The NINA principles have led to more discussion about safety, which also means talking openly about doubts. For example, some of the crew members of the Crestway wondered if they would be able to launch the life raft correctly and quickly enough in an emergency.
“We took their concerns to heart and held a realistic drill,” says first mate
Pavel Avsejenko. “We actually launched the life raft and evacuated the vessel. Normally a safety drill of this kind is kept purely theoretical, so this was unusual. It was the first drill where it was crystal-clear for our entire team what you are supposed to do; we really learned how it’s done.”
The drill had the added benefit of increasing awareness among the 13 crew members. “Everyone now knows how we want to approach NINA and what we want to achieve. It’s about taking responsibility for your own safety and looking out for your colleagues’ safety as well. On board, teamwork is key and it can only be achieved through mutual trust, which is definitely boosted by these drills. We are proud that our team makes safety a top priority."
Once a life raft has been inflated, it has to be checked by an expert before it can be used again. A fee is charged for this service. To avoid these charges, the Crestway’s crew wants Boskalis to purchase life rafts specifically for drills, and vessels can then take turns using these rafts. That way, all of the crews can actually experience what happens during a life saving operation.