What Happens if a Cruise Ship Hits an Iceberg

Icebergs hiding in the ocean provide sailing vessels with one of the most terrifying challenges they might confront. It just takes one direct blow from an iceberg to do irreparable damage to the ship’s hull. This is owing to the fact that icebergs are really massive in proportion to their surroundings.

Even if the remaining quarter of an iceberg’s body is exposed above the sea, it still constitutes a sizable portion of the whole. A glacial or an ice shelf from which a chunk of fresh ice measuring more than 15 meters in length has fallen off and is now drifting openly in the open sea is known as an iceberg. 

The sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912 was a major factor that led to the establishment of the International Ice Patrol in 1914. Icebergs may range in bulk from roughly 100,000 tonnes to more than 10 million tonnes and can reach heights of more than 100 meters well over the level of the water when they break off from glaciers and float free in the ocean.

What happens after a cruise ship hits an iceberg?

In the unfortunate event that your cruise ship collides with an iceberg, the extent of the damage will depend on the iceberg’s speed and impact location. If the ship had struck an iceberg, the ship’s hull would have sustained a deadly blow.

Cruise Ship hit Icebarg

Depending on the ship’s speed, everything is OK if the hull is not breached. However, if the ship’s hull is breached and there is a hole in the hull, the situation may become very hazardous. When this happens SOS signals are sent immediately as a sign of emergency to other ships requesting help.

After this, the damage is assessed as quickly as possible. A breach in the hull will lead to the sinking of the front compartments of the ship. Most ships are designed to withstand flooding of 4 to 5 compartments but if the damage is significant are more compartments get flooded, the ship will sink in a matter of hours.

In this specific scenario, both the employees and the customers follow the emergency and training procedures. Lifeboats are readied, and every measure imaginable is taken, all in an effort to save as many lives as possible.

How often do ships hit icebergs?

Even though ships could come into touch with ice on a daily basis, the presence of ice on the water is not often a problem. Because cruise ships take such great precautions to steer clear of icebergs, occurrences such as this one are exceedingly uncommon. 

It is not uncommon for chunks of glacial ice to break off and float away when glaciers melt, but it is rare for a cruise line to alter its route after coming into touch with such bits of ice.

Because of the rarity of these occurrences, people who are considering going on a cruise do not need to be concerned. During the period between 1980 and 2005, the northern hemisphere had 57 instances involving icebergs, which works out to a rate of 2.3 per year.

What precautions do modern cruise lines take to protect from icebergs?

Since the sinking of the RMS Titanic, many aspects have significantly advanced for the better. She possessed significant security from drowning as a result of an accident due to the fact that she could sustain harm to up to four neighboring rooms before she herself sank.

She was unlucky enough to have breakage in all five compartments! At this point in time, the norm is to just have two compartments for subdivision. Nonetheless, the bulkheads that divided the RMS Titanic only reached a point just beyond the waterline. 

Cruise Ship hit Icebarg

When she started to descend with the bow plunging deeper into the water, she was only able to divide the ship into two halves. All the improvements in current ships including changes in design, navigation, lifeboats, and communication will be discussed below.

1. Design

This circumstance cannot take place in today’s world because the bulkheads stretch all the way up to the topmost uninterrupted deck, preventing water from flowing over through the top, and the bulkheads are soldered directly to the deck. This is the first and most significant part of the enhancement.

2. Communication

Our tactical preparedness and the quality of our communications have also seen significant improvements. It is important that all ships constantly monitor the emergency frequencies around the clock. Ships are continually kept up to speed on the status of the icebergs as they make their way through the “Iceberg Alley.” There is regular surveillance of the icebergs as they make their way south.

3. Navigation

The technology used for guidance has also seen significant advancements. Even while only a tiny percentage of ships are equipped with ice-detecting equipment, the radar aboard even the most basic of vessels may be altered to identify icebergs, even very tiny ones. Because they are practically immobile, it is not difficult to avoid colliding with them. 

