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Song of Fire and Pirates

By Diana Udel

Song of Fire and Pirates

By Diana Udel
Provided by Anna Ling, Ph.D. student in the Department of Marine Geosciences

Thus far, 2 safety drills have been implemented so far:

  1. Fire on Board Drill
  2. Pirate Attack Drill

Each personnel on the ship has their assigned lifeboats and muster stations that we have to gather once an emergency alarm rang.

Fire on Board Drill

I am assigned onto lifeboat number 4. There are 2 muster stations on the ship, the port side and starboard side (I am getting the hang of maritime terms). There are a total of 4 lifeboats and each lifeboat can accommodate up to 70 people. However, you would not want to have each lifeboat to be completely filled to the brim. Trust me on that. We had a ‘tour’ into the lifeboats and if you are not claustrophobic, you will end up being one.

All personnel on the ship are required to proceed to the lifeboats with their life-vests (or life floaties) and hard hats.

For the sake of entering the lifeboats, we were allowed to not use the hard hats. They were rather uncomfortable and bulky; not to mention hot and stuffy too! We went into the lifeboat 10 at a time and I felt extremely nauseous and claustrophobic for someone who has no such problems. 10 people in the boat felt like it was 50 in a boat as we were intruding each others’ personal space.

Each lifeboat was also supplied with provisions and water that I could only guess we would have a hard time getting to since 2 people were going to sit on it if the need arose. Each seat has a ‘black’ spot marked on it as an indicator that it was a legitimate seat. They sure did not take into account that there would be females on board because each seat were made for tiny butts.

The lifeboat also came with an engine which does not propel far but hopefully far enough to safety.

And if you have a boat mate that is at the verge of insanity, you will have to hide the hatchet and ropes in the lifeboat from any impending disasters. Oh, and by the way, in case there are leaks inside the lifeboat, there is a great arm workout called the bilge pump. Be sure to rotate arms though and do not forget to wear your seat belts in case of rollover. I hope they have a puke bag in there too. Or else…

After 5 minutes being inside, I was ready to get out of it. I am also pretty confident that if a fire ever does break-out, I would rather be hot and stuffy than grilled alive.

Each lifeboat can be manually detached from the JR from the outside and inside. Each lifeboat has a new design that floats regardless on which direction it hits the water – the humans inside will just have to stay alive while that happens.

Until next time folks! The countdown to the equator starts – 3 days and 18 hours to go until the rise of the Pollywogs. That would make a great movie title!

–Anna Ling

Anna Ling is a Ph.D student in the Centre for Carbonate Research in the Department of Marine Geosciences at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.