With the recent events with the Costa Concordia running aground I've had several reporters asking me as a survival expert what can a person do to improve their odds of survival while on a cruise.
As everyone saw in this incident, should a disaster happen, basically you have to look out for you. This doesn't mean you don't obey the cruise employees, as they are trained to handle these types of situations. But there are some basic things you as the travelor should do before you go on a cruise.
Know before you go. Do some research online and find out if there have been complaints with the specific cruise line and or captain.
Research the route your cruise line is expected to take. Then research online if your ship goes down, where will the life rafts drift to? A chain of islands, shark infested waters, nearby fishing villages?
Take some basics. Granted in this situation most folks wouldn't have had time to go down to their cabin to get their supplies but it may make the difference of survival if you do have time.
When you travel on water carry the following survival equipment.
1). Signal mirror.
2). Candles and matches, Magnesium match (AKA METAL MATCH).
4). Write anywhere note book and pen/pencil.
5). Multi tool pocket knife.
6). Survival food like beef jerky.
7). Flashlight and extra batteries. I also carry a headlamp to work hands free.
8). Fishing line and fishing hooks. (if you are adrift for a long period of time
this may save your life).
9). First aid kit. 10 4x4's, first aid tape, four triangular bandages. Antibiotics.
10). Sun screen. Bug juice.
11). Camel back water storage unit or two quarts of fresh water. Metal cup to boil
water. Water purification tablets.
12). Packet containing asprin, and alka selzer.
13). Rain poncho. Stocking cap wool. Yes even in the tropics it can get cold at
14). 50' of nylon cord.
15). Plastic whistle for signaling.
16). Email yourself a copy of your Passport, Drivers license and other important
documents so if they go down with the ship or get stolen, you have a back up
copy. You can go to the nearest American Embassy and they can pull up the info
for you online.
17). $500.00 cash US. and emergency credit card. This is stored with me 24/7 (except
when swimming) in a hidden money pouch underneath my clothes.
18). I also keep a portable inflatable life vest. All is stored in a backpack or
fannypack in my cabin.
Steps to take when you arrive on any cruise liner.
Learn where the exits are.
Read the information on how to lower a life boat or survival raft yourself.
In the event of a true emergency, follow directions of the staff. If there is no staff in charge, then take charge and get yourself, your family, and others out of trouble.
For more info you can order my book on "Search and Rescue" available on CD format
at www.k9sardog.com this has lots of survival tips while traveling for search and rescue staff and the general public.
Does this seem like an overkill?
Ask the passengers of the Costa Concordia.