01 June 2015
Under Control: Safety Procedures for Cruise Ship Fires
The headline-grabbing stories in the news of accidents at sea are enough to put you off your dream holiday cruise but are you aware of the safety measures required of all cruise lines?
Recently in the headlines was the news of a P&O cruise liner that was in need of assistance in getting back to port when a fire ignited in the ship's engine room. The cruise ship had departed Miami and was helped back to the port by tug boats following a distress call to the US Coast Guard when the fire broke out. Damages were minor and, fortunately, no passengers were injured. But the event of a fire on board a ship is that of nightmares for many. At the very least, the thought of a fire is a disturbance to the idyllic, peaceful bliss most have in mind when planning to book a cruise for their holiday.
Rare scenarios, as depicted above, are infrequent, isolated accidents. The details of such a scenario also do not do much to inspire images of safety and wellbeing, with the thought that the ship’s engines are cut in the event of a fire. However, extensive safety precautions and contingency plans are in place in the event of any accident on a cruise ship, meaning that you only need to worry about enjoying the sea and sun.
Regulations are in place by the United Nation’s International Maritime Organisation that ensures all cruise lines abide by strict health and safety requirements. These requirements are rigorous, extending far beyond that which you will likely notice on your cruise holiday.
Behind the scenes, cruise ship crews undertake extensive training, certification, drills and practice scenarios in fire-fighting and life-saving for emergency situations, including proficient practice of the evacuation of a ship.
Safety equipment is appropriately placed throughout a cruise ship, including lifeboats and rafts, disabled access, fire retardation equipment, along with a surplus number of life jackets. Testing of these precautions and equipment are carried out weekly and, at the start of a voyage, guests are required to participate in a safety drill, ensuring that you know what to do in the event of an emergency.
In prevention of fires, cruise ships are to comply with industry standards by employing designs to allow the isolation of fire and smoke, including smoke management systems, fire doors, smoke dampers, pressurised hallways and segregated ventilation systems so that a fire and its equally hazardous smoke may be kept from passengers.
Read one of our past blogs on fires on board a cruise ship here.
If you or a member of your family was injured at sea on board a cruise ship, a yacht or whilst scuba diving, either if you were working on board ship or on holiday; Slater and Gordon No Win, No Fee Solicitors can help you with your claim for compensation. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.