VI Evacuation Possibilities – Seafarers





Evacuation in HNS incident is always a high risk operation. Current and predicted situation onboard the DV, predictions of HNS release evolvement, any measurement data, impact to rescue personnel and evacuees has to be taken into account and the situational risks carefully assessed. Also, weather conditions have a great impact on evacuation and therefore, abandoning the vessel is not always the safest option. The decision to evacuate the vessel is done in cooperation with the master of the DV and SMC, even though the master is responsible for the lives in his/her vessel.

The amount of persons to be evacuated, possible injured or contaminated persons all have also an impact on the rescue plan. In hazardous atmosphere, evacuation by helicopter might not be possible and contaminated persons, if transported with a helicopter, have to be decontaminated before transportation. Therefore, sometimes SRU with capacity to enter hazardous atmosphere alongside the DV can be the only option to evacuate large number of persons (using possible slides, ladders, gangway, lifeboats, rescue baskets etc.)

During the evacuation process, provisions like protective breathing devices for evacuees (e.g. EEBDs) and protective clothing or equivalent should be taken into account. To stabilize the condition of the casualties, emergency decontamination has to be established along with emergency first aid and medical facilities.

Emergency towing

Due to situational factors, sometimes emergency towing could be used to evacuate large number of people more safely in a safe haven/place rather than pursuing with the operation at sea. Emergency towing preparations and assistance from the DV crew might be necessary, which should be considered when assigning resources for emergency response actions by the master. It might be that any operations done on deck will require high level of PPE’s as well as supportive SRU has to have capabilities to work in a hazardous atmosphere.

The decision and planning for emergency towing is done in cooperation with the SMC and master of the DV as long as the crew is onboard and able to assist.