Why are survival suits not provided for passengers?

GabrielTurner

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I've been on a few ships, and I've noticed that whilst lifejackets are provided for passengers, survival suits are not provided for passengers in the event of an emergency. Instead liferafts* and/or lifeboats are stored for passenger use in the event of an emergency.

However I can see a number of flaws with this plan, one being what if an emergency takes place e.g. a fire, which necessitates the evacuation of the boat ASAP but without all of the liferafts and/or lifeboats being immediately available e.g. as in the case of the Scandinavian Star, and another being what if they float to a location that is out of the way meaning that people cannot get to them?

Why is it that they do things that way rather than just providing survival suits for passengers? Especially considering that crew are provided with survival suits on safety grounds i.e. to keep them warm should they need to abandon ship directly into the water, or accidentally fall into the water.
 

SaltIre

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Reminds me of when I put on my lifejacket, on the ferry from Mallaig to Skye. I got some strange looks...o_O
On arrival I was going down the pier steps then into a dinghy, so it made perfect sense once I reassured fellow passengers!
 

Rappey

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I had to put on a parachute when i went glider flying.. Worked on the theory that you only need it when you dont have it :unsure:
 

Gary Fox

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Survival suits actually need training to put on, and have to be exactly sized. Every passenger would need assistance anyway.
I have worked as crew on passenger ships, and it's hard enough to herd them on and off without them hurting themselves, getting them dressed in emergency clothing would be comedy chaos. Lifejackets are bad enough.
Also, crew aren't allowed to touch the passengers except emergency 1st Aid. (And nor would they want to..)
Maybe wear sensible clothes for a sea crossing?
 

PilotWolf

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Do a 'proper' survival course and watch crew do a renewal use of them as usually a comedy show.

We when I was doing survey work would have them demonstrated during the after brief, but they were pretty much one fits all. If anyone wasn't paying attention or being don't less type they always got to be the one who demonstrated their use.

Also they need some maintance and are expensive too.

W.
 

penfold

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Getting supposedly professional crew into gro-bags for a drill is an exercise in herding cats, pax doesn't bear thinking about. If you feel strongly write a letter to your MP and ask them to lobby the govt who will then lobby the IMO, who will then ignore it because they're in thrall to the shipowners.

Maybe wear sensible clothes for a sea crossing?
Start a sideline in renting Mullion suits to nervous passengers? :ROFLMAO:
 
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Rappey

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I have a one piece fladden flotation suit.. Its very light, comfy and warmer and drier than any expensive sailing gear ive tried...
Some cant get on with them as they sweat to much... ive never had that problem...
 

GabrielTurner

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Survival suits actually need training to put on, and have to be exactly sized. Every passenger would need assistance anyway.
I have worked as crew on passenger ships, and it's hard enough to herd them on and off without them hurting themselves, getting them dressed in emergency clothing would be comedy chaos. Lifejackets are bad enough.
Also, crew aren't allowed to touch the passengers except emergency 1st Aid. (And nor would they want to..)
Maybe wear sensible clothes for a sea crossing?
You may be right as a general rule, but in such an emergency I'm sure that the authorities will understand. Failing that the crew could always get permission, then its not assault. In the end of the day if a dance instructor (which could include on a cruise ship) is allowed to touch passengers when demonstrating a dance, or in certain moves e.g. the escort position in ballroom dancing, then why can't this defence extend to assisting passengers into suits in a genuine emergency? Do you mean in law or company policy?

By the way in the event that passengers can be evacuated to a place of safety ASAP e.g. to a lifeboat, liferaft, an attending ship, or for that matter direct to shore, then survival suits for passengers could be taken but not donned, therefore giving everyone the best of both worlds. In my opinion if such suits were to be provided, then they shouldn't be donned in such circumstances. Could they not be donned once in the lifeboat, etc?

Failing that why not provide some suitable alternative to survival suits for every passenger and not an arbitrary percentage of them. Like this passenger suit for instance: SeaPass Passenger Suit - Survival suit / Abandonment suit / Emergency suit

Or for that matter some modified version of TPAs (Thermal Protection Aids) that can be worn in the water.
 

penfold

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There's little enough room inside a full lifeboat, there's no chance of donning a suit even if you're a contortionist, never mind the typical coffin-dodger that goes on cruises.
 

GabrielTurner

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There's little enough room inside a full lifeboat, there's no chance of donning a suit even if you're a contortionist, never mind the typical coffin-dodger that goes on cruises.
Oh in which case I guess they could still be taken and donned in the water if I comes to that?
 

penfold

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A hard no for that; either put it on before leaving the ship or forget it. It's tough enough doing anything wearing one of those in a training drill in a swimming pool if they're the right size; one capacious enough to go over a BoT life jacket will be so cavernous it would be a drogue, it would compromise its ability to keep you warm and pretty much render you immobile.
 

GabrielTurner

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A hard no for that; either put it on before leaving the ship or forget it. It's tough enough doing anything wearing one of those in a training drill in a swimming pool if they're the right size; one capacious enough to go over a BoT life jacket will be so cavernous it would be a drogue, it would compromise its ability to keep you warm and pretty much render you immobile.
In which case why not at least provide them as a backup option in case life rafts and/or lifeboats end up being unavailable?
 
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In which case why not at least provide them as a backup option in case life rafts and/or lifeboats end up being unavailable?
Solutions to risks are based on reasonable probability of that risk happening. Vessels have twice the capacity of lifeboats incase there is a problem with some of them. They are also maintained and inspected to ensure a high probability of availability. Additionally it is a legal obligation, globally, that crews drill to ensure response times are adequate. Therefore there is an expectation that emergency response processes and equipment will do what it is supposed to do when required. Now, all this may or may not happen depending on the level of inaptitude of the company that runs the vessel and the master that commands the vessel, nevertheless, control activities are in place to ensure performance times and outcomes for emergency response are achievable.

What you are doing is applying multiple failure modes one after the other, irrespective of probability, when in fact the probability of that even happening is so small as to be irrelevant. If one of these improbable events happen and people die the courts decide who was at fault. Actuaries price your life at around $2million, if the cost of controls to keep you alive exceeds that, you can die and insurers can pay out. For example, do you expect a ship to be protected against a meteor impact, as that is the level of absurdity where such approaches end up.

Regarding survival suits, some ferries do have them for passengers as well as cruise ships based on risk assessment. Some information below on the framework that control risks: -

Types of Life-Saving Equipment Onboard Ships

Floating about an environment that does not support human life is a dangerous activity that carries a degree of risk of death if it all goes wrong, you can't run away and hide at sea. If you are planning a cruise in cold waters, then ask the company what safety controls they have in place and whether your safety can be assured to a risk that is ALARP - they will know what you mean if use the term ALARP. Then make the call on whether you should stay on land or go to sea.
 

SaltIre

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Why is it that they do things that way rather than just providing survival suits for passengers? Especially considering that crew are provided with survival suits on safety grounds i.e. to keep them warm should they need to abandon ship directly into the water, or accidentally fall into the water.
Oh in which case I guess they could still be taken and donned in the water if I comes to that?
How does one don a survival suit after accidentally falling into the water? :unsure:

Edit: I guess, perhaps, one could climb out and don the survival suit then accidentally fall back in again. :)
 
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