Saturday, July 5, 2014

Water Survival for Passengers

Just finished the second week of Lifeboat class, focused on launching and water survival. Some tips for if you ever find yourself stranded in the ocean:


  • You will likely have oars or an engine on your survival craft. This is for getting out of the way of immediate hazards, not for going anywhere. Stay as close to your crash site as you can by deploying your anchor once you are away from hazards like fire and debris.
  • Unless you are in site of shore, do not expect any sort of rescue in the first 24 hours. You should have rations for 5-9 days, which is about how long you can be out there if you sink in the middle of the ocean.
  • If it is below 60 degrees outside, hypothermia is what will kill you. Otherwise you should be able to survive to the end of your rations and beyond with only the smallest bit of common sense.
  • Your contribution to your survival is about 5%. The contribution of your coxswain and the others on the lifeboat is about 10%. The other 85% of your survival is completely out of your hands and dependent on weather and rescue efforts.
  • That said, if it is over 60 degrees, you survive whatever disaster sank the ship, and are on a trafficked shipping or cruise lane, and do what your coxswain tells you to, then your chance of survival in a lifeboat is very high.
Next two weeks is firefighting, which is supposed to be hot and exhausting work. 

This holiday weekend is occupied by special detail, to which I was assigned the task of pulling weeds out of the parking lot. Not a bad task, especially since it isn't too hot out today, and it leaves me wondering why it is that I hate working in the galley so much. It isn't just the hours, though that is part of it, since I hated cleaning dishes on the very first shift of the very first day. My working hypotheses have been:
  1. I don't like doing things I am told to do.
  2. I don't like getting dirty
  3. I don't like wet jobs
  4. I don't like working indoors
  5. I don't like working around people
  6. I don't like working in food service
Number 1 seems implausible, since I haven't minded the other work I have been given (and, in fact, been bothered less than I expected to be by it). Number 2 is similarly implausible, since there aren't too many jobs apart from watchstanding that don't require a shower at the end of the day. Number 3 seems plausible, but since galley has been my only wet task, it remains untested. Number 4 is almost certainly wrong, since I dislike being in the sun and having wind pushing at me all the time. Number 5 is absolutely part of it, though not all, since most work here involves other people. Number 6 is strongly plausible and has definite information value for my future career choices, but is unsatisfying to the extent that it isn't fundamental; what part of food service is intrinsically displeasing? Further thought is necessary.

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