Safety of Life at Sea


Distress flares are the indispensable part of the pyrotechnics complement to be carried on board any vessel and essential items of the ship safety equipment. The flares are considered one of the most effective and rapid mains of boat signal in distress, indicating your position.

It is absolutely imperative that all flares are stored in a water-proof container. Flares can play a key role in assisting early rescue and also reducing heavy cost of SAR (i.e. search-and-rescue operation). Approximately half of boats in Tasmania are used outside smooth waters and that is why they are required to carry distress flares.

Watch this short film and you may learn something else about the flares or refresh your knowledge.

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The opening part of the video training course is addressing the hazards commonly associated with entry into the shipboard enclosed spaces. The authors of this course have made a brilliant attempt to show how to properly recognize the enclosed spaces located on the vessel and how to raise awareness of the associated hazards, focusing on the lack of oxygen.

The target audience of the course is deck officers and deck rating, catering, engine room electricians, engine room rating and both junior and senior officers, taking into account that the information presented in the film is equally important for all people on board - even those crew members who have satisfactorily completed all mandatory training related to the enclosed space entry are still required to refresh their knowledge on a regular basis. This film serves as a supplement to this booklet of the safety training course.

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On every single arrival at any port, vessels are boarded by many people - custom officials, inspectors, ship agents, marine surveyors, shore crew members, suppliers and other visitors, and all of them shall use the gangway, or accommodation letter as the normal means of access - the condition of the gangway often gives the ship's visitors the very first impression of how the vessel is managed.

Since the pilots often have to embark/disembark the ship in quite hazardous conditions, it is considered essential that the pilot ladder of the ship complies with the highest standards and is properly maintained. In addition to that, it is very important that all crew members are fully aware of the procedures and follow them in the prescribed correct manner.

The present video film supplements this nice training booklet and has same structure. It should be recommended to all crew members and particularly to those of them normally engaged in subject operations. The video will also be good when used for general familiarization purposes and may therefore be aimed to the general audience, i.e. not only people making the ladder arrangements but also people using the gangways and ladders - it makes sense to have a clear idea of what you are stepping on...

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This training film was originally produced for the sole purpose of educating seamen against drugs, and particularly the life-changing effects and criminal liabilities of its unlawful usage and smuggling.

The narrated and re-enacted real life events in this video are personal accounts of interviewees, mostly seamen and their loved ones, who have voluntarily given details of their personal experiences and insights, and how these have affected their lives.

May they serve as clear testimonies and lessons to seamen, to properly guide them when confronted with actual situations involving illegal drugs. Absolutely, life is all about being truly alive, and living your life with the ones you love. Existing by choosing a purpose. Not a death dose. Not a fatal choice. Say No!...

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Four seamen die in fire... Crew missing after collision... Seaman found dead in locker... Three die as ship sinks... Fire kills five seamen... All of these deaths happened and they could be prevented. The number of deaths at sea resulting from entry into enclosed spaces is constantly rising. Such fatalities often take place as a result of the failure to follow the very basic safety procedures. this issue is of an increasing concern to all maritime authorities.

This training video film is expected to be watched by the shipboard and shore-based personnel. The authors of the video have tried to stress the serious need for shared responsibility of the vessel operators and owners to design effective procedures relating to actual shipboard operations, and implement them, as well as their obligation to ensure the effectiveness of the training. We are all aware of the possible consequences of not following the rules and procedures for the enclosed space entry and we are all equally responsible for the human life.

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Let us introduce an excellent training film, which is actually another video produced and released by Videotel - this one is intended to supplement the training booklet on the Emergency Response on Container Ships. Although the training programme addresses specifically container ships, the main messages apply equally to emergency on any type or class of ships.

Since the container vessels were originally introduced in 1960s, the container industry has undergone extraordinary growth. Ship size has increased dramatically and so have the commercial demands. As a result, today's container ships are running at high level of possible risk.

The most common and also most dangerous emergencies reported on container ships are fires, which can easily spread to all other sections of the vessel, and leaks, which are posing extremely serious safety risks to the personnel from toxic atmosphere and pollution to the marine environment as well as to the coastal areas. We recommend you to watch this film and be duly aware of the emergency response on container vessels.

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Time was, going to the scaffold only meant one thing - sudden death. The thing is that sometimes it still does. When it comes to working on scaffolding, it is easy to imagine some of the things that may go wrong. Maybe you are on a platform with no guardrails, or you have got no safety harness, for instance. But there are plenty of other hazards which are not that obvious.

The sad truth is that deadly mistakes can happen at any of stages of the working process. Even when you are just thinking about what kind of access equipment to use, or designing or erecting the scaffolding, or left alone actually doing the job. So, each and every one of us, if we are involved in height access equipment, it does not matter how, has a responsibility for our own safety and that of the people around us.

It is clear that if you want to keep a risk of the falls and other accidents to a minimum, you need to plan the whole process of working at height. The first step in that process is assessing the risks. Before anyone can work at height, there needs to be a risk assessment. It will help determine the safest way to go about the whole process. Start by looking at the measures which will provide protection for everyone - by controlling access, for example.

After that, think about individual protection, such as protective equipment, where risks can't be further reduced by other means, and make sure that the gear you use is right for the situation. Remember, the process is not over after the initial risk assessment, there is also need for continuing monitoring... 

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It was the sinking of the Titanic early last century that brought the world's attention to the importance of lifeboats and lifeboat exercises. Since then, these exercises have become an essential part of maritime life. First, with open lifeboats.

These were fitted with systems that only released when the boat was in the water with no load on the falls; these systems worked well in calm conditions but if there was movement of the sea or the ship, there could be problems release the lifeboat.

To overcome this, on-load release systems were developed. On-load release systems are sophisticated. Their design incorporates many safety features. But, to function safely, they need to be operated and maintained correctly. It is essential to have a full working knowledge of your on-load release systems to operate them and maintain them.

All on-load release systems include a fore and an aft hook assembly by which the lifeboat is suspended. The hook assemblies are linked by cables to the release handle mechanism operated inside the lifeboat. The mechanical arrangements of this handle mechanism are designed to ensure that both hooks are released at the same time.

Most systems feature a hydrostatic release linked to the handle to make certain that it cannot be operated out of the water unless this release is deliberately overridden. We are going to look at the maintenance of on-load release mechanisms...

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