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View Full Version : Could a Titanic type tragedy happen with modern cruise ships?


constructiondude
February 16th, 2007, 10:40 PM
This is just one of those what if postings. I thought about it during the muster drill on the Oosterdam. I'm sure everyone knows how crowded it is around the staircases at the beginning and end of the drills and I have trouble believing people would be able to locate their lifeboat stations even after participating in the drill. I also think there would be panic and chaos because its just human nature. And what about all those people on CopperJohns cruise that tripped on the life jacket strings? Could you imagine if it was real?

On the travel channel they did a cruise documentary to Alaska that featured one of Royal Caribbean's ships, I forgot which one. It was sailing out of Vancouver and they had their drill the day after sail away. I thought what if the ship sank that first night? Maybe its just in the U.S. that they require it to be done immediately.

What would you all do during a disaster? Do you think you can manage to get off the ship without incident? Or do you see yourselves setting off on your own like Jack n Rose? Or would you rather just sit there and wait for the ship to magically restore itself like the Poseidon's passengers chose? There have been a number of documented disasters such as the Andrea Doria where a certain number of the lifeboats were useless....and modern ships don't seem to have any back up plans if this were to be the case. Does that mean we'd be back to women and children first?

Chivalrygirl
February 16th, 2007, 10:44 PM
Well CD my chief concern is the fact that the cruise lines are pushing and considering taking super liners down to the Antartic, I can see that as a disaster waiting to happen, there is no way a ship with say 3500 people could be rescued. There are enough minor disasters down there now, the thought of a super line in trouble is totally mind boggling.

constructiondude
February 16th, 2007, 10:55 PM
I thought about that in Glacier Bay when the Park Ranger told us that the water is so cold you'd be instantly paralyzed. In a panic, people would probably fall over or start pushing/shoving causing other people to fall over. And can you imagine if it was at night without a moon? There was no moon for my Mexico trip and it was pitch black! Even with a fast response from planes, helicopters, coast guard cutters and other cruise ships, I still think there would be casualties.

Also, landslides large enough to cause tsunamis have occured in Alaska which would be devastating if a ship was cornered in a place like Glacier Bay.

Grumpy1
February 16th, 2007, 11:06 PM
The short answer is, yes it is possible for a catastrophy equal to or greater than the Titanic to happen. But it is so unlikely to happen that I'm not going to worry about it. The odds are probably about the same as one particular town in California being destroyed by an earthquake on any given day, or my home being swallowed by a Florida sinkhole.

If you check the statistics, you're probably safer on the cruise ship than you are driving to and from work. So, if you want to stay alive... book a cruise.:D

constructiondude
February 16th, 2007, 11:16 PM
This thread isn't about worrying or causing anyone to worry. It was the furthest thing from my mind anytime I've sailed and I only thought about it during relevant activities like the muster drill and park ranger talk.

Just like with the design your own ship thread, I'm just making conversation which a lot of us like to do in here. Read the very first sentence I wrote.

mechcc
February 16th, 2007, 11:22 PM
The visable lifeboats that we are all familiar with are not the only lifeboats on board. There are numerous "lifeboats in a can" or actually lifeboats that are the inflatable type that are stored on decks in large metal canisters. Therefore, in a real emergency, there are lifeboats on board to take over for those big comfortable ones that may not be accessable. But then again, most disasters are unpredictable, and most disasters result in compensation in case it happens again.

Navy_Chief
February 16th, 2007, 11:27 PM
The visable lifeboats that we are all familiar with are not the only lifeboats on board. There are numerous "lifeboats in a can" or actually lifeboats that are the inflatable type that are stored on decks in large metal canisters. Therefore, in a real emergency, there are lifeboats on board to take over for those big comfortable ones that may not be accessable. But then again, most disasters are unpredictable, and most disasters result in compensation in case it happens again.
Those "cans" contain 25 man inflatable rafts that will self inflate and return to the surface if a ship were to sink. They are there for the crew. They are identical to those we carry on navy ships. There is more chance of being hit by lightening than a ship striking an iceburg.

constructiondude
February 16th, 2007, 11:48 PM
What is with everyone tonight....nobody is talking about a friggin iceberg!!

Sheesh....

There are numerous things that can happen: fires, terrorism, running aground, being rammed by another ship, alien invasion....but this is all beside the point. The title of this thread is not "what would happen if a modern cruiseship hit an iceberg?". The idea behind this thread is do you believe a modern cruiseship could be evacuated without any panic, trampling injuries or fatalities of any kind regardless of the circumstances???

Chivalrygirl is right on the money because she brings up the point of being out at sea in an isolated part of the world which might trump any modern day advantages we have gained since the Titanic disaster 95 years ago.

hammybee
February 16th, 2007, 11:49 PM
The odds are probably about the same as my home being swallowed by a Florida sinkhole.

With your newfound HOA responsibilities this year, this might even be on your agenda. :)

Aussie Gal
February 17th, 2007, 12:01 AM
What is with everyone tonight....nobody is talking about a friggin iceberg!!

Chivalrygirl is right on the money because she brings up the point of being out at sea in an isolated part of the world which might trump any modern day advantages we have gained since the Titanic disaster 95 years ago.

We did think about this type of accident at sea last year when we were on our way down to Antarctica in a Force 11 gale with no ships, helicoptors etc. near us. My DH said to me "Well we are on our own now and if anything happens to us there is no-one around to come to our aid"

This was so true, as we were miles from anywhere. Most of us board a ship and don't worry about what could happen to us which is just as well as it could ruin a good vacation. A fire on board ship is my greatest worry and if I smell smoke I do panic.

Jennie

middle-aged mom
February 17th, 2007, 12:26 AM
What is with everyone tonight....nobody is talking about a friggin iceberg!!



.......

Dude:

Your question says "Titanic type tragedy". The Titanic hit an iceberg, therefore the iceberg connection.

And yes, tragedy both can and does strike anytime, anywhere, in all kinds of conditions, whether we are at peace or at war, travelling by ship, plane, or car, or even just at home.......and despite our technology, nature is a powerful force beyond our total control.....as we all realize.

kryos
February 17th, 2007, 02:48 AM
Since I have no intention of sailing to Anartica or even Alaska in the near future, I'm not gonna worry about the iceberg connection.

