Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Safety at Sea

I haven't blogged in a week as I've been extremely busy. I don't want this blog to turn into one like Matt Pietrek's though where he only updates once a month; but there's no way I can hope to match the Raymond Chen blogging machine, either.

I'm so tired at the moment that I can't even muster the energy to rant about anything. Instead I'll share with you a hilarious video I saw on TV a few weeks back.

About ten years ago the Greek cruise ship OCEANOS was sailing off the coast of Southern Africa. Now everybody's familiar with the story of the Titanic, and how when it was clear that the ship was doomed, the last anybody saw of Captain Smith was as he walked back toward the wheelhouse in order to go down with his ship like a gentleman.

These days, however, things are rather different. An explosion below decks blew a hole in the bottom of the ship. As water flooded in and the ship started to develop an alarming list, crewmembers made a rapid assessment of the situation. "The sea! That should be on the outside!"

The captain acted instantly. "Abandon Ship!" "Abandon Ship!" went out over the PA system.

The bemused passengers were then treated to the sight of the crew scrambling over the side as fast as their legs could carry them and all piling into the boats.

So an hour or two later, the ship is starting to lean over really badly now. As confused tourists wandered about wondering what they should be doing, one man decided to take charge and headed to the (by now deserted) bridge to call for help.

"Mayday!" "Mayday!" he cried into the radio. Fortunately, he was answered immediately by another ship. The radio operator of that ship asked, "What rank are you?"
Our hero admitted, "I'm not really any rank.... I'm actually the guitarist in the ship's band!"

So he proceeded to give out their location, as far as he could, and other ships started steaming to help.

The next task he faced, along with the drummer, was to get the passengers in the lifeboats. By this time the ship was listing so badly a lot of them could not be launched.

Fortunately, rescue choppers turned up and the guitarist and the drummer made sure all the remaining tourists got airlifted off... they were the last to leave the ship, with the chopper lingering to capture some footage as it went stern up and sank beneath the waves.

So if you fancy a cruise, and you get woken up in the middle of the night by some commotion, head for the bar, buy a round for the band, and stick with them - you won't go far wrong.
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