Beard Ban At MSC


Out of curiosity, did you read the study posted? All of their testing was with air purifying respirators, none was with an atmosphere supplying style. There is a very fundamental difference in how these two systems work and to take the results from testing one and say that they’re valid from the other is not right.

Following along OSHA’s recommendations, every person who might have to wear a respirator should also be tested annually with the mask that they’re going to be using. Great. Can you tell me the mask that is going to be in use for your next three ships? What happens if you get on a ship with a brand where you just can’t get a good seal? (the study you linked to seemed to indicate that one of the brands was not as good as the other across the board).

There are other issues that you come up against as well. There aren’t enough SCBAs on board to outfit the entire crew. The only SCBA you can count on being able to use is the one in your hand. Plans that involve sharing safety gear go out the window as soon as one team doesn’t come back (I speculate that this happened on the Maersk Honam). They lost four guys, which if they were on air would be four SCBAs as well. I haven’t sailed on any vessel that could absorb these kinds of losses and continue fighting the fire with any sort of effectiveness. Hell, losing four guys would be almost 25% of the crew on many commercial ships these days.

If we want to be truly serious about shipboard firefighting then every single crew member needs to be properly sized, fitted and supplied with their own SCBA and turnout gear. Every ship should have a realistic COI manning level that makes it possible to fight a fire along with properly designed turnout gear lockers. Til then I’ll focus my efforts on prevention rather than cure. If the SHTF and the fire isn’t out by the time the fire team suits up, then it’s time to pull CO2. I’ll have plenty of time to shave for my entry and inspection while I’m waiting for things to cool off.


Bow might be a Gillette stockholder…


What magical positive pressure SCBA’s are you using that are unaffected by folks sucking air too fast?


It has been a while since that change came out. Beards, dreads, and hippieness still rule at weekly fire drills.


I was at the MSC school in Jersey recently and the instructors were told to comply too. Apparently all office workers at MSC must comply, so it’s not just a fire fighting thing, but a make it more like active duty Navy thing.