My real fear aboard a cruise ship is terrorism. I firmly believe that the next attack against the U.S. is not gonna be via an airplane, but rather involve a ship. What better target, from a terrorist's standpoint, than one of the large cruise ship terminals ... on a weekend ... when there are five or six ships doing a turnaround. A couple of truckloads of explosives and the loss of human life would be catastrophic. And, the ships wouldn't even be out to sea ... the disaster would play out right at the dock.

This is my big fear with cruising ... and I don't start to breathe easier until we have pulled safely away from the dock.

Blue skies ...

--rita

Bellalu
February 17th, 2007, 03:26 AM
I have wondered about the whole panic/confusion/crush of people sort of thing in a fire, explosion or something catastrophic like that on a ship.

When I was a teenager I went to a concert and people were upset about having to wait so long to get in, that by the time the doors did open, everyone began pushing and shoving. In the crush of people I was pushed so hard against a glass partition that I thought I would either suffocate or crash through the glass. It was a very frightening experience. I don't like being in crowds to this day.

I guess it's something that I don't like to think about, but I do hope that the cruise line have thought of different crisis senarios and planned accordingly.

Navy_Chief
February 17th, 2007, 06:58 AM
As far as modern goes, maybe we sould be looking more at the Andrea Doria instead of Titantic. That ship managed to evacuate and the only loss of life happened in the collision. 1660 people were rescued and 46 died.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Andrea_Doria

u4ea
February 17th, 2007, 08:38 AM
Hello cd and all. I’ll weigh in on this one. Anything can “happen” that could cause an evacuation as mentioned, but he seems to be wondering about peoples behaviors during an emergency. Bottom line is there will be an array of behaviors. As you see from the drills, there are knuckleheads who don’t listen, that would be one type of response. Depending on the gravity of the situation, there will be some panicking perhaps jumping etc., and also those behaving in what’s know as “stress response” in that they would be disregarding others to save their own ass. The majority would be obedient, and there would be some heroes too. No one really knows how one would react until placed in the real situation. Well, that’s my babble, but I would start to worry it you hear the captain yell out “Ramming speed!!”:D
Mark….

sab490
February 17th, 2007, 08:48 AM
As I understand it, most of the loss of life on Titanic was due to an insufficient number of lifeboats and lack of an emergency plan. Both of these issues are addressed on modern cruise ships. Could something catastrophic happen despite these measures? Sure, but the chances of massive loss of life are much less. I agree that the biggest threat (and my greatest fear) is terrorism. I think about it every time I board a ship and notice how lax the screening is when compared to boarding a airplane.

- Steve

penwah2002
February 17th, 2007, 09:08 AM
We are leaving on the 2/28 sailing of the Noordam, my DH, and two other couples. My husbands best friend (Chris) since 4th grade and his wife are joining us along with a another couple. We have had to talk Chris down a couple times due to his anxiety about the upcoming cruise. We are packing brown paper bags for him. Instead of worring about sinking he is worried about BIRD FLU. So don't anyone on the this sailing yell BIRD FLU. Thank you.

bishop84
February 17th, 2007, 11:57 AM
This is just one of those what if postings. I thought about it during the muster drill on the Oosterdam. I'm sure everyone knows how crowded it is around the staircases at the beginning and end of the drills and I have trouble believing people would be able to locate their lifeboat stations even after participating in the drill. I also think there would be panic and chaos because its just human nature. And what about all those people on CopperJohns cruise that tripped on the life jacket strings? Could you imagine if it was real?

On the travel channel they did a cruise documentary to Alaska that featured one of Royal Caribbean's ships, I forgot which one. It was sailing out of Vancouver and they had their drill the day after sail away. I thought what if the ship sank that first night? Maybe its just in the U.S. that they require it to be done immediately.

What would you all do during a disaster? Do you think you can manage to get off the ship without incident? Or do you see yourselves setting off on your own like Jack n Rose? Or would you rather just sit there and wait for the ship to magically restore itself like the Poseidon's passengers chose? There have been a number of documented disasters such as the Andrea Doria where a certain number of the lifeboats were useless....and modern ships don't seem to have any back up plans if this were to be the case. Does that mean we'd be back to women and children first?


Constructiondude, The simple answer is yes it could happen! However modern ships are much better equipped and crews trained that those of old. As a result of the Titanic disaster the first international conventions concerning safety of life at sea were created. These have been continuously updated as new knowledge and technology becomes available. For example Titanic did not have enough lifeboats for all its passengers and crew whereas modern ships must have, IIRC, 125% more capacity in their lifeboats and rafts than there are people on board. Also ships are inspected several times a year by organizations such as the US Coastguard and the equivalent to ensure that the safety equipment is working.

I read on a website, not sure whose site but something I found when I Googled the subject, that its estimated that about 30% of passengers would do NOTHING, ala Poseidon, if the alarms sounded. Also that in an abandon ship situation a 10-20% fatality rate would be considered "acceptable". However that said it also mentioned 2 recent incidents, the Achille Lauro and the infamous Oceanus where the ships were evacuated at sea with no casualties.

