Section 7: Safety

BOATS AND LIFERAFTS - The ship carries eight automatic-release, self-inflating liferafts. They are in cradles on the 02 deck forward, four on each side. The forward-most carries 16 people while the after three carry 25 persons each. The rafts are numbered 1-8 with the even numbers on the port side and the odd on the starboard. All personnel aboard are assigned to one of the liferafts (see station card attached to your bunk for raft assignment).

There is a rescue boat located on the starboard side. This boat can be quickly deployed and would be used by the Rescue Squad in an emergency, such as "man overboard". Please do not tamper with this or any other safety equipment. If you have questions about any of the equipment ask a crew member.

EMERGENCY DRILLS - A fire and abandon ship drill must be held within 24 hours of leaving port and once every seven days thereafter, by Coast Guard regulation. Fire and abandon ship station bills are posted throughout the ship. Individual billet numbers and responsibilities are posted on small cards near each bunk. For convenience individual billet numbers also correspond to cup and glass numbers. There are two U.S. Coast Guard-approved "personal flotation devices" (lifejackets) in each stateroom for the occupants. Additional lifejackets are stored in the labs. Upon room assignment, all scientists should familiarize themselves with their fire and boat stations, memorize their billet numbers, and learn where their lifejackets are stored and how to wear them properly. Lifejackets are to be worn during all drills.

With the captain's permission, the chief scientist may assign a "skeleton watch" to remain in the lab during fire and boat drills. Proper dress (i.e., long pants, hats, shoes, shirt, etc.) is required at all drills. Bare feet, flip-flops, and shower shoes are unsafe on deck.

Life rafts are for emergency use only. Roger Revelle carries 64 cold water survival suits, which are in the staterooms.

MEDICAL MATTERS - The ability of the ship to handle medical emergencies is limited. There are first aid kits, a stocked sick bay, officers have limited first aid training and help can be summoned by radio. The best course of action is to prevent emergencies.

To this end:

  • Do not try to disguise or pass over any abnormal conditions you may have, especially any which might erupt suddenly and require treatment.
  • Prevent injuries by thinking safety all the time. Watch for dangerous situations - fix them or bring them to the attention of someone who can.

Roger Revelle currently has Medical Advisory Systems contracted to provide medical assistance via radio.

PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES - You will find your lifejacket in your assigned room. It should be equipped with a whistle on a lanyard and a waterproof light. All lifejackets also have reflective patches attached front and back near the shoulders. Lifejackets are important safety devices; they should not be left about the ship, used as cushions or pillows, etc. If there is a problem with your lifejacket or it is missing notify the mate on watch who will make arrangements to take care of the problem. Work vests are provided by the ship and are located in a locker in the aft section of the main lab. These vests must be worn when the safety lines are down or if you are involved in over-the-side handling of equipment.

A limited number of "mustang" cold-weather work suits/PFDs is available, as is a limited supply of foul weather gear.

SHIPBOARD SAFETY - Seagoing operations are by nature hazardous. Strict compliance with safety at-sea precautions is necessary to prevent injury to personnel and damage to the ship.

There should be someone in the lab whenever deck evolutions are being conducted to maintain the communications link between the lab, work site on deck, and bridge. Deck evolutions should be discussed well in advance whenever possible with safety and efficiency foremost. The bridge should be informed of all deployments before anything is put over the side and then deployed only from the designated place. At night or during heavy weather no one should go out on the working deck without informing the bridge. Permission must be obtained from the bridge prior to turning on any deck lights or operating any equipment on deck. Work vests shall be worn by everyone on the working deck whenever the lifelines are down. Safety is everyone's business.

Hard hats are a wise precaution in some operations. A limited supply is available.

Due to vessel motion in heavy seas, the scientific party members should insure that all of their equipment is securely lashed down and properly stowed. It is the chief scientist's responsibility to insure that this task has been accomplished. If you see any items not secured properly and are in doubt as to how to stow or lash it down, ask the resident technician or any crew member for assistance.

A shipboard fire is the most dangerous and most prevalent hazard encountered at sea. It is also a hazard that can be easily prevented by common sense and simple precautions. Careless smoking habits are responsible for the majority of shipboard fires. Remember: while at sea you can't run away from a burning ship.

Keep all doors and hatches secure at all times. Either latch it open with the hook supplied or close it tight. Never allow doors or hatches to swing freely with the roll of the ship. Be aware of air conditioning boundaries and leave these doors shut at all times. When opening and closing doors, be courteous to sleeping shipmates and do not let the door slam shut.

Stand clear of all wires, ropes and blocks which are under stress. Do not handle any moving wire or rope.

Pick up, clean up, and securely stow all loose gear after each use. Do not walk away from any piece of loose equipment-- even if it is not yours, tie it down.

Wear proper shoes when working on deck. Sandals or other flip-flop type of footwear which cannot be securely fastened to one's feet are unsafe and will not be tolerated for deck work.

MAN OVERBOARD - If someone has the misfortune to fall overboard, first pass the word to the bridge "MAN OVERBOARD" designating which side if possible. Next throw one of the strategically located life rings over the side to mark the spot and provide flotation. At all times you should keep your eyes on the person, it helps if you point to the victim. This assists the bridge and other watchers to keep the person in sight. If underway the bridge watch will maneuver to keep the props clear and recover the person, or if circumstances permit launch the rescue boat. The sound signals for MAN OVERBOARD are 3 long blasts on the general alarm and ship's whistle.