How to Stay Afloat on a Sinking Ship
The Alaskan coastline’s unspoiled beauty as possible, and Antarctica’s ice waters were similarly chilly. But in the end, the Caribbean’s warm, clear blue seas triumphed. You’ve put money aside, purchased sunscreen, and worked on your shuffleboard skills. As the launch day approaches, you’re eager to try your luck at the slots, dance the tango, see a magic show, and marvel at ice sculptures. Yes, you’re going to embark on a cruise.
You’re not alone if you’re thinking about taking a cruise shortly. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, 34 million individuals over the age of 25 are expected to cruise in the next three years [source: cruising.org]. For the travel business, this is fantastic news. But what happens if the ship you choose collides with a reef or an iceberg? We all know what occurred on the Titanic, but is a modern cruise liner capable of sinking? Cruise ships can and do sink, even though it isn’t common. Ask the Sea Diamond’s passengers. In 2007, that cruise ship sunk off the coast of Greece. The evacuation of 1,600 passengers and staff members took more than three hours, but two were never recovered and are assumed dead.
What Causes Ships to Sink?
Ships and boats are designed to float on the surface of the water, but several things may go wrong and transform your vessel into a submarine. Water ingress is unavoidable; huge waves frequently crash over the edges, and minor breaches are prevalent. The water will normally make its way to the boat’s lowest point, the bilge. As a result, bilge pumps are installed aboard ships to pump the water out whenever it reaches a specific level. Boats frequently sink when moored, but this isn’t a life-threatening situation unless you live on your boat like Sonny Crockett.
The following are some of the most common reasons for a boat sinking at sea:
The transom is low — The transom is a flat vertical surface that forms the boat’s back end, often known as the stern end. The motor is situated on the transom of the outboard watercraft. The ship’s name can be found on the transom of bigger inboard vessels. The goal is for the transom to be high enough to prevent water from entering the boat. Simple design faults might cause your transom to be too low. Improper weight distribution can also cause a transom to sink to the point that waves can crash through it, flooding the deck. To avoid this, don’t stow all of your heavy equipment at the stern of the boat. Scuba gear, coolers, fishing equipment, and bait should all be uniformly placed along with the ship to maintain the transom at a safe height. It’s also a bad idea to anchor from the stern since it might force the transom down even farther.
Drain plugs are missing — This may sound obvious, yet boats sink all the time due to a lack of drain plugs. When a ship moves forward, the entire vessel rests higher on the water than when it is stationary, with the front of the boat being higher than the back. Water gathered from waves or sea spray is permitted to depart the vessel through a drain near the deck level at the back of the boat. The boat tilts up as you move forward, and the water flows toward the drain and out again. The issue develops when the skipper forgets to shut the drain with a tiny, watertight stopper once the boat has come to a halt. When the ship comes to a halt, it sinks lower and absorbs water through the drain. Carry a few additional drain plugs, and put one near the ignition to serve as a reminder. If you respond quickly and have the right tools, you can keep the boat sinking completely.