As for Royal Caribbean holding a drill the day after the ship sailed may I ask if this was a full drill shown on the documentary? All ships are required by International Law to hold a drill before sailing after embarking the passengers. What may have been shown could have been a limited drill for passengers who embarked late or missed the main drill. I know that on HAL if you are recorded as missing the drill you get a letter "inviting" you to a drill the next day (not through personal experience though!).

leoandhugh
February 17th, 2007, 12:39 PM
Panic can and will happen any time there is potential for death and disaster. On cruise ships the best deterrent is a well-trained,level headed crew who know just what to do in an emergency. And that is exactly why drills for the crew are a constant practice. All modern cruise ships have many compartments and water tight doors which hopefully would limit the amount of water coming in to the hull.
The worst potential for disaster is fire on board; yes, some may die from smoke inhalation, but the majority would survive because fire can often be retained in areas by use of sprinklers and other firefighting equipment. But when one considers the thousands of passengers on cruise ships on any one day, and the actual occurences, the statistics show you are in less danger on a cruise ship than on the highway.
As for lifeboat muster, although most ships do that before the ship actually departs, they are required to do it in the first 24 hours. And as for passengers tripping on cords from life jackets, they do that because they do not listen during muster when you are told to be very careful about not letting the tapes drag causing you to trip. Too many passengers treat muster as a party before the sail away party, and nothing is going to change that unfortunately.
Again IMHO the best deterrent to panic is a trained levelheaded crew who know exactly what to do and where to go in an emergency.

jtl513
February 17th, 2007, 01:03 PM
The idea behind this thread is do you believe a modern cruiseship could be evacuated without any panic, trampling injuries or fatalities of any kind regardless of the circumstances?
Not on a HAL ship: you're almost guaranteed at least one fatal heart attack! :eek:
As for Royal Caribbean holding a drill the day after the ship sailed may I ask if this was a full drill shown on the documentary? What may have been shown could have been a limited drill for passengers who embarked late or missed the main drill.
Or maybe it was something staged strictly for the camera, rather than film the real one? :confused:

LoveMyBoxer
February 17th, 2007, 01:17 PM
I think what Constructiondude was originally asking was if an iceberg could do the type of damage to today's ships (correct me if I'm wrong). My DH just gave his opinion. He believes that anything is possible. However, with the type of flexible steel used in today's ships, the possibility of this happening is low. DH (who is a ship buff) also referenced the Maxim Gorkiy whose bow hit a massive ice flow in June 1989 on its way from Iceland to Spitsbergen, and began to sink.The Captain made a distress call and the 575 passengers as well as 120 of the 378 crew members abandoned the "Maxim Gorkiy". At about 3 A.M. the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel "Senja" arrived at the scene of the accident. Divers from the Norwegian ship tried to insulate the leaks and additional pumps were installed. The vessel's long bow had already sunk up to the main deck when the "Maxim Gorkiy" was finally stabilized. The passengers, who had to hold out in the lifeboats and on ice floes at temperatures near the freezing-point were picked up by helicopters and the "Senja", and were later flown back to Germany from Spitsbergen. On June 21st, the "Maxim Gorkiy" was towed into a bay in Spitsbergen and was provisionally made tight. On July 4th, the vessel arrived under its own power in Bremerhaven were it was repaired and redelivered by Lloyd Werft on August 17th. Cruise Director Winfried Prinz was later awarded the order of the Federal Republic of Germany for his efforts to save the passengers and the ship.

Chivalrygirl
February 17th, 2007, 02:05 PM
We are leaving on the 2/28 sailing of the Noordam, my DH, and two other couples. My husbands best friend (Chris) since 4th grade and his wife are joining us along with a another couple. We have had to talk Chris down a couple times due to his anxiety about the upcoming cruise. We are packing brown paper bags for him. Instead of worring about sinking he is worried about BIRD FLU. So don't anyone on the this sailing yell BIRD FLU. Thank you.

I just love this post, got a loud roar from me. BIRD FLU!! LOL :D

u4ea
February 17th, 2007, 04:08 PM
Since we’re on the subject of Titanic, I know they did extensive research on how the iceberg damaged the hull. What they found out is that the berg didn’t “cut” the steel hull, but rather the pressure caused the rivets that held the plates together to fail and it opened up a “seam” in the hull. As mentioned, fire is the biggest danger now a days, if you hear the fire alarm, take it seriously!
I have to say too, last cruise, I very politely and tactfully corrected a “strap dragger”.:cool:
So where did the cliché come from that says “every man for himself”?
Mark….

goat rancher
February 17th, 2007, 08:25 PM
Gee my problem would be getting off the ship without starting to recite all the lines from Titanic:
..."the ship's bloody sinkin'"
..."Music to drown by...now I KNOW we're in First Class"
..."Half the people on this ship are going to die!"...
"Not the Better Half"
..."I need a knife...I need a knife"
etc, etc.

As you can see I've watched that MUCH too many times:)

misterX
February 17th, 2007, 08:37 PM
Folks, your cruiseline would never put you in any kind of jeopardy.
Relax, enjoy the ride AND BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU CROSS THE STREET AT HOME because statistically you are more likely to be involved in an accident that way then to become a cruise ship casualty...

dougnewmanatsea
February 17th, 2007, 09:20 PM
The simple answer to your question is, "yes". Just about anything could happen. But it is very unlikely to happen.

There have, in fact, been disasters in the modern era involving passenger ships and large loss of life. The most prominent one was the sinking of the Baltic cruise ferry ESTONIA in 1994 which has been called a "modern TITANIC". Perhaps more likely to affect a modern cruise ship would be a situation like that which happened in 1992 to the SCANDINAVIAN STAR. This was a fire in which most of the loss of life occurred when passengers were asphyxiated by the smoke.

Chivalrygirl
February 17th, 2007, 10:49 PM
Am I correct in recalling in yesteryears drills the fire doors were also part of the drill? I have some vague recollections of these doors being closed and being warned that this was going to happen.

sail7seas
February 17th, 2007, 11:14 PM
I seem to recall on occassion some doors being closed during crew drills. I don't think we've ever seen fire doors closed during passenger drills.

As to could it happen? Sure, of course, it's possible though highly unlikely.

Living is a risk. Every day when you get in your car or walk down the street you put yourself at risk.

You can choose to worry your life away or acknowledge risks, take reasonable precautions to avoid unnecessary risk and get on with your life.

babyher
February 18th, 2007, 10:21 AM
Of course anything could happen

I think if it did happen your chance of survival is certainly greater than in 1912. Better safety precautions and training. State of the art radar, satellites, communication technology. Certainly more than enough life boats for everyone. Highly trained air and sea rescue teams.

I do understand what Construction Dude is speaking of though. In the event the ship hits an iceberg today in the same manner The Titanic did. Titanic had hours before the ship sank. In that time, with todays vast improvements, I think with the exception of anyone who may had died on impact. Everyone has a good chance of surviving.

