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Author Topic: Safety features on board QE2  (Read 15155 times)

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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Safety features on board QE2
« on: Jan 21, 2012, 08:54 PM »
Louis has done a wonderful thing, going carefully through my photos and picking out the safety features of QE2 wherever he found them. I shall be posting his comments here, bit by bit, with many thanks to him.

The photos I shall attach here will be small. Please click into them to see Louis's notes and comments on the Flickr pages.

If you move your cursor across the pictures, little squares will appear, containing the notes.

We shall probably need to ask him more questions to work out how things function -- these are very welcome!

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Muster station signs
« Reply #1 on: Jan 21, 2012, 08:59 PM »

Two Deck by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

Louis points out in his notes that there are two signs in this picture : The big muster station sign at the top, and a smaller one at floor level, just in case of smoke or other hindrances. Both of them point to the same muster station.

Passengers are required to assemble at their assigned muster station, from where they will be taken to the relevant lifeboats if necessary.

Please click into the picture to see Louis's more detailed notes.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Muster station pathways
« Reply #2 on: Jan 21, 2012, 09:02 PM »

Three Deck again by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

The reflective neon strips along the alleyways are visible in the dark, allowing passengers to find their way to the muster stations in case of blackout.

Please click into the picture to see Louis's more detailed note there.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Muster station pathways
« Reply #3 on: Jan 21, 2012, 09:05 PM »

Mini corridor by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

Emerging from a side corridor, another muster station sign indicating you have to turn right for your assigned place.

Please click into the picture to see Louis's more detailed note there.

I never realised it was so easy to find your muster station in an emergency... just remember the letter and follow the arrows.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Ladders to the lifeboats
« Reply #4 on: Jan 21, 2012, 09:08 PM »

Boat Deck by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

Part of the railings turn into ladders which first the responsible crew, and then the passengers will use to embark the lifeboats.

Please click into the photo to view Louis's more detailed note.

I wish I could go back now and understand the mechanism on the spot!

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Lever to lower or raise the lifeboats
« Reply #5 on: Jan 21, 2012, 09:10 PM »

Red machinery by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

One of those beautiful red bits of machinery.

Please click into the photo to see Louis's more detailed note.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Liferaft Stations
« Reply #6 on: Jan 21, 2012, 09:13 PM »

Off the fog banks of Newfoundland by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

Liferaft Stations 1 and 2 can be seen by clicking into the picture and following Louis's notes.

Louis, please tell us what is a liferaft station and who uses them?

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Liferaft Stations
« Reply #7 on: Jan 21, 2012, 09:16 PM »

Lots of liferafts by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

Liferaft Station 3 here.

While Pia enjoyed sitting here on day (and broke a champagne glass while falling off her seat!), Louis remembers that crew members will get logged if caught sitting on them.

Please click into the photo for Louis's more detailed note.
« Last Edit: Jan 22, 2012, 11:12 AM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Liferaft Stations
« Reply #8 on: Jan 21, 2012, 09:19 PM »

Gazing by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

Liferaft Stations 6 here since 1992, serving the crew living in the aft of the ship.

Please click into the photo for Louis's more detailed note.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Lowering the lifeboats
« Reply #9 on: Jan 21, 2012, 09:37 PM »

Upwards by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

This photo shows windows that can convert to doors, allowing passengers to embark the lifeboats from the Upper Deck public rooms without having to go up to the Boat Deck first.

Louis has also marked hooks to which the lifeboats can be attached in case the ship tilts during the evacuation.

Please click into the photo to see Louis's detailed notes.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Crew responsible for the lifeboats
« Reply #10 on: Jan 21, 2012, 09:41 PM »

Safety exercise by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

This is what Louis wrote :

This is the so called Boat Preparation Party.One part of the party will be out straight away to put lifeboats from the davits down to the Boat Crew.The rest will wait on Boat Deck and wait for further instructions.When orders are given they will board the lifeboats and wait for the passengers, the passengers will be guide here by the Direct Passenger Party.Please note that some passengers embark the lifeboats on Boat Deck, others embark on Upper Deck

More details can be seen if you click into the photo.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #11 on: Jan 21, 2012, 09:45 PM »
Louis has also given me quite a few notes on Fire Doors. These will follow in a few days' time.

Thank you, Louis, for all these insights. With all your safety training, you must have been very aware of each of these details during your day-to-day work!

Offline Davina

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Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #12 on: Jan 22, 2012, 01:30 PM »
Quote
Louis, please tell us what is a liferaft station and who uses them?

QE2 has 6 Liferaft Stations.Stations 1 and 2 on the Foclse Area 3 and 4 on the Sports Deck Aft and 5 and 6 on One Deck Aft.

Each Liferaft Station has a Raft Preparation Party plus 5 groups numbered A to E each group has 25 crewmembers.The Raft Preparation Party will prepare load and supervise the evacuation.

