‘I like to have everything ready before the drill.” Says Sly Stallone (no relation), deckhand and BA team member on a motor yacht which wishes to remain anonymous. “Things can get a little stressful with everyone running around, and the alarm is really loud which can make it hard to focus. So on Friday mornings, just before tea break, I always take a swing past the fire locker. I get out my boots and trousers, give the mask a rub to wipe off the smears, attach my go-pro to the helmet, and spray some cologne in the suit. You know, the basics.” He says as he methodically lays out his gear, taking care not to spill any of his third red-bull of the morning on it. “That shit stains mate.”
His actions, and the subsequent well-oiled drill in which all crew were already at the muster station before the alarm was sounded, are a practical example of the results of a recent study completed by the maritime branch of the ERWE(C)MA (Emergency Responders Without Experience (Close) Monitoring Agency). The study concluded that any fire on board a yacht, tied to the dock, on a Friday morning, after tea break, close to the end of the month, would be met with a rapid and thorough response leading to it being extinguished well before lunch.
“It was bloody impressive.” Says Mel Gibson (no relation), head of the ERWE(C)MA marine division. “We went in with a few pre-conceived ideas about how effective the response would be of a fire fighting team with only 2-7 days of total formal training, put into extreme situations onboard what are essentially metal boxes lined in wood that has been saturated in flammable substances, and left to fight fires with, at times, no ready assistance coming within a range of hours to days. But they proved us wrong. Friday morning? After tea? Dockside? Tell the fire to go back to bed, he doesn’t stand a chance. And that was good enough for me.”
The study also concluded that any cruise ship sinking in port on the first day of boarding new passengers, stood an excellent chance of evacuating all souls to the quay without major incident, although Mr. Gibson did provide the following caveat in a written statement: “Sometimes people do turn ankles or involve themselves in an attempt at mutual throttling over casino chips they thought no one was keeping an eye on during the emergency situation. And you can’t do much about that.”
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