If its matter of some sort of terrorism , an explosive, a plane slamming into the ship. That would depend on so many factors. Obviously a lot more potential for damage and death on impact , a lot more damage to a larger portion of the ship than an iceberg, Who knows how many safety stations will be destroyed . How quickly will this terrorist act cause fire or implosion to race through the ship? How big a hole in the ship will it leave that would cause how much more water to rush in, which will limit time to get off the ship before it sinks.

Certainly a whole bigger scenario than hitting an iceberg.

And the panic factor comes into play as someone mentioned. I was in a department store once when the fire alarm went off. Not a sign of smoke or fire, it had just gone off . The second it went off some woman in the store paniced and literally ran through the store grabbing her son and flew out the door. God help anyone who would have been in her way.

Within a minute they made an announcement that everything was fine, no fire and that one of the fire alarms had been bumped into by a worker moving a pallett of merchandise in the receiveing area of the store.

Imagine this woman and a whole bunch of others in a real emergency?

Randyk47
February 18th, 2007, 11:16 AM
We cruise mainly on Caribbean cruises so we haven't given much thought to hitting an iceberg but thinking more in terms of other emergencies (i.e., striking another ship, fire) we really don't have a lot of concern. We've sailed enough with HAL to feel pretty comfortable on most of their ships, particularly R and S class, and could probably get ourselves pretty much anywhere on the ship from a given point. We don't make a big issue out of it but we do pay attention to the drills, at least in terms of where we should go assuming that point is not blocked off by an emergency.

Panic is another problem. Having experienced one of the 9/11 attacks up close and personal we at least have some idea of how we respond in emergency situations. Of course that's not much help with other people but we both are pretty cool heads and I have no doubts we'd get ourselves out of most any situation. Not saying we have a "been there, done that" attitude and dismiss the potential for another disaster in our life but it has made us more aware and, without verbalizing it to one another, I think we both know what we'd do if there was a problem.

dougnewmanatsea
February 18th, 2007, 03:54 PM
Am I correct in recalling in yesteryears drills the fire doors were also part of the drill? I have some vague recollections of these doors being closed and being warned that this was going to happen.
I have seen fire doors closed as part of crew drills but never the regular passenger boat drill.

It is possible that you have been on ships where fire doors have been closed for a crew drill and the passengers were warned that this would happen, so you would not be alarmed.

Some ships also have watertight doors in passenger areas. (They all have watertight doors on the lower decks; it just depends on whether there are any passenger spaces low down in the ship enough that the doors affect passengers.) As an example, aboard QE2, the lowest deck with cabins (Five Deck) has watertight doors that are usually closed when entering and leaving port, during bad weather, and during drills. Passengers are warned of this as you have to take a specific staircase to get to your Five Deck cabin when the doors are closed. I don't think any of today's HAL ships have this situation, but I could be wrong.

Tinknock50
February 18th, 2007, 09:50 PM
I can not imagine any condition that would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.

julia
February 19th, 2007, 12:04 AM
Very interesting thread CD.... I think I'll add my two cents to the "what if" scenario that you proposed.

My very dear friend is a 68 year old seasoned cruiser and cruising is always one of our favorite topics. About 15 years ago (and forgive my sketchy details on this) she was sailing across the big pond on a major line when, approaching England, they were struck by another vessel just off the coast in the middle of the night. Her recount of that harrowing experience (the jolt, the alarms, the panic, the running down the hall in nightgown) have always stuck with me, and I firmly believe that a disaster at sea can easily happen. She will vividly tell you that they could not report to their muster stations because their lifeboats were NOT there. It was the area that had been hit.

Most fortunately, no one was seriously injured, and their ship was able to limp into the dock the next morning, greeted by panicked family, friends and press. The ship was obviously unable to make it's next sailing (and apparently THOSE cruisers were better compensated than my friend who experienced all of the anxiety onboard!)

From this "first person" account, I have always been cautious when sailing, and while I never take valuables with me, I do keep ALL personal belongings (phone, passports, credits cards, money, etc) in a small hip pack and at "the ready" ALWAYS... ya just never know.

And BTW.... I tend to resent those who think the muster drill is a big joke and so they show up late and act like idiots. They could cost someone their life in a REAL disaster.

joeinsb
February 19th, 2007, 12:05 AM
Here's what I don't get. So many posters express fear of sailing (or flying, probably the most anxiety-producing form of transport), yet they ignore automobile accidents and pedestrian fatilities, which claim far more lives than any cruise ship or airliner disaster. And you know what? There's no lifeboat drill that protects against those. I can't tell you how many near misses, not to mention fatals, I've seen while driving, or how many times my wife and I have almost been run over in a crosswalk while on our morning stroll. Where is the muster drill or where are the safety briefings that protect us against those mishaps? Frankly, I feel safer cruising than I do driving or even hanging around the house.

julia
February 19th, 2007, 12:22 AM
Here's what I don't get. So many posters express fear of sailing (or flying, probably the most anxiety-producing form of transport), yet they ignore automobile accidents and pedestrian fatilities, which claim far more lives than any cruise ship or airliner disaster. And you know what? There's no lifeboat drill that protects against those. I can't tell you how many near misses, not to mention fatals, I've seen while driving, or how many times my wife and I have almost been run over in a crosswalk while on our morning stroll. Where is the muster drill or where are the safety briefings that protect us against those mishaps? Frankly, I feel safer cruising than I do driving or even hanging around the house.

Joe:

Your point is well taken.... but I didn't read in this thread that anyone "feared" cruising. Also, the proportion of people who "drive cars and are pedestrians" FAR FAR FAR outnumber those who cruise. No one is "ignoring" those numbers. Driving and walking are necessities, cruising and flying aren't.

