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parrothead 04-01-2007 08:01 PM

I think this might be a dumb ?, but you never know until you ask huh? Why is that the life boats are located on the middle of the new ships and on the top of the older ships? (not worried about it just would it be easier to get on a boat middle ways of the ship if you were in high seas or something??? as oppose to being at the top of the ship??

f-mattox 04-01-2007 08:11 PM

I'm sorry I can't recall the ship, but there was a famous sea disaster in which the ship was listing so badly to one side that the boats on that side could not be launched.

You maritime historians help me out here.

papaflamingo 04-01-2007 08:16 PM

Can't really answer from any official knowledge however with all the new advancements I am sure there are ways to somewhat stabilize the lifeboats in high seas. I am fairly sure that the capability is much better to lower the boats in higher seas then in the past.
As for the rolling motion it will be more pronounced on higher decks as you get farther from the center of gravity. Additionally you would have that much further to lower them. Interesting question though.

Raoul Fiebig 04-02-2007 05:50 AM


updated SOLAS requirements (SOLAS = International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea) introduced new maximum height requirements for lifeboats in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Ships designed (not necessarily built) after that must comply with those. There are, however, some rare exceptions, e.g. "Queen Mary 2", which has its lifeboats positioned higher up in the ship than normally allowed.

PC GUY 04-02-2007 06:40 AM

F-Mattox, I think you are referring to the Andrea Doria in 1957.

The ship was listing so badly that only half of the boats could be launched - it almost became another titanic, but every available ship assisted the rescue. The only fatalities where people who died in the initial collision, everybody else got out.

There was a similar incident in 1914 - The Empress of Ireland suffered collision with another ship in the St. Lawrence river - it rolled over and sank in less than 15 minutes. In terms of loss of life - it was worse than the Titanic, but it is barely a historical footnote becase weeks after the accident - Europe erupted into WW1.

Dave 04-02-2007 07:24 AM

The updated SOLAS rules require lifeboats on new builds to be no more than 15 meters from the waterline. QM2 was exempted because they convinced SOLAS that the ship has a higher chance of encountering high waves than other vessels (since it primarily does the north Atlantic run), although a major reason for their request was really asthetics.

f-mattox 04-02-2007 07:32 AM

Thank you, PC GUY, that was the one I was looking for. I remember watching in horror the newsreel footage in the local movie house (MovieTone News--now I've really dated myself).
As I recall it collided with another ship (the Stockholm?) and I thought, how is that possible with all that water out there.

Thank you Raoul for the information also.

Jim C. 04-02-2007 07:47 AM

And on most of the ships I have sailed, the life boats would be lowered down to the muster stations anyway. You wouldn't actually climb into the boats at the deck they were stowed anyway.

parrothead 04-02-2007 12:22 PM

Thanks guys for the info..I suppose it really determines on the disaster as to which would be the safest. In my opinion..Hope nothing ever happens, but on a lighter note, I guess I had the visual of the Titanic movie.. Glad they muster stations

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