Thursday, January 7, 2016

FTV Safety First-Boat Drills

Safety First -Boat Drills
Boat drills are required by the United Stated Coast Guard both in port and at sea. The main purpose for these drills prepare the ship for a safe voyage.  In a real emergency, like a fire on board, a man overboard situation, or abandon ship, these  practice drills insure that we know how to react in a timely manner. During the alongside week we will be doing several drills daily in order to prepare for our US Coast Guard (USCG) drill. The US Coast Guard drill is when the the USCG comes and monitors our responses to the drill situation and throws some curve balls into the drill to make it more like real life. Sometimes it may be taking a messenger who reports the accountability at each lifeboat or taking the captain to simulate someone else resuming responsibility for the ship.

When arriving on the ship the day of boarding all cadets and crew were given two identical billet cards. Below you can see images one is the front of the card and the other is the back. Every single person on the ship has to carry one on their person at all times and the other is in a card holder on the side of their rack (bed). 

 On the front of the card  is the person’s name, billet number which is also known as what number person they are on the ship, class ( freshman, sophomore, senior). division (the groups or teams we are broken up into), berth number ( the hold/ room our bed is in), rack number, what our jobs are in an emergency situations (fire/general emergency, abandon ship, security), and lastly their lifeboat or life raft location. All of this information is crucial to know to be prepared for an emergency on board the ship. Any time you cannot be not accounted for, crew or cadets will be able to account for your presence.
On the back of the billet card are the emergency signals one would hear on the general alarm and the ship’s whistle. The alarm is sounded on both so that not only the ships personnel can respond but also other ships in the area can hear the alarm and respond with help. 

Another important drill is a fire drill, where the fire parties (teams of trained firefighting cadets) and emergency responders practice what they would be doing in an emergency situation. In the images below, we can see the Chief Mate Campbell addressing the fire party on duty.

The abandon ship alarm is called when the emergency on the ship is threatens the lives of the cadets and crew. The cadets enter their assigned lifeboats and the lifeboats are lowered into the water.

Cadets enter their assigned life boats
Life Boat released to water

  Watch this video to see a real life boat captain cadet in training.

Try these activities:

"Survival" Math

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