapid-inflate life-raft be made to ‘snap’ off a rapid-inflatable chute in the same manner?
Cannot 100 life-rafts be peeled off like toilet paper to create many rescue crafts in a hurry NO MATTER WHAT THE LIST OF THE PARENT VESSEL?





4 responses

22 04 2019

RE: the last image and aircraft carrier elevators –


28 04 2019
Keith Mandeville

I used a small packing machine at work that spits out little pillows to protect the contents in a box. The machine used a roll of flat plastic pillows. The roll would be electronically fed through the small machine. The flat plastic pillow passed by the inflator at the bottom of the small machine as an inflated pillow for packaging. Within 2 or 3 seconds 10 popped out. They could easily do the same thing with life rafts.


28 04 2019

This is the kind of thing they need. A whole new re-do.


2 05 2019


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