During each boat drill one group will be called for a run through of the equipment and will stay behind to put the davit "away".

In a evacuation all liferafts must be capable of being boarded and launched in fully capacity in 30 minutes from the abanon ship signal.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #13 on: Jan 22, 2012, 05:00 PM »
Now that Louis has made me aware of some of these safety features, I remember being amused (which I should not have been!) at the ground-level signs indicating stairs ahead. I thought that everyone would be able to see where there were stairs -- but had not thought of emergency situations where there might be smoke at the higher levels :


Up to the Theatre balcony by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

I have placed a note on the picture itself, showing the signs.

Offline Rod

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #14 on: Jan 22, 2012, 05:43 PM »
I still find it amazing that even in this day and age, shoreside rules and regs require exit signs to be placed at the top of a wall. Up there they will be as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike in a fire situation. Airlines and ships have been required to have them at ground level for years.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #15 on: Jan 29, 2012, 01:36 PM »
Louis has marked on this picture of the foredeck where groups muster for Liferaft Stations 1A, 1B and 1C.

I had never noticed these markings!


A final photo by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

Have a look at the picture itself for Louis's notes, which will appear if you move the cursor across the picture.
« Last Edit: Jan 29, 2012, 09:35 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #16 on: Jan 29, 2012, 01:38 PM »
Liferaft Stations 5 and 6 are marked in this picture, behind the jacuzzis :


Arctic air by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

Louis has marked them with his notes on the Flickr picture.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #17 on: Jan 29, 2012, 01:41 PM »
This picture contains not just wind-blown me at the North Cape, but also the covered ladders, which will be rolled out during an evacuation :


QE2 at the North Cape by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

Louis's note is on the plastic cover in the bottom left of the picture, once you have clicked the small version above.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #18 on: Jan 29, 2012, 01:44 PM »
Louis has added a new note here, showing another ladder which can be rolled out once the bulwark door in the railings has been opened :


Off the fog banks of Newfoundland by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

Louis's more detailed notes are in the picture.

The smallest note on the right shows a heavy weight which is used instead of the liferafts during exercises. Could you tell us some more about this please, Louis?
« Last Edit: Jan 29, 2012, 01:46 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #19 on: Jan 29, 2012, 01:52 PM »
This picture contains not just wind-blown me at the North Cape, but also the covered ladders, which will be rolled out during an evacuation :


QE2 at the North Cape by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

Louis's note is on the plastic cover in the bottom left of the picture, once you have clicked the small version above.
I never knew what was under those covers!
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Offline Davina

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Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #20 on: Jan 29, 2012, 04:17 PM »
Quote
Louis has marked on this picture of the foredeck where groups muster for Liferaft Stations 1, 2 and 3.

That is Liferaft Station 1 and the markings read A to E.

Offline Rod

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #21 on: Jan 29, 2012, 05:23 PM »
Regarding the liferafts. The theory is/was that the raft would be loaded at deck level then lowered to the water and released. Around say, 1980 the DoT decided that they wanted to see this happen to a certain amount ofrafts every year. The first time they did it on 2 deck aft, they got the people in and the raft collapsed! imagine a "popped" baloon hanging from a hook! With 25 people inside. Fortunately there  were no serious injuries.  DoT were not very impressed and insisted that every raft be taken back to the makers and tested and rectified. I never trusted them after that.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #22 on: Jan 29, 2012, 09:41 PM »
That is Liferaft Station 1 and the markings read A to E.

Apologies, Louis -- corrected above now.

Could you please explain what happens to the passengers and crew? In the regular safety drill, we muster at our muster stations, all well inside the ship. What happens then? In an emergency, how do we get from the muster station to the lifeboats or the liferafts? Who goes where?

Presumably each lifeboat and each liferaft station is linked to a muster station?

I imagine (particularly after what Rod wrote) that the liferafts are very much the less desirable option if one wants to get off the ship and survive. Would every cabin be linked to a particular lifeboat or liferaft, or would the crew make sure that the less able bodied passengers had a lifeboat? How does it work?

Offline Rod

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #23 on: Jan 29, 2012, 10:44 PM »
In my day life rafts were for crew only.
In an emergency situation, when lifeboats were lowered they would be lowered to the boatdeck. There the crew would embark and some pax. Due to the design of the boats and launching tackle, the boats would be housed in tight to the side of the ship. If the ship was upright, then the boat could be lowered to the next deck to get more pax. If listing then the pax would be brought up to the boat deck. The whole system was designed to be idiot proof. AND basically it was.
As soon as the boat tie downs were let go, lift the brake, that red painted thing in the pics, and the boat would go down, and because of the design would be snugged in tight to the ships side. Crew and pax would board and the decision would be made wether or not to lower further or bring the pax up to boat deck.

