Safety first - training professionals
The fact is that ships must meet many international safety standards before they can start operating. Moreover, all crew members have been trained to act in the unlikely event of a real emergency and the entire crew must have skills in survival techniques and in operating and other rescue equipment.
Safety is one of the most important aspects in shipping. Regulatory compliance involves emergency drills and exercises that test the efficiency and safety of operations, as well as emergency response skills.
The ship’s captain has the main responsibility for safety on board and all crew members have their own assigned duties in the shipboard emergency organization, such as fire fighting, passenger evacuation and first aid.
On passenger ships,
the minimum requirement is
to hold one “abandon ship” drill
and one fire drill every week.
To enhance the crew’s skills, drills simulate real incidents and contain many elements, like dressing the proper outfit, checking the equipment, testing alarm systems and communication. Lifeboats are lowered to the water and manoeuvered. The crew also practises and simulates different types of special situations with authorities, like rescue services and border guard.
Simulations of real-life major accidents
Maritime authorities inspect and audit the ships, their equipment and crew at regular intervals. The land organization is also prepared for incidents to assist the ship according to a contingency plan. Regular drills are also held internally at Finnlines offices ashore. These drills give the organization an opportunity to assess and test written emergency response procedures and to improve them.
Finnlines was one of the shipping operators that took part in Finland’s largest annual emergency drill “KriSu” in February 2020. KriSu has been ar-ranged since 2009 and over 300 people from different sectors, including private companies, educational institutions and the coast guard, attend. The target is to prepare the participants to act in any type of unexpected situation.
Pekka Stenvik Master MS Finnlady, Pekko Ikonen 1st Officer MS Finnmaid
and Otto Lehtinen 1st Engineer MS Finnlady took part in the emergency drill.
Finnlines’ commitment to its customers’ and crew’s health
Once it was evident that the coronavirus, Covid-19, had started to spread dramatically in Europe, Finnlines took protective measures on its ships. Posters were displayed in the public areas and crew quarters to remind crew and passengers of the importance of maintaining a high hygienic standard. Cleaning was intensified and special attention was paid to disinfecting surfaces, like hand rails, door handles, elevator knobs and tabletops. Hand sanitizers were placed at restaurant entrances, messrooms and drivers’ lounges. The crew was instructed in how to act if a suspect case of Covid-19 would be identified.
On ro-ro ships, the number of accompanying drivers was limited to accommodate them in single cabins. Finnlines ro-pax ships have spacious public areas, which makes social distancing easy. However, some good manners had to be compromised. No hand shaking either with passengers, visitors or crew.