The only potential threat would come from the smaller pieces of ice that break off of the icebergs. Depending on their size, these pieces of ice are referred to as  “growlers.” They may wreak considerable harm. If the ship were equipped with the latest ice-detecting radars, it would be able to “see” the tiny chunks of ice; however, very few ships actually do this.

4. Lifeboats

At last, ships are equipped with a significant number of rescuing devices to save everyone on board. They would not abandon more than 1,500 individuals in this manner. The lifeboats and the buoyant liferafts, both of which did not exist during that time period, are a lot safer now. They only had rafts, similar to the ones that are often seen floating off of summer houses and hotels in areas where summer visitors congregate.

5. Extensive crew training

The workers of cruise ships go through extensive instruction in all aspects of passenger comfort, such as how to properly stow heavy goods on board, where to keep life jackets and lifeboats, how to reach the deck, CPR, and many other topics.

The workers are capable of leaping in and responding since the actions are so ingrained in their minds that it’s almost like muscle memory for them. They have received training as well as refresher courses, so in the event of a crisis, they will be well-equipped.

In addition to having tools and instruction designed to cope with the dangers of sailing over water, cruise ships also have crew members who are on the lookout for people who steal bags, and pickpockets, and commit other crimes while they are on board.

What safety procedures to follow as a guest?

The most important things to remember when it refers to your health and well-being on a cruise are to not go if you’re unwell, to carry your vaccination card or evidence of a negative COVID test at all times, and to choose a cruise that is appropriate for your level of physical fitness.

City on a Cruise

1. Take the Muster Drill Seriously 

At the outset of each and every voyage, the crew will conduct a muster exercise, during which they will show safety measures, discuss what will actually occur in the event of a disaster while at sea, and go over procedures. Listen carefully to all of it that is being said, and make sure you are familiar with all of the possible exits in the event of a crisis.

2. Make a family plan

Children need to be aware of where their life savers are kept and how to contact their muster location in the event that they get split from their parents. There are extremely strict protocols in place for dealing with displaced children. Crew members will recognize minors and contact their parents as soon as they can.

3. Trust your gut

You must constantly pay close attention to what the members of the crew are informing you, but you must also keep in mind that they sometimes make mistakes. Maintain your composure, and make sure you’re asking the right questions. 

Listen to what your gut is telling you about how to be safe. If you overhear the staff employing codes, there is no need to get too alarmed since this does not always mean that the vessel is in trouble.

4. Don’t panic if the ship tilts

Cruise ships are built to descend gradually and uniformly, and incidents of spectacular tilting like the one that occurred with the Concordia are quite uncommon. In the event that the ship begins to list, maintain your composure. 

Before boats on each side of the ship could no longer be deployed, the ship is needed to lean a fair amount farther. From the muster station, staff members will direct guests to secure releasing areas and assess which lifeboats are available for use.

5. Locate backup rafts

Every vessel has auxiliary life rafts that, when inflated, may accommodate up to thirty passengers each. These rafts are often kept in storage close to the lifeboats and may be deployed by staff members in the event that there are insufficient lifeboats available. 

In the event that the ship begins to list to one side and not all of the boats are able to be deployed, the crew will assist passengers in boarding the rafts.

6. Be cautious about diving in

When faced with a dire situation, it is loaded with danger to jump completely off the rails: You run the risk of being trapped in the lifeboat’s blade or getting hit by one of the descending lifeboats. In the event that the cruise ship is unsteady, you may be compelled to go below the ocean’s surface.

If the water is cold, you may suffer from freezing. When everything else fails, you should go for it. Until there is a terrible catastrophe, swimming in the sea is something that should be avoided at all costs.

Final Words

When you are on a cruise, one of the most terrifying thing is your ship hits iceberg. Though cruise ships hit icebergs every now and then, they are built to resist the impact. Even if it’s unfortunate that the ship has a problem, it has other ways to solve the problem. So, the tourists don’t have to worry while traveling.

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