Offline Davina

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Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #24 on: Jan 29, 2012, 11:58 PM »
Isabelle, passengers use Lifeboats and the Crew Liferafts.The Lifeboats will have a group of 6-8 crewmembers, theirs a 1st and 2nd in charge for every Lifeboat and Liferaft.I myself was mostly 2nd in charge of Lifeboats 10 or 11.

Upon the emergency signal all passengers must muster at their muster stations with lifejackets and wait for further instructions, going straight to Boat Deck is a wrong decision remember it might be cold and rainy outside, so staying inside you are kept warm and dry.Its is important that you get in the Lifeboats dry and warm your chances are greater of survival then, remember the ship might not be close to land then.If that is the case you might be in those Lifeboats for hours.

When the order of evacuation is given passengers are directed by those Muster Crew to the Lifeboats.If i recall well Lifeboats number 1,2,3,4,5,6,9,10,11,12 embark passengers on Boat Deck level.Lifeboats number 7,8,,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20 embark passengers on Upper Deck level.

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #25 on: Jan 30, 2012, 02:15 PM »
Its also interesting to read that words such as "lifeboats" "evacuate" and "abondon ship" will be avoided so as not to install panic amongst the passengers !
And that the evacuation will be conducted in two stages,namely "Commence Stage 1" and then "Stage 2"

From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Twynkle

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #26 on: Jan 30, 2012, 06:47 PM »
In my day life rafts were for crew only.

They still are, Rod :-X
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Davina

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Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #27 on: Jan 30, 2012, 06:55 PM »
Quote
They still are, Rod

Very true Rosie, but if evacuation goes wrong and certain lifeboats cant be launched passengers will have to use liferafts there is plenty of spare ones.

Offline Twynkle

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #28 on: Feb 27, 2012, 08:17 PM »
Rod, Louis and Crew Members - When you did the weekly drills, do you remeber ever asking passengers to actually get into the life-boats, or life-rafts even, and drop them down to sea level?
Another question - were people with their lifejackets on, (apart from the crew of the Tender) required to be strapped into seats on the benches?
Thank you! :)
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #29 on: Feb 27, 2012, 08:30 PM »
I presume that the reason why Captains don't put the passengers into the lifeboats unless absolutely necessary, is because its a bit risky!  Only when it is more risky to stay on the ship, does it become a good idea!  I can't imagine any passenger ever being in a lifeboat when it was lowered except in a dire emergency.  I'm sure the shipping line wouldn't be allowed to do this anyway - by insurers or regulators.  They'll only be insured to have crew do this I'm sure.

- R
« Last Edit: Feb 27, 2012, 08:34 PM by Rob Lightbody »
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Offline Rod

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #30 on: Feb 27, 2012, 10:49 PM »
For Rosie. Pax never got in the lifeboats because of the liability issue, as Rob said. After a massive failure of a break winch on No 11 boat while lowering it with the night workers...(they used to be able to get the first launch ashore used to set up the shore side end).  They only lowered boats with the 3 boats crew. When no 11 failed the whole boat was stranded with night workers and crew about 75 feet above the water! Took nearly 3 hours to get everybody out and the boat back to it home.
If housed properly, there were 2 wires strapped around the boats during the "house" period. These are called gripes. They wer leld tight by devices called senhouse slips, quick release..Knock off the senhouse slips..lift the break...that red handled thingy...boat would lower to boat deck wher it would be brought snugly into the side of the ship at boat deck by the bowsing in tackle. That too was held by senhouse slips. knock those off and lower to upper and quarter decks. Fill up and lower to the water...the hooks should realease automatically, and the boat is free to go. The hooks,,called blocks weighed close on 1/2 a ton and could ruin your whole day if they hit you. So they were usually guided out of the way.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #31 on: Feb 27, 2012, 11:00 PM »
Thank you for all those details, Rod! Fascinating...

Presumably the procedure was a bit different when lowering the lifeboats for tender service?

Offline Rod

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #32 on: Feb 28, 2012, 01:20 AM »
Thank you for all those details, Rod! Fascinating...

Presumably the procedure was a bit different when lowering the lifeboats for tender service?

Not really Isabelle,
The gripes would be taken off and the boats lowered to boat deck. If it was the first launch port of a cruise it would be loaded with all the paraphanalia needed for shoreside and let down to the bottom. It was also needed to moor the landing stages to the ships side. Once all that was done, the shore party and nightgang would head for shore as soon as immigration had cleared the ship. While this was going on other launches would be lowered and made ready.

Offline Davina

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Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #33 on: Feb 28, 2012, 06:14 AM »
Whatever training the crew do onboard passengers never take part in it.In some cases they even argue with the crew because an area will be out of bounds for an hour.

