Friday, 30 April 2010

Another day of lifeboat training...

This past Wednesday my lifeboat team of Boat 4 had the chance to do some training. I was the Brakeman for the training and, once given the command from the leader, am in charge of pulling the lever to lower the boat. It is never easy to lower the boat out of its davits and down to the embarkation deck. The winch can be rather "sticky" and thus jolt a bit when you're lowering away, but it went well this time round. Once I had lowered the boat to the deck I was able to go for a ride in the large 150-man craft.

After a short, smooth descent down the falls we touched the water, broke free of the davits, started the motor and headed out into the clear blue waters of the harbour. Once clear of our dock we practiced rowing the lifeboat (which is not an easy task, due to the size of the boat) and other manouvres, such as ensuring the bow is kept into the waves - to avoid capsizing.

Once ready to head back to the ship, we were ferried to the dock via one of the ship's smaller MOB (Man Overboard) boats. We were taken back in this craft because the large lifeboat is not designed to be lifted up the davits with so many people in it.

So that was how I spent my Wednesday morning. Never a dull moment when you're serving on the Mercy Ship!

Here are some more photos from our morning of lifeboat training.

Artemio secures the aft bowsing tackle.

Inside the lifeboat.

Lowering down the falls.

The bow of the Africa Mercy - note our port anchor is lowered.

The Captain and Chief Officer observe proceedings from the port bridge wing.

The port side of the AFM.

Trying my hand at rowing - it's harder than it looks!

AFM docked in Lome.

Leaving the 150-man lifeboat and speeding back to the dock.

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