Abandon Ship

You have only about 3 minutes to abandon ship if you have a major leak and can't stop it. That includes the time spent assessing the damage and trying to plug or correct the problem. If the boat is definitely going to sink then it is time to go through the Abandon Ship routine. Note this must be the very last resort, the safest place to be is on the boat even if it is badly damaged!!

  1. All crew put on their Life Jackets.
  2. One transmits May Day on the VHF and the Iridium Phone while we still have power.
  3. Others assemble the following items in the cockpit:
    • EPIRB's;
    • Yellow Flare Container;
    • Grab Bag;
    • Water Container
    • Emergency dribag of warm clothes
    • Cockpit knife;
    • Ship's Log, Handheld VHF, and GPS (if not in Grab Bag);
    • Seat cushions (floatable);
    • Ziplock bag with wallets, passports, tickets, and boat papers;
    • First Aid kit ; and
    • Computer
  5. One person puts Cockpit knife in pocket and small grabbed items in Grab Bag or Computer Case 
  6. All inspect the life raft tether attachment to the boat to make sure it is secure
  7. Deploy the life raft on leeward side of the boat (so it stays close to the boat and is shielded from the weather)
  8. Tie the containers and water jug to a rope
  9. One climbs into the life raft. Make every effort to climb into life raft from Enchantress. It's incredibly difficult to haul yourself into a life raft from the water.
  10. Others hand the Grab Bag, cushions, clothing and rope for water jug and other containers into the life raft and immediately climb in
  11. Haul on the tether to retrieve Containers and water jug
  12. Activate one of the EPIRB's and leave it activated
  13. Let the tether out as far as possible and prepare to cut it--but only when Enchantress is clearly sinking. Note however, that a liferaft cannot be towed or held alongside for long without suffering damage.
  14. Take seasick pills out of Grab Bag, and swallow

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This page was last modified on: January 31, 2013

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