The following is general policy information for all ships in the fleet. Additional information about a specific ship can be found on that ship's home page.
Please Note: As a U.S. Government commissioned vessel, all persons boarding give an implied consent to conform with all safety and security policies and regulations which are administered by the Commanding Officer (CO). All spaces and equipment on this vessel are subject to inspection or search at any time. Additionally, the following is prohibited aboard any U.S. Government vessels: possession and/or use of intoxicating alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, controlled drugs without a prescription, sexual harassment, or use of shipboard spaces for purpose of sexual liaison. Violaters may be removed from the vessel at the earliest opportunity.
Possession or use of alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medications without a prescription, on board any NOAA vessel, by any member of the embarked complement is strictly forbidden and will not be tolerated. When violations of this policy are discovered, the following procedures will be adhered to:
Sexual harassment will not be tolerated aboard NOAA vessels. This applies to all persons, male and female, including members of the operating crew and any embarked scientific personnel or other personnel. Sexual harassment is sex (gender) discrimination that involves unwelcome sexual conduct, which can include both verbal and physical behavior. Some examples of such behavior are: pressure for dates or sex; sexually suggestive looks, comments or gestures; sexual jokes; displaying material of a sexual nature; and deliberate touching. Conduct is unwelcome if it is unsolicited and an individual finds it undesirable and/or offensive. All instances of sexual harassment should be immediately reported to your supervisor, the XO, or the CO.
Smoking in Federal workplaces is prohibited by regulations applicable government-wide. Aboard NOAA ships, personnel who smoke may do so only on the weather decks. There is no smoking permitted on the interior of any NOAA ship. Smokers are expected to observe particular care in disposing of cigarettes or smoking materials. Use ashtrays or butt kits provided around the ship for this purpose.
Smoking is prohibited:
Fire at sea, no matter how small, can become a life-threatening situation. At sea, everyone aboard ship, be they crew, scientist, or passenger, is a member of the fire department. When the General Alarm sounds, everyone has a specific emergency billet assignment and each person is relied upon by all others aboard to carry out that assignment. Learn all you can about how to perform your emergency duties so that carrying them out becomes second nature. Firefighting at sea is a team effort.
Emergency billet assignments are posted on the Watch, Quarter, and Station Bill. These are posted at convenient places throughout the ship. Additionally, each person is provided with a "bunk card" which lists his/her individual emergency billet assignments.
The signal for fire or emergency is a 10 second continuous ringing of the General Alarm bell and a 10 second continuous sounding of the ship's whistle. This alarm will be followed by an appropriate announcement on the general announcing system. When you hear the signal, immediately proceed to your fire and emergency billet station. Firefighting and emergency equipment is distributed throughout the ship. All hands should familiarize themselves with the locations of this equipment, as well as the Damage Control Lockers and their contents.
Abandoning ship in the open sea is an action of last resort. All reasonable efforts required of mariners for the saving of their ship must clearly have failed before any decision to abandon the vessel will be taken. Only when there is no reasonable chance of saving the ship will the order ever be given to abandon it. The decision to abandon ship is made only by the CO, or in the CO's incapacity, the senior member of the chain of command.
The signal to abandon ship is more than six (6) short blasts, followed by one (1) long blast on the ship's whistle and General Alarm
When the order is given to abandon ship, all hands will proceed to their assigned life raft muster stations. Each shall bring his/her protective survival clothing, survival suit, personal floatation device (i.e., life jacket), and other equipment assigned in his/her abandon ship billet. Once the order to abandon ship has been given, the life raft Officers in Charge (OIC) will muster their respective parties and dispatch the assigned crew members to the life raft locations to launch their respective life rafts. Once launched, the remaining personnel will have to act in concert to haul the deployed rafts alongside the main deck embarkation stations. Orderly seamanlike actions at the embarkation stations will assure the rapid and efficient abandoning of the ship.
Except for uncontrollable fire at sea, there is perhaps no more personally terrifying situation for a member of the ship's complement than being lost overboard. There are two basic man overboard scenarios: witnessed and unwitnessed.
