Capsize is amongst the deadliest of marine accidents. Since the tragic capsize and sinking of the Estonia in 1994, there has been progress toward increasing damage stability and capsize resistance, but less effort has been made to improve egress and survival from a capsizing RO-RO or passenger ship. The 2014 capsize and sinking of the Sewol is a bitter reminder that it is necessary to consider the existence of vessels not in compliance with stability regulations. It is the contention of this paper that it is possible to reduce capsize, but not to eliminate it altogether, and that it is therefore appropriate to make an effort to improve egress and survival provisions. Historical accidents are briefly reviewed, primarily to gain insight into the time available for egress and the challenges to egress and survival. Proximate and ultimate causes of capsize are not the main focus. The onboard environment and the obstacles to egress are an important focus. A salient feature of many capsizes is the rapidity with which it proceeds. It is argued that persons aboard a capsizing ship should immediately make their way to an open deck and that no attempt should be made to return to one's stateroom for the life jacket typically stowed in that location. Most hope for survival depends on two things: attaining an open deck, and securing a personal flotation device upon achieving that open deck. For that reason, a central recommendation is that personal floatation devices of some type bestowed on the open decks.
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Capsize Egress and Survival with Particular Reference to RO-RO & Passenger Vessels
Paper presented at the SNAME Maritime Convention, Houston, Texas, October 2017.
Paper Number: SNAME-SMC-2017-045
Published: October 24 2017
Hutchison, Bruce L. "Capsize Egress and Survival with Particular Reference to RO-RO & Passenger Vessels." Paper presented at the SNAME Maritime Convention, Houston, Texas, October 2017.
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