We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Should I do on a Sinking Ship?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Much like aircraft, ships are a primarily safe mode of transportation, and your risk of death on board a ship is lower than in a motor vehicle. There are, however, potential sources of danger on a ship, including the risk of sinking. Most modern ships are designed to float in a wide variety of weather conditions and even after they have been heavily damaged, but no ship is unsinkable. As a passenger on board a sinking ship, you will greatly increase your chances of survival by remaining calm and following directions from members of the ship's crew.

The crew on board a ship are extensively trained in emergency procedures, including what to do in a situation where the ship appears to be sinking. If a ship seems to be at risk of sinking, a number of actions by the crew are set into motion including initiating passenger evacuation and alerting emergency rescue services to the fact that there is a problem. Modern ships are outfitted with lifeboats stocked with necessary supplies, and passenger cabins have life vests for everyone on board the ship as well. If you keep your head in an evacuation situation in which you need to leave a sinking ship, things will probably turn out well for you.

To maximize your safety on board a sinking ship, start by paying attention to the safety briefing given at the beginning of the voyage. Every ship is slightly different, so even if you have traveled by ship before, make sure to listen carefully to what the crew member giving the briefing has to say. During the safety briefing, the crew member will tell you where in the cabin you can find a life vest, and what you should do in an emergency situation. You will also be given a lifeboat assignment, and told how to reach your lifeboat. Do not be afraid to ask questions during the briefing to ensure that you know what to do in the event of a sinking, and after the briefing, familiarize yourself with the location of your lifeboat and your life vest.

Make sure that you know how to find your lifeboat in situations of reduced visibility such as those which might be caused by a fire. You can also usually find a safety information card or poster in your cabin: read it carefully and make sure that you understand all safety procedures. You should also try on your life vest to make sure that it fits properly and you understand how to put it on in an emergency. If the life vest looks damaged or does not fit right, request a new one.

If an evacuation of a sinking ship is ordered by the captain, follow the safety procedures which were outlined in the safety briefing. If a crew member gives you directions, follow them. Make sure to dress warmly in sensible clothing and shoes which will allow you to move freely, and wear your life vest over your clothing. Proceed in a calm and orderly fashion to your assigned lifeboat, and assist disabled passengers in boarding the lifeboat, if necessary. Once you are in the lifeboat with the crew members assigned to it, follow their orders.

Your lifeboat should contain stocks of food and water, flares, blankets, and communication devices. Most modern lifeboats have homing beacons that can be activated once the lifeboat is lowered into the water, helping emergency services to find you. Staying calm and helpful will help keep everyone in the lifeboat relaxed until assistance arrives.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WikiMotors researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon970099 — On Sep 15, 2014

Do not jump off a ship. A fall from that height will likely cause serious injury and you'll drown. Also, jumping into frigid water can cause instant cold water shock and you'll drown. Use the lifeboat. --Capt. Marc

By Pippinwhite — On May 03, 2014

Once in a while, I'd say you're better off jumping into the sea if you have a life jacket on. A friend of my dad's was on a carrier in World War II that was sunk and he said the safest thing to do was jump off the boat on the opposite side of the rescue boat, and swim around the front of the boats, to be picked up on the far side.

With a modern ship, in a bad situation, I'd imagine people who jumped would have a better shot at being picked up by a lifeboat, as long as the water wasn't too cold and the person had a life jacket.

By Grivusangel — On May 02, 2014

One hopes the captain will be conscientious and have passengers abandon ship before conditions deteriorate to the point where people are not able to get off the ship. That has apparently been the case in a couple of high-profile sinking cases in recent years. The captain did not inform passengers soon enough that they needed to abandon ship, and some were trapped inside.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.