Bottom line: BE CAREFUL AND PAY ATTENTION!!! :)

Chivalrygirl
February 19th, 2007, 12:59 AM
I have a huge problem with the idea that some cruise lines are preparing to take super liners down to Antarticia, I find this absolutely appaling and although I would love to visit the area, no way would I go this way. There have been problems down there this summer, one a Norwegian small ship hit a reef and had to be rescued and currently we have a Japanese whaler that has had a fire floundering around in the Antartic south of NZ, should it discharge its fuel etc., we will also have a ecological disaster. Should a huge super cruise liner run into trouble down there, it most definitely would be another Titanic, there is no way so many people so far from land could ever be rescued. Perhaps some pressure should be put on the cruise lines to start respecting this last bastion of pristine conditions and try and dissaude them from taking the super lines to this particular part of the globe. I also have never forgotten the horror of the Erebus disaster when Air NZ managed to put an aircraft into the side Mt. Erebus, and the dreadful job involved in bringing the deceased back home and the folk that had to attend to this miserable job, its not a nice scenario, believe me.

PRINSENDAM
February 19th, 2007, 01:04 AM
Gee my problem would be getting off the ship without starting to recite all the lines from Titanic:
..."the ship's bloody sinkin'"
..."Music to drown by...now I KNOW we're in First Class"
..."Half the people on this ship are going to die!"...
"Not the Better Half"
..."I need a knife...I need a knife"
etc, etc.

As you can see I've watched that MUCH too many times:)



Goatee,


You forgot the best one. I'm saving for the day I need to enter a boat....


"I HAVE A CHILD! I HAVE A CHILD!"

Stephen ;)

Aussie Gal
February 19th, 2007, 01:16 AM
Val,

I wholeheartedly agree with you on the subject of a super liner going down to Antarctica. It is the last pristine piece of this earth and to think something major could happen down worries me also.

I have been fortunate to see photos of the rescue of the passengers from the Norwegian vessel. There were only 300 passengers involved and yet it was a major undertaking to get them all on to the sister ship find enough bedding and take them back to Ushuaia through the rough seas. For the passengers on the rescue ship, their time in Antarctica was cut short and they had to return back through the rough seas only a day or so after they had gone through them. Imagine trying to rescue 3000 passengers, it is beyond thinking about. Having been down there and knowing how far one is from civilization, I wonder what the cruise line involved is thinking of.

I hate to think of an oil spillage happening and washing into that lovely clean ocean and destroying so many wonderful native birds and mammals down there.

Jennie
Jennie

Chivalrygirl
February 19th, 2007, 01:47 AM
Looks like me and thee are now on a crusade, but do you thinking anybody very much is listening? I am sure our respective PMs are taking it all on board, they don't like the thought either, but of course they will sail these big ships out of South America no doubt.

bepsf
February 20th, 2007, 07:41 PM
Icebergs: There's no way a modern ship is gonna suddenly smack into an iceberg with modern navigation/radar.

Mid-Ocean Collision: Again, with modern navigation and communications systems - you'd have to have two sets of insanely stupid (or drunk) people...

Fire: An ever-present danger, but with modern ships that are built with fewer combustible materials and well-trained staff, the likelihood of major loss of life becomes slimmer every day.

Terrorism is where the real dangers lie. Rather than a "Titanic"-esque disaster, I'd say "Lusitania" is much more likely. I read recently where back in the 1980's, Libya targeted QE2 on her Med Cruises to Israel that were chartered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Israeli independence - Egypt's President Anwar Sadat had to personally nix that plan.

I'd imagine a ship the size/capacity of the RCCL newbuilds on a major holiday weekend (Independence Day? Christmas?) would be the greatest target...


COS:
Enjoy this 30-second version of "Titanic" played by bunnies:
http://www.angryalien.com/0604/titanicbunnies.html
:D

dougnewmanatsea
February 20th, 2007, 08:37 PM
Icebergs: There's no way a modern ship is gonna suddenly smack into an iceberg with modern navigation/radar.
Well, maybe not "suddenly smack into an iceberg", but there could be trouble with ice.

Mid-Ocean Collision: Again, with modern navigation and communications systems - you'd have to have two sets of insanely stupid (or drunk) people...
It does not have to be "mid-ocean" to be bad.

Look at the collision between NORWEGIAN DREAM and EVER DECENT in 1999 in the English Channel. Imagine if it were the EVER DECENT ramming NORWEGIAN DREAM instead of vice versa. The situation could have been very ugly to say the least.

And we are talking here about two large, modern ships, each bristling with all the latest technology. It still didn't stop them from hitting each other.

Fire: An ever-present danger, but with modern ships that are built with fewer combustible materials and well-trained staff, the likelihood of major loss of life becomes slimmer every day.
The SCANDINAVIAN STAR was built with incombustible materials. It did not stop 158 people from dying in the fire.

Arguably more important is that sprinklers are now mandated (previously not the case unless the ship had combustible materials), but nonetheless, fire is a very real danger. The STAR PRINCESS fire demonstrated that there were great vulnerabilities; while in that case everything worked perfectly, it does not mean it always will.

Terrorism is where the real dangers lie. Rather than a "Titanic"-esque disaster, I'd say "Lusitania" is much more likely.
LUSITANIA was torpedoed by an enemy government. Just as unlikely these days as TITANIC, I think.

More likely would be someone driving up alongside a berthed ship with a pickup truck full of explosives, or something like that.

At any rate, it may be comforting to us to think that the "real dangers" lie in actions taken by human beings, but nature is plenty dangerous too, no matter how much modern technology we may have.

I read recently where back in the 1980's, Libya targeted QE2 on her Med Cruises to Israel that were chartered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Israeli independence - Egypt's President Anwar Sadat had to personally nix that plan.
I think it was actually Colonel Gaddafi who was supposed to have ordered that the action be called off, but I could be wrong.

Either way, this would be a conscious act of war taken by a recognized state with fighter jets and missiles and other things that governments tend to own. Most terrorist attacks against "soft targets" in recent years have not been the actions of states but other entities with at best tenuous connections to states, and they tend to involve more improvised methods (suicide attacks in general). Hence my pickup truck scenario.

I'd imagine a ship the size/capacity of the RCCL newbuilds on a major holiday weekend (Independence Day? Christmas?) would be the greatest target...
I imagine QM2 would be the greatest target simply because she is the most famous.

RevNeal
February 20th, 2007, 09:19 PM
Thanks Brian ... the had slapping the windshield had be laughing really hard! :) VERY funny!

That an ... "I have a child!"

