Sharing Lessons Learned for “Safer Seas”

Sharing Lessons Learned for “Safer Seas”

By Dione Lee

Most cultures use storytelling or “lessons learned” as a teaching opportunity for passing on information gained from experience that is usually intended to keep the learner out of harm’s way. “This is what you never want to do and I am going to tell you why….many years ago, when I was a young …” A good story teller can stir our emotions and activate our senses, creating a lasting memory.

One of the most memorable lessons I experienced early in my career was during a 40 hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) course instructed by a paramedic/firefighter. He shared his personal story of being a first responder to a crime scene, coming home after the event and taking off his blood soaked boots at the front door. Shortly afterwards, he noticed his young child sitting on the floor with his boot in hand inches away from his mouth. Fortunately, he was able to remove the boot in time before the child put his mouth to the blood soaked leather. His lesson on the importance of proper decontamination protocol still resonates with me today. If he would have said “be sure to doff and bag your gear”, it would not have had near the impact. Through his story, he helped me to feel the horror of what could have happened to that child by not using proper decontamination control measures.

In the maritime industry, sea stories, either shared during a “safety moment”, “back aft conversation”, or training session, are very powerful and impactful when communicating and transferring important information. As most of you are aware, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released their annual report of compiled accident investigations entitled, “Safer Seas 2014: Lessons Learned from Marine Accident Investigations”.  Part of NTSB’s mission is to determine the probable cause of accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In Chairman Hart’s “Message from the NTSB Chairman”, he states the following about Safer Seas, “It represents our continuing commitment to sharing the lessons that we learn through our investigations.

A great number of marine accidents can be prevented when crews know and respond to safety issues early and when crews work together effectively in the event of a crisis.”In the 2014 version, a summary of safety issues is provided from the NTSB’s investigations to help encourage the sharing of these lessons learned. Below is a snapshot of some of these real sea stories shared.

At least 1 crewmember died and the vessel sank – probable cause was a severe heel to port, followed by immediate down flooding; unfortunately, the reason why the vessel loss stability could not be determined.

2 fatalities, 3 serious injuries and the vessel sank – probable cause was inadequate decision making and safety oversight.54 million in damages in vessel/dam allision – probable cause was proceeding with the passage during significant risk and probable contributing factor was lack of effective communication between the captain and lockmaster.

By embracing sea stories as a valuable training technique it will not only motivate the learner, and enhance retention of information, but hopefully ensure “Safer Seas” as the NTSB has intended through their annual report. Do you have lessons learned to share? Please share here.This entry has been created for information and planning purposes. It is not intended to be, nor should it be substituted for, legal advice, which turns on specific facts.

Source: Sharing Lessons Learned for “Safer Seas”

Vessel or Ship Emergency Medical Response Checklist

Vessel or Ship Emergency Medical Response Checklist

Medical Emergency at Sea

What do we do? What do we ask?

If you boat, you should be current in First Aid, CPR/AED! If you aren’t, then now is the time to take a class, because stuff happens on boats; just sayin.

I’m often asked how do I remember all the questions and checks for a sudden illness event? Well the simple answer is because it’s my job as a trainer and provider. I do it all the time so it’s become part of my DNA.

For the rest of you, I’ve uploaded a simple list you can download for your First Aid kits. Print it and place a copy or two in your kit.

Here is the link: Patient Care Report

Captain Thomas Bliss; a self-described “safety nerd,” is founder and director of Northwest Response.

Quick-thinking ferry passengers, crew members save man’s life!

Quick-thinking ferry passengers, crew members save man’s life!

Bravo Zulu to the Passengers and Washington State Ferry crew members who responded to the medical emergency on the Bainbridge Island Ferry run.

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. — Passengers and crew members on a Bainbridge-bound ferry came together Sunday night to save a man’s life.

Passengers aboard the Seattle to Bainbridge ferry noticed a 60-year-old man having some sort of medical problem Sunday night. It turns out the man was having a heart attack and had stopped breathing.

Crew member John McMillian was the first person to help.

“Everybody acted unconsciously because everybody had done it so many times because of the training program here,” McMillian said.

Realizing the situation was dire, crew members put out a call to see if any doctors were on board. Dr. Caroline Edwards and a nurse responded.

“It is so hard to have a person right in front of you who is currently not alive and you are just giving everything you can to try and focus on trying to bring them back,” said Edwards, a physician at Virginia Mason Medical Center.

An automated external defibrillator, which is carried on board every ferry, gave instructions for how to use the machine.

“In this case being able to start CPR right away and to shock his heart right away makes what I hope is all the world of difference,” Edwards said.

In the middle of everything, the ferry captain took drastic action and made an emergency landing at Seattle’s Colman Dock.

“That is rare,” said port captain Bill Michael. “That’s the first time I can recall us doing that.”

The move got the patient to the hospital quicker, saving roughly 45 minutes of travel time.

The team of crew members and passengers was able get a heart beat and the man began breathing again. Dr. Edwards credits the quick action of the ferry captain, the AED unit, and the crew for bringing the man back to life.

“It’s horrible, thank God it happened on our boat rather than out on the highway,” McMillian said.

The man is now being treated at Swedish Hosptial. There have been 42 medical emergies on board ferries this year.