[QUOTE=Siberfire;55605]@Cal - flame much? Those things have little to do with the topic at hand.[/QUOTE]
LOL! Ah yes, you would be correct that such things have little to do with the topic of safety. However, as items you used to illustrate your familiarity with the pertinent parts of the job some may expect of you, it paints a different picture of simple reality. Things one takes for granted frequently blind side them, which was the point some of us were trying to make. Just don’t let the Bic lighter bother you, it’s the bonfire that matters…
Its a different experience going from safety safety safety to it doesn’t really matter because nothings happened yet.
Make sure you’re not confusing something that is viewed as an exercise in futility with the perception that it doesn’t matter because nothing has happened yet. Tugs face the same extreme, adverse environment as larger vessels but the reality is the timeline on our ability to react to some of those same adversities is nearly non-existent. You’ve read the incident report on the Tug Valor, you’ve obtained an intimate viewpoint on some of these accidents. Heck, look at the cumulative years of experience of the crew on the Valor, I think that’s the one that blows me away. They had time to address issues and avoid a loss of life, they failed to do so. Others don’t have that time. The sinking of a tug coming into New York Harbor, from the initial distress call to the time the tug was on the bottom was 8 minutes. Fire in the Kills some months ago, within 5 minutes the engine room fire was obviously beyond bringing under control by viewing from the outside of the vessel. There is no compartmentalization, the vessels are simply too small.
None of the above are an excuse for apathy, which seems to be our biggest enemy. A plan of action and making decisions on certain predictable scenarios, which is what your drills are for, is the best way to avoid such. Not the AWO paperwork shuffle that attempts to divert responsibility for an incident away from Company contributions, such as lack of proper maintenance, and on to the crew.
There are some things you can’t do anything about. Crew limitations create the situation where deckhands are working outside, alone, at night. That’s a reality that isn’t going to change, even if one dies because of it. The companies and regulatory bodies simply don’t care that much about one life, regardless of what they tell you. If they were sincere in that regard regulations would actually be enforced and crews wouldn’t be at a bare minimum. We are expendable. I get paid well for being so and I do my best to make sure I don’t become one that has been expended. If that is a situation you simply can’t reconcile within yourself, then tugboats aren’t for you. Don’t take such comments as an insult, they are merely a statement of fact, not a judgment of you, your abilities, or expertise. Tugboats aren’t for everyone, just as a desk job isn’t for everyone. Everybody has their own personal tastes and goals.
You are responsible first and foremost for yourself. If you see a safety concern correct it if you can. The life rings are in disarray? Correct the problem. Inspect them, determine what needs to be done to fix them, and request any necessary supplies or materials from the Mate, bring it to his attention and ask him what the best way to address the issue is. While such is definitely not your job, it is your life. You may have a guy that tells you to mind your own business, in which case I would be looking for another boat/job, but you may find that it bothers him as well that he doesn’t have time to take care of that portion of his job. Which I will state is a cop out. I work a 6 and 6 as well, I make the time, it’s that important.