As for lowering the lifeboats only the crew in the Boat Preparation Party take part in it.On one occasion in Barcelona we did during training lower a lifeboat full of crew.I was to involved in another occasion training man overboard situation this happened in Barbados.

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #34 on: Feb 28, 2012, 09:11 AM »
Whatever training the crew do onboard passengers never take part in it.In some cases they even argue with the crew because an area will be out of bounds for an hour.

After the recent Concordia accident I can imagine passengers will be taking a different viewpoint on being inconvenienced when staff are taking part in safety drills.  I am more aware of safety drills onboard the new ships than I was onboard QE2 (I do not know why) but a friend had sleep disturbed, on several occasions onboard QE2, by crew using radios in the corridors.  This made me realise that even as passengers sleep the crew have training to do in relation to safety.  
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Offline Twynkle

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #35 on: Feb 28, 2012, 09:34 AM »
Thanks so much, Rod.
The whole process has always been intriguing - even lowering and raising the paint raft too!
How often did you need to check / inspect / do maintenance on the tenders as life-boats - expect this was necessary regularly and quite frequectly - parts of them would be subject to sea-spray damage too, I guess
I guess it was a great job - tending to the tenders!
I have a short video of each and every step that you describe from the boat deck of QE2 - sadly I'm unable to put it into YouTube (server restriction on 'Gigs' etc)

Not surprisingly, there have been many more opportunities to watch both the lowering and raising the life-boats including the new rapid response craft on the new Cunard ships too.  The routine is still exactly as you describe - Night crew off with the tent, tables and gangway ropes etc off at first light; sometimes they return with 'locals' as well.
(a tender on QV got stuck at a  diagonal angle during a practice drill - we were over-nighting in St Petersburg - the Russian authorities weren't 'able' to supply a crane to help shift it. We had to sail onwards to Estonia where the people in Tallin were more than willing to help out. A rumour went round the ship regarding safety etc - people anxiously asking 'Isn't it against the rules to sail with the tender stuck..? ;)   A team fronm the ship's builders in Italy also flew over to inspect, consult etc!
 (image to follow)

All the best - and thanks to for remembering and telling us so much in great detail
Rosie
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Bruce Nicholls

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #36 on: Feb 28, 2012, 10:22 AM »
After the recent Concordia accident I can imagine passengers will be taking a different viewpoint on being inconvenienced when staff are taking part in safety drills.

Somehow I doubt this, I am always amazed at how immune some people are to their own safety, especially if it inconveniences them personally.

Thanks to Rod for his clear description of how the bits we never get to play with all work.

Offline Davina

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Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #37 on: Feb 28, 2012, 11:22 AM »
Some notes i took out about the launching and clearing the ship

Offline Rod

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #38 on: Feb 29, 2012, 12:18 AM »
Somehow I doubt this, I am always amazed at how immune some people are to their own safety, especially if it inconveniences them personally.

Thanks to Rod for his clear description of how the bits we never get to play with all work.

LIKE!!!!
Not only the thanks Rod but the original comment.. Whatever the hell you do as a Cruise Director, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER have a bar open at least 2 hours before a boatdrill!
It would be nice if we did learn...the regulating authorities do, but if it inconveniences a pax???? fuggedit. Several times, in fact many times thinking about it I was asked by pax...do I have to go. After I went to a rescue of a cargo ship, with no pax, I just said...thats up to you. You will learn what to do in the event of an emergency. That greatly increases your chance of survival if we do have an emergency. If you do not go, that greatly increases your chances of dying in the event of an emergency. YOUR CHOICE!
One pax complained and I was hauled in front of the Staff Captain, Capt Ridley. What did you say etc etc...told him, his response was: "OH FOR CH%#@t's sake. You still drink gin?"
5  weeks later I was called to Ridleys cabin again....I just got a letter about you....uh oh... It was the from the pax saying he was wrong, he apologized to me, and to the Staff and said that he now  realized that it was a DEADLY serious business.
Ridleys reply?





"You still drink gin?"

Offline Rod

Re: Safety features on board QE2
« Reply #39 on: Feb 29, 2012, 12:33 AM »
Now to Rosie
I have to print her questions out to make sure I answer them to the best of my " One year older than our Lords donkey" memory allows.
First of all. Yo do realise that there is an "Ask the Engineer " thread???????????
Kidding! I very much appreciate everybodys interest, especially those of you that still sail, (misnomer?) Anything that I can do to educate the public, that go to sea, as to what goes on behind the scenes. EVERY different department on board a ship likes to think that they are the key. But deep down, they realise that a ship is the PRIME example of a team, you lose one team member....the team is screwed. Example: Louis would think that as long as he kept on selling drinks and keeping the pax happy he was the most important member as he was making Cunard a profit. True....but if he couldn't put ice in that pax drink...he was screwed!