Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Lifeboat Training...

Earlier today I found myself the Bowman in one of the Africa Mercy's 50 person lifeboats. How - and why - did I get there? Well, I was asked by the Training Officer if I would like to join a lifeboat crew for the sail. Although there were some difficulties - because I work in Reception and am automatically part of Muster Control - my boss, the Purser, has allowed me to join a lifeboat team for the sail north to Tenerife. It will be a good experience and will allow me to gain invaluable training in another aspect of Maritime Safety.

And so it was that this morning at 08h30 I went up to Deck 8 and assisted in the lowering of the boat - learning how the davits and pulleys work. Before embarking the lifeboat from Deck 7, we all donned lifejackets and safety helmets. Once safely onboard, we lowered away into the dirty water of Cotonou's harbour and went for a short ride. It was good fun to learn about the Africa Mercy's lifeboats and to gain some practical knowledge. But let's hope and pray that we never have to put this knowledge to use in a real emergency.

Tomorrow or Thursday I will have a chance to learn about our bigger boats (capacity of 150 persons each) and go for a ride in one of them. I'm not sure I'll blog about that, but stay posted in any case!

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