Have you seen Brokeback mountain by the Bunnies????

http://www.starz.com/features/brokebackmountain/

:D

The Exorcist was good too!

http://www.angryalien.com/0204/exorcistbunnies.html

Atomica
February 20th, 2007, 10:47 PM
Have you seen Brokeback mountain by the Bunnies????

http://www.starz.com/features/brokebackmountain/

:D

The Exorcist was good too!

http://www.angryalien.com/0204/exorcistbunnies.html

Very clever!

bdcbbq
February 21st, 2007, 09:25 PM
If you check the statistics, you're probably safer on the cruise ship than you are driving to and from work. So, if you want to stay alive... book a cruise.:D

I'll go one better and say the odds are better that you would be killed in a plane crash on your way to a cruise than from a Titanic type catastrophe.:D

virgilhilts
February 21st, 2007, 10:15 PM
I've enjoyed all the speculation on this topic.

For myself, I'll tell you what: If I end up bobbing around in Glacier Bay on a moonless night, I intend to send a sharply worded letter to the Holland America Line.

Bill

Copper10-8
February 22nd, 2007, 02:40 AM
I've enjoyed all the speculation on this topic.

For myself, I'll tell you what: If I end up bobbing around in Glacier Bay on a moonless night, I intend to send a sharply worded letter to the Holland America Line.

Bill

Well, allow me to help you along with the address;) :

Mr. Stein Kruse, CEO & President Holland America Line
300 Eliott Avenue West
Seattle, WA 98119

Don't forget to ask for fair compensation; at least two free cruises in the PH with a butler:eek: .

In all seriousness; be prepared and have a plan!! Just like in a commercial aircraft, know your evac route and your exits. Think about what you are going to take with you if you only have a limited amount of time and restrictions (size/weight) as to what you will be allowed to take *don't forget warm clothing) (and have it handy so you don't need 15 minutes to get it together).

Panic or at least, a hightened state of anxiety is common during unnatural events such as emergency evacs when fine folks are taken out of their comfort zone(s). Again, have a plan and follow directions by trained crew (and trained they are on HAL). Take a deep breath and think of the big picture! Don't get dragged into the antics of folks who have lost it but try to calm them down. If that doesn't work, and this may seem cold, leave them and continue with your plan. Use common sense and, I can't stress this enough, stay calm!! It really does pay to take the muster drill on embarkation day serious for all of the maybe fifteen minutes it takes! Let's hope you never have to practise these measures but, if you do, be prepared!

BTW, here's a pic of one of those inflatables the Chief talked about,

debsjc
February 22nd, 2007, 05:15 AM
I agree it's better to be prepared and have a plan, even though it's very unlikely anything will happen.

I work for an airline, so I fly quite a lot - but still every time I get on a flight I listen to the safety demo, I check my life jacket is under my seat, I count the number of rows to the exits, both ways in case 1 is blocked. It's not that I'm a nervous traveller, just that it makes sense to think about it.

Another good tip a fireman gave me is to carefully check the fire exits and your evacuation route when you stay in a hotel. Could you find your way in a dark smoke filled corridor? Keep a small torch by your bedside to grab it if there is an evacuation.

I've been evacuated from a hotel at 3am and it's really hard to think straight when you are woken up suddenly by a loud bell. You heart is pounding and you are 3/4 asleep and it's really scary. Also I forgot to put shoes on and hurt my feet on the metal fire escape. :(

Addict
February 22nd, 2007, 06:03 AM
Hi

Just a thought - IF it were necessary to don lifejackets and you were unable to get to your cabin for some reason - do the ships carry spares at the muster stations?

Sue

Copper10-8
February 22nd, 2007, 08:53 AM
Hi

Just a thought - IF it were necessary to don lifejackets and you were unable to get to your cabin for some reason - do the ships carry spares at the muster stations?

Sue

Hi Sue; Yes, they do! There are plenty of lifejackets stored at the muster stations just for that reason

Tinknock50
February 22nd, 2007, 09:41 AM
I've enjoyed all the speculation on this topic.

For myself, I'll tell you what: If I end up bobbing around in Glacier Bay on a moonless night, I intend to send a sharply worded letter to the Holland America Line.

Bill


......and I will say in that letter, "I will never sail HAL again!"
That'll teach 'em!

hammybee
February 22nd, 2007, 10:22 AM
......and I will say in that letter, "I will never sail HAL again!"
That'll teach 'em!

That should get you some OBC.

jtl513
February 22nd, 2007, 10:30 AM
And BTW.... I tend to resent those who think the muster drill is a big joke and so they show up late and act like idiots. They could cost someone their life in a REAL disaster.
It really does pay to take the muster drill on embarkation day serious for all of the maybe fifteen minutes it takes!
I think the photographer should not be allowed to run around telling everybody to smile/wave and turn it toward a "party" atmosphere.

Keep a small torch by your bedside to grab it if there is an evacuation.
This strikes me as funny, because on our side of the pond a "torch" is last thing any of us would want in a fire! :D (Yes, I know what you mean though.)

debsjc
February 22nd, 2007, 10:58 AM
This strikes me as funny, because on our side of the pond a "torch" is last thing any of us would want in a fire! :D (Yes, I know what you mean though.)


Whoops! It's that language barrier thing ;)

What would you guys say, a flashlight?

Mary Ellen
February 22nd, 2007, 11:43 AM
Whoops! It's that language barrier thing ;)

What would you guys say, a flashlight?You've got it! Flashlight is the term we use.

Back to seriousness. We pay attention at lifeboat drill - no matter how many times we've been through it. Our first cruise was in September 1980, on the Prinsendam I. The passengers (& crew) on the next sailing 'disembarked' via the lifeboats. Since we arrived back in Vancouver after noon (we were late due to a storm), many of those passengers were already at the port. Since it was a month-long cruise across the Pacific, they were NOT young. It said a lot to us that HAL was able to safely evacuate them in an emergency. We know lifeboats ARE used in emergencies and they DO happen.

Copper10-8
February 22nd, 2007, 11:50 AM
I think the photographer should not be allowed to run around telling everybody to smile/wave and turn it toward a "party" atmosphere.

