6.1. Situation awareness

Amount of the persons to be evacuated and amount of injured and/or contaminated casualties should be clarified on the discussions with the master of the DV. Current situation onboard and location of the persons in danger are essential information when planning evacuation process. If persons are partially or totally abandoned the DV, plan actions to recover persons from the life boats, life rafts or from the water. Possibility of e.g. life rafts launched from the DV to drift the hazardous atmosphere should be taken account and prevented. Use the national and/or organizational Mass Rescue Operation (MRO) plans and procedures if applicable.

6.2. Resources

Consultation with the master of the DV concerning capability of the DV crew to evacuate persons should be done. Find out the capabilities and capacities of the sea- and airborne units on the area to evacuate persons from the DV. Evacuation from the DV could be done by using helicopters, with SRU alongside, using rescue crafts, tender or life boats and life rafts. Find out the need for additional assistance (e.g. SRUs) and ETA to the scene.

6.3. Risk assessment

The safe and executable measures to evacuate persons from the DV, including possible and suggested evacuation routes should be ensured. Current and predicted situation of the HNS release, results from the measurements and HNS impact to rescue personnel and evacuees has to be taken into account (when considering measures of evacuating persons from the DV. Also weather conditions (wind, waves, swell etc.) have great impact to the rescue operation, especially for the evacuation process and in some situations abandoning the vessel in distress might not be the safest solution due the HNS situation, sea state etc.

6.4. Action plan

When preparing the action plan for the evacuation process, consider if there is a possibility for partially evacuation (e.g. to evacuate all other passengers and crew except those needed for operations onboard or evacuate only injured/affected persons) instead of the total abandoning of the DV (possible MRO), what protective equipment is needed to persons to be evacuated, is there a need/possibility to use the boarding team or rescue personnel onboard the DV to assist evacuation (DV crew capabilities), transport possibilities from the DV to the SRU, actions on board the SRU and transport to the evacuation center or further medical care. All evacuation measures should be accepted by the master of the DV.

Evacuation action plan should enable:

  • Evacuating persons from the DV or/and rescuing from the water
  • Transport persons to the SRU
  • Counting and TRIAGE of the evacuees
  • Sufficient facilities for accommodation, decontamination and emergency medical care
  • Connection from the SRU to shore (helicopter/vessel)
  • Point of Contact (POC) on shore to ensure further medical care e.g. ambulances, hospitals.
6.5. Measures

Depending on the HNS situation, the possibility to evacuate persons from the DV by using manned or unmanned life rafts and life boats sent from the SRU should be considered. Applicable (situation specific, e.g. ignition prevented/ex-protected) rescue crafts or tenders can be used if available. Maneuvering the SRU with capacity to enter hazardous atmosphere alongside the DV to evacuate great amount of persons disembarking from the vessel (using possible slides, ladders, gangway, lifeboats, rescue basket etc.) can be the only possible option. Use of the helicopters for evacuating persons directly from the DV can be often impossible due to the hazardous atmosphere.

6.6. Operation

The evacuation process for the affected persons should be organized. When evacuating persons in the HNS area, arrange provision of the protective breathing devices for evacuees e.g. filtration masks, Emergency Escape Breathing Devices (EEBD) (or similar easy to use breathing device) or Self Contained Breathing Apparatuses (SCBA). Find out the need for extra protective clothing or equipment when evacuating persons. To stabilize the condition of the casualties, arrange emergency decontamination procedures and establish decontamination lines for mass decontamination when necessary. Find out HNS specific procedures for the first aid when arranging emergency medical care facilities.

Persons confirmed as deceased are left in the Hot Zone or onboard the DV until all other persons have been evacuated.

6.7. Documentation

All evacuated persons – whether injured / affected or not – should be registered to ensure later retrieval and further necessary medical treatment. This includes:

  • Identification and personal information
  • Possible find spot
  • Possible contamination
  • Possible received medical treatment.
6.8. Emergency towing

When considering emergency towing possibilities, possibility or/and necessity to shift the distress vessel by emergency towing to reduce the impact of HNS or if there is a need to control the drifting or heading of the DV by towing should be considered. Consult with the SMC about the possible safe haven/place of refuge or anchorage in situations where the DV has to be towed to a harbor and the DV or parts of it are contaminated.

6.8.1. SRU

The emergency towing preparation procedures onboard the SRU should be confirmed. If there is a hazardous atmosphere around the distress vessel, the SRU specific overpressurising and gas warning system procedures should be performed if not completed. Inform the boarding team about the task (if a boarding team is needed). Prepare the SRU specific emergency towing procedures and order the appropriate PPE level when working on the deck.

6.8.2. DV

The emergency towing preparation procedures on board the DV should be confirmed as well as guidelines from the DV specific emergency towing booklet. Find out the DV’s capabilities for emergency towing; available personnel and PPE, the ship-specific emergency towing procedure and equipment, capability of using winches and possibilities for the reception and guidance of the boarding team.