The importance of being prepared: Costa Concordia

You just never know when a disaster might happen.  Reading about the Italian cruise ship that capsized, I find myself preoccupied.

I think part of that focus is just this past year my family and I were on a cruise ship in the same sea.  I think disasters strike a chord when there is some degree of personal or geographic relevance.  The ship started to sink while passengers were dressed in their formal attire for dinner.  There was no preparation for them to jump into a cold sea only wearing a tuxedo or evening gown. You just react and take your chances.

Every ship I’ve ever been on makes you go through a muster drill where you are oriented to the safety equipment on board.   Past cruises we actually donned the life vests.  This past one we were just told where they are.

But in the case of this tragedy, there wasn’t enough time for everyone to get a life vest let alone to an emergency boat.

I’ve been talking about this my partner Richard, and we both agree we would have helped our parents and their friends, both close to or in their 70’s start to climb up towards the side of the ship that wasn’t going in to the water.  But that’s intellectually discourse not in the adreneline rush of a catastrophe.

Do the dining rooms keep extra life vests somewhere?  Maybe they should, just like on airplanes where they are under your seat.  I’m such they could make one compact enough.

Maybe future passengers should watch and learn from this event.  No one wants to think about it when they are on a cruise, they just want to have a good time.  They don’t expect the worse to happen.  But having preparedness in the back of one’s mind I think might be a good thing.  I’d like to see more drills throughout the cruise, maybe even handed out in brochures along with all the pamphlets you get urging you to shop, spa and dine on board.

I send light to the people still missing, their families and to greater awareness within the cruise ship industry to have more preparations available for passengers in the future.

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