No argument there! I think it's stupid but the "powers to be" know it's a moneymaker so they're allowing it. I'm gonna start taking pics of the emergency briefing in airliners and sell 5x7's for $19.95 each - let me know if you want to buy some;)

What would you guys say, a flashlight?

We call it a baton;)

Chivalrygirl
February 22nd, 2007, 02:11 PM
We call it a baton;)

Then don't you come after me or I gonna torch your baton :p

Me in strange motel and very glad I brought along my torch :p Cause I kept waking up and it was very dark. and I was all :confused:

bepsf
February 23rd, 2007, 11:35 AM
LUSITANIA was torpedoed by an enemy government. Just as unlikely these days as TITANIC, I think.

More likely would be someone driving up alongside a berthed ship with a pickup truck full of explosives, or something like that.


Doug--

I know very well that she was torpedoed - my point being that it was a purposeful attack of the ship and those aboard her. Such an action whether by a government or a group of individuals is just as destructive.

Frankly, I don't think the pickup truck scenario would be nearly as effective - I mean the ship would certainly burn at the pier, but it would merely sink a few feet and the vast majority would be able to disembark somehow - even via lifeboats on the side opposite the pier if necessary - unlike at sea where the ship could simply roll onto her side in a matter of minutes with much greater loss of life (Which is the major point of terrorism, isn't it?)


I think it was actually Colonel Gaddafi who was supposed to have ordered that the action be called off, but I could be wrong.


Gaddafi was the one who wanted to put a hole in the side of QE2. If you know your political history you'll recall that he's not exactly a peacemaker, unlike Sadat.


I imagine QM2 would be the greatest target simply because she is the most famous.

Perhaps - but she's in the same size-class, isn't she? However the security around her is rather greater because of that, and there's only one of her - lots more of the RCCL ship/targets out there should something get delayed - lots more opportunities for someone who really wants to do harm...

dougnewmanatsea
February 23rd, 2007, 01:02 PM
Frankly, I don't think the pickup truck scenario would be nearly as effective - I mean the ship would certainly burn at the pier, but it would merely sink a few feet and the vast majority would be able to disembark somehow - even via lifeboats on the side opposite the pier if necessary - unlike at sea where the ship could simply roll onto her side in a matter of minutes with much greater loss of life (Which is the major point of terrorism, isn't it?)
The major point of terrorism is not necessarily loss of life, but generally to scare people. Of course, terrorists would like a lot of loss of life, but the objective generally is to, well, cause terror.

The pickup truck scenario would certainly not be as destructive, but I think a lot more likely as it would be much easier. Another example would be a USS COLE type attack with a small boat.

How many terrorist organizations do you know of that have submarines and torpedoes?

Gaddafi was the one who wanted to put a hole in the side of QE2. If you know your political history you'll recall that he's not exactly a peacemaker, unlike Sadat.
I didn't say it made sense, just that it's what I read.

I was surprised at the time I read it - that's why I remember it so well.

Perhaps - but she's in the same size-class, isn't she?
Very true, but IMHO the most important thing about terrorism is the psychological impact. That makes QM2 the most desirable target. Of course it does not mean that all other very large ships are not also desirable targets, just that they are not nearly as desirable as QM2.

RevNeal
February 23rd, 2007, 01:42 PM
The pickup truck scenario would certainly not be as destructive, but I think a lot more likely as it would be much easier. Another example would be a USS COLE type attack with a small boat.

How many terrorist organizations do you know of that have submarines and torpedoes?

All it takes is one terrorist organization (i.e., Al-Qaeda) with connections to one sufficiently equipped government (i.e., Pakistan) ... or with influence among that government's officials. The frightening thing is that this is precisely what we have.

Brian is right ... acts of inhumanity perpetrated by humans are a major concern. And, while the QM2 is the most desirable target, the ubiquity of RCCL tubs make for a terrifying (pun intended) ease of availability. And, put bluntly, sinking an RCCL ship would not garner less press than sinking the QM2.

And Doug is right ... ice pack, running into other ships, and onboard fires are also concerns. The idea of a modern ship hitting an iceberg like the Titanic did is almost out of the realm of possibility, but other catastrophic disasters are possible.

However, let me put the question differently. Is it possible that, in today's day-and-age, a big ship could go down with massive loss of it's passengers and crew? My guess is that it would take a catastrophically fast sinking on the order of a torpedo strike, terrorist attack, asteroid impact, or other such "Act of War or God" type event to do it.

Had the Titanic had sufficient life boats, today's evac procedures and modern communications gear, no one would have died. Can you think of an any more agreeable set of sea-conditions to have to evacuate a ship in than the calm, glassy waters they were experiencing that night? Yes, it was those very conditions that contributed to them not spotting the berg fast enough ... but ... once the deed was done, the ship and the sea was so calm and the ship sank so evenly -- and slowly -- that there would have been plenty of time to evacuate everyone given todays technology.

I wonder ... if a modern ship like the Maasdam, let us say, were to strike an ice berg just like the Titanic did (assume Radar and Sonar were down): (1) would she sink, and (2) how long would it take to get everyone off? Me thinks that the Titanic's bellow-waterline breach, if it occurred to the Maasdam, might not be as disastrous (or as immediately disastrous) as it was on the Titanic. Or ... am I just ignorant?

above sea level cruiser
February 23rd, 2007, 02:29 PM
All it takes is one terrorist organization (i.e., Al-Qaeda) with connections to one sufficiently equipped government (i.e., Pakistan) ... or with influence among that government's officials. The frightening thing is that this is precisely what we have.

Brian is right ... acts of inhumanity perpetrated by humans are a major concern. And, while the QM2 is the most desirable target, the ubiquity of RCCL tubs make for a terrifying (pun intended) ease of availability. And, put bluntly, sinking an RCCL ship would not garner less press than sinking the QM2.

And Doug is right ... ice pack, running into other ships, and onboard fires are also concerns. The idea of a modern ship hitting an iceberg like the Titanic did is almost out of the realm of possibility, but other catastrophic disasters are possible.