Witnessed Man Overboard - Actions of the Witness
Upon observing a person going overboard, the witness shall take the following actions:
Unwitnessed Man Overboard
Underway, until proven otherwise, when a crew member is unaccounted for, it will be presumed that the individual has been lost overboard. This situation then becomes a search and rescue problem of a far more complicated nature. The time of the casualty will be unknown, or at best, only grossly estimated. The ship's navigation record, as contained on the Marine Operations Abstract or Dead Reckoning Abstract, will be crucial for search planning, as will the hourly weather observations entered into the Weather Log. Initial actions will be to notify the Marine Operations Center Director of the situation and to notify the nearest Rescue Coordination Center for assistance. Search operations will be conducted with the advice and guidance of SAR professionals.
Emergency drills at sea will be held in accordance with the requirements of NC Instruction 5100.1B. Reporting for drills, in accordance with the billets assigned in the Watch, Quarter, and Station Bill, is mandatory for all hands, including the embarked science party, unless the absence is specifically authorized by the CO, XO or Safety Officer.
For Abandon Ship drills, unless otherwise advised, all hands are required to wear their life jackets and carry their survival suits when reporting to their life raft muster stations. All personnel shall be attired in, or bring to the muster, clothing that fully covers legs and arms, a hat, socks and shoes. Signals to call all hands to emergency stations shall be identical to those that are used for actual emergencies. When a drill is held, the OOD will always state "This is a drill. This is a drill." followed by an appropriate announcement on the general announcing system.
The signals are as follows:
|Fire and Emergency||Continuous ringing of the General Alarm bell for 10 seconds and continuous sounding of the ship's whistle for 10 seconds
|Abandon Ship||7 or more short blasts on the ship's whistle and General Alarm bell, followed by one prolonged blast
|Man Overboard||3 prolonged blasts on the ship's whistle and General Alarm bell
|Dismissal from Drill||3 short blasts on the ship's whistle and General Alarm bell
The following safety regulations will be observed when working on deck:
Information on sea sickness and treatments available will be provided by the Medical Officer. Those requiring preventative treatment should see the Medical Officer prior to sailing.
One of the least pleasant aspects of going to sea is the possibility of seasickness. An individual's susceptibility to seasickness is highly variable. If you've experienced motion sickness in cars, planes, or amusement park rides, you may experience seasickness during the cruise. Regardless, most people feel some level of illness or discomfort when they first go to sea. Seasickness is a result of a conflict in the inner ear (where the human balance mechanism resides) caused by the erratic motion of the ship through the water. Inside the cabin of a rocking boat, for example, the inner ear detects changes in linear and angular acceleration as the body moves with the boat. But since the cabin moves with the passenger, the eyes register a relatively stable scene. Agitated by this perceptual incongruity, the brain responds with a cascade of stress-related hormones that can ultimately lead to nausea and vomiting. Its effect can be magnified by strong smells (like diesel fumes or fish). It usually occurs in the first 12-24 hours after sailing, and dissipates when the body becomes acclimated to the ship's motion (getting one's "sea-legs"). Rarely does anyone stay ill beyond the first couple of days at sea, regardless of sea state. There are several over-the-counter medications available to prevent or minimize motion sickness. These are usually taken about an hour before sailing and as needed at sea; you should follow the instructions for the particular medication you are taking. All of these medications tend to dehydrate the body, so fluid intake is important.
If you should get seasick, take comfort in the fact that recovery is only a matter of time, and the survival rate is 100%. Each ship has a trained medical officer who can treat severe cases of sea-sickness. However, all that is usually required for a complete recovery is some sensible eating/drinking and some patience. Here are a few tips and considerations regarding seasickness:
Above all, don't be embarrassed or discouraged! If you get sick, chances are that others are sick too! No one -- fishermen, ship's officers, scientists -- is immune to seasickness.
Firearms and Other Weapons
Personally owned firearms are no longer allowed aboard NOAA vessels. Firecrackers, fireworks and similar pyrotechnics will not be permitted aboard the ship. Sheath knives are not permitted aboard the ship with the exception of fishing fillet knives which are permitted. Folding knives are permitted to be carried aboard ship and their use is encouraged.
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Updated:May 6, 2008