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Posts from the Denis Sullivan No. 9: Bunk Light, O Bunk Light

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 25, 2010

August 24, 2010 – 9:52am — Natalie Joynton

“A ship,” Sullivan’s Senior Deckhand Wynne once told me, “is an inherently unsafe environment.” 

Because of this fact, before the Sullivan leaves any port our crew has an extensive meeting with new passengers about emergency procedures: what to do if a fire breaks out on deck, if someone fell overboard, or if (knock on wood) it became necessary to abandon ship. And each person aboard is given a job in the event of those emergencies: man the hoses, toss ring buoys to the MOB, grab Ditch Kit 3 and head for Life Raft 1. Recent advances in shipping technology still only take us so far.  Fires flare up in galleys, ships still sink, and once in a long while, someone is lost in the waves. 
 
Understandably, crews aboard ships are militant about safety. Most of the Sullivan rules are “small” in nature: always face the stairs while climbing the companionways, never leave belongings strewn across the deck, latch all the doors closed during and after using them. Despite their larger, beneficial impacts, in being small, the rules take a while to master. So the question then becomes: how do you teach proper ship safety to new passengers in the quickest way possible? 

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