However, let me put the question differently. Is it possible that, in today's day-and-age, a big ship could go down with massive loss of it's passengers and crew? My guess is that it would take a catastrophically fast sinking on the order of a torpedo strike, terrorist attack, asteroid impact, or other such "Act of War or God" type event to do it.

Had the Titanic had sufficient life boats, today's evac procedures and modern communications gear, no one would have died. Can you think of an any more agreeable set of sea-conditions to have to evacuate a ship in than the calm, glassy waters they were experiencing that night? Yes, it was those very conditions that contributed to them not spotting the berg fast enough ... but ... once the deed was done, the ship and the sea was so calm and the ship sank so evenly -- and slowly -- that there would have been plenty of time to evacuate everyone given todays technology.

I wonder ... if a modern ship like the Maasdam, let us say, were to strike an ice berg just like the Titanic did (assume Radar and Sonar were down): (1) would she sink, and (2) how long would it take to get everyone off? Me thinks that the Titanic's bellow-waterline breach, if it occurred to the Maasdam, might not be as disastrous (or as immediately disastrous) as it was on the Titanic. Or ... am I just ignorant?


I have always heard that the Titanic sank as a result of the following:

Although it had watertight doors, these doors did not go all the way up to the underside of the deck. As the first "area" flooded with water, it subsequently reached the top of the so-called water tight doors and then began spilling over into the next compartment. Hence the sinking.

Since that incident, design changes have taken place and now these water tight compartments are just that: they hold water (in or out) and should an area of the hull be breached, the doors will contain the water within the specific compartment and not spill out/over and into the adjoining section(s) of the ship.

RevNeal
February 23rd, 2007, 03:26 PM
I have always heard that the Titanic sank as a result of the following:

Although it had watertight doors, these doors did not go all the way up to the underside of the deck. As the first "area" flooded with water, it subsequently reached the top of the so-called water tight doors and then began spilling over into the next compartment. Hence the sinking.

Since that incident, design changes have taken place and now these water tight compartments are just that: they hold water (in or out) and should an area of the hull be breached, the doors will contain the water within the specific compartment and not spill out/over and into the adjoining section(s) of the ship.

Captain Card would need to speak to this issue, however from what I've read and seen on various documentary reports, while sealing off the watertight bulkheads with watertight decks might well have have increased the survival time of the Titanic (she might have lasted longer on the surface -- perhaps long enough for the Carpathia to come along side and take off the remaining passengers), such would not have ensured the survival of the ship; the Titanic had far too much under the waterline damage, with 6 compartments flooding and only one (the 6th) capable of being pumped out at the rate the water came in. Even if the forward 5 damaged compartments themselves had remained watertight, the weight of the water in them would still have pulled the bow of the ship down to the point where decks above the watertight deck would have been below the waterline. The ship would then have flooded via the portholes and sunk anyway.

Atomica
February 23rd, 2007, 04:31 PM
Captain Card would need to speak to this issue, however from what I've read and seen on various documentary reports, while sealing off the watertight bulkheads with watertight decks might well have have increased the survival time of the Titanic (she might have lasted longer on the surface -- perhaps long enough for the Carpathia to come along side and take off the remaining passengers), such would not have ensured the survival of the ship; the Titanic had far too much under the waterline damage, with 6 compartments flooding and only one (the 6th) capable of being pumped out at the rate the water came in. Even if the forward 5 damaged compartments themselves had remained watertight, the weight of the water in them would still have pulled the bow of the ship down to the point where decks above the watertight deck would have been below the waterline. The ship would then have flooded via the portholes and sunk anyway.

Correct - Titanic could stay afloat with any four of her compartments flooded. Since five were flooding, the Titanic's fate was sealed. True, the watertight bulkheads only extended to E Deck. Had they gone all the way up to B or A deck, it's arguable that the Titanic might have stayed afloat longer, but the damage was done, and as Greg states, the additional weight of the water would have pulled the bow under to the point where it entered through portholes.

gmcyd
February 23rd, 2007, 04:43 PM
Since I have no intention of sailing to Anartica or even Alaska in the near future, I'm not gonna worry about the iceberg connection.

My real fear aboard a cruise ship is terrorism. I firmly believe that the next attack against the U.S. is not gonna be via an airplane, but rather involve a ship. What better target, from a terrorist's standpoint, than one of the large cruise ship terminals ... on a weekend ... when there are five or six ships doing a turnaround. A couple of truckloads of explosives and the loss of human life would be catastrophic. And, the ships wouldn't even be out to sea ... the disaster would play out right at the dock.

This is my big fear with cruising ... and I don't start to breathe easier until we have pulled safely away from the dock.

Blue skies ...

--rita
Never thought about it in port, just the first night out, on a two day streach, about midnight, k boom!! Someone blows a massive whole in the hull. Miles from port, in the dead of night an LARGE liner goes down. THAT was my worry....but not for long. Can't dwell on it.

lighthouse206
February 24th, 2007, 02:17 AM
As a former cruise director's staff member on 3 ships (NCL and HAL) i can tell you that it is absolutely possible for a "titanic-sized" disaster to happen on one of today's cruise ships. Now, by iceberg? Very unlikely.. but there are many other ways a ship could face disaster. Some of you might recall that the Norwegian Sky ran aground in the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1999... i was on that ship.. and it could have been much much worse.

The reality is that many of the worst scenarios involve the ship sinking (or even capsizing) so fast that the lifeboat's wouldn't matter much. There'd be no time to launch them...... Now is it likely? Of course not, the ships are very very very safe... but they are ships.... and as we all know, no ship is unsinkable...

RevNeal
February 24th, 2007, 02:52 AM
... the ships are very very very safe... but they are ships.... and as we all know, no ship is unsinkable...

Unless it's sitting on land. :D

u4ea
February 24th, 2007, 10:59 AM
I’ve seen scientists doing experiments regarding gas bubbles coming up from the ocean floor in efforts to understanding past maritime disasters. They deduced that enough gas bubbles could in essence sink a ship in the wrong place at the wrong time because the sea would become so “aerated” it could no longer hold the ship above the water. It was pretty interesting.
Mark…