Holding Effective Drills

An accident can happen at any time while you are serving on any ship. If an unexpected event does happen, crew members shall always be ready and know what is expected of them. Drills are a mandatory part of shipboard life; they shall help build teamwork and confidence. But eyewitness reports from port state authorities have discovered that too often crew members are unfamiliar, hesitant, unconcerned or use poor techniques when forced into this kind of situation.

That is why holding effective drills is so important. If drills are carried out realistically, the knowledge obtained will enable crew members to handle real situations promptly and ensure a positive outcome. Crew members should remember that holding effective drills is not just a task undertaken to conform to regulations - effective drills are designed to save lives. Of course, simulating real situations to obtain knowledge is difficult and can be dangerous.

But these trainees are obtaining first-hand knowledge before setting out to sea. A drill is a way of testing your knowledge. A review of that test will indicate any areas for further training. With the number of new stories of accidents involving vessels, it has become evident that drills have not always been effective; crews were not responding quickly enough, they used poor techniques and they lacked the knowledge and understanding of their role in the real life incident.

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