Abandon ship is the top challenging situation a mariner could face in his or her career. The risky task is, not only to launch the lifeboat and complete safe embarkation, but also to safely navigate this lifeboat in the high seas until rescued.
Maintaining safety in such conditions -where the panic of passengers for example, could adversely affect safety of the boat- is an extra challenging task, reminding that training in safe water can hardly prepare a mariner for the hazards encountered in emergency cases.
A new book, published by The Nautical Institute, seeks to fill the gap between training and reality, by providing a critical look at the challenges facing those trying to rescue survivors from lifeboats.
Written by Capt. Dag Pike, a Captain with extensive professional experience at sea, a navigator who has been shipwrecked twice in the Atlantic and author of more than 40 nautical books, ‘Driving Lifeboats and Rescue Boats’ is drawn upon the realities of navigating a lifeboat, MOB boat or fast rescue boat and everything that comes along with it.
Claiming the title of the only book written on this subject, ‘Driving Lifeboats’ brings together an interesting mix of text, photographs and diagrams, to share expertise on the whole procedure, from boarding preparations to navigating the vessel in any weather condition.
Extending knowledge from his 2017 book ‘Launch and Recovery of Boats from Ships’, the author discusses, among others, the different driving techniques needed for the fast boats used to rescue people in the water, to tow liferafts, and many other.
Meanwhile, Capt. Pike does not neglect to touch upon the unsatisfactory design of many modern lifesaving craft, in a way that the book is not only suitable for crews and search and rescue forces, but also to designers, manufacturers and regulators.
Driven by the major risks associated with poor training and design, the book ends up as a safety guide to handling small craft in emergencies and challenging conditions.
The motivation for writing this book came from the major problems of modern lifeboats with inexperienced crews and poor design and legislation. Training is limited to calm water so crews get no experience of real world situations. Hopefully this book will correct some of these deficiencies,
-Capt. Dag Pike.