Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Survival at Sea

When a ship starts to sink, the important thing is for the passengers to get out alive and safely. For this reason, the International Maritime Organization has spent a great deal of time discussing measures to improve the survivability of passenger ships, particularly ferries. The issue has been before the IMO since before it existed (see the TITANIC), and certainly since the losses of the HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE and ESTONIA in the 1980s.

The latest sinking—that of the Korean ferry SEWOL—has given rise to a large number of theories, most of which make no helpful contribution to the critical question: How do we get the passengers out alive and safely?

The key is to prevent or delay the entry of water, from whatever cause, when an accident… Continue reading