Marine Link provides more proof we will be seeing more passenger ships in the Polar Regions. Visions of one of these in serious trouble must being keeping the D17 SAR planners up at night. Basically no SAR assets in the Polar regions.
On the other hand, at some point we may have enough high capacity civilian ships in the area that AMVER rescue becomes a possibility.
I find the X-Bow hull design interesting, and don’t understand as to why there aren’t many more being used…
As always it is a compromise. Less pitching, but relatively wet when waves top the foc’sle. It is why they always seem to have a relatively high foc’sle.
For an ice-capable or ice-breaker, they are extremely good design. If the ice is too much for ramming, there have been double-ended designs so the wide, flat stern can be used to ride-up and crush with weight. Azipods make the final feature for great ice performance.
Three more ships on the way.
So a cruise ship hits something that rips a major gash in the hull. Say, two or three hours before it sinks.
Not enough helos to rescue everybody. Flight distances suggest most helos would get one to two visits to the ship before it sinks or the helo is out of gas.
But the unspoken problem. There aren’t enough hospital beds in the entire Arctic Circle to bed down the guests on a major cruise ship. So where would they go anyway?
This is a disaster waiting to happen…
What about the Ice Sheet itself as a temporary staging area for the passengers until rescue. If the Ice Sheet is sufficiently thick to cause Ice Damage to the ship, it should be sufficiently thick to be used as temporary refuge…
Thick ice may stop the ship but that alone will not result in a quick sinking. If ice stops the ship and then movement of the ice sheet crushes the ship or moves it across a rock, that could result in a sinking, but it would be relatively slow.
It is more likely a quick sinking would result from hitting an uncharted obstacle, since the waters are poorly charted.
If the crew and passengers were able to abandon ship directly onto the ice, we would still need to be able to either get to them with a ship or provide some type of shelter to prevent death from exposure. There may be some inflatable shelters that could be delivered by air.
I suspect provisions from the ship itself would help facilitate survival time on Ice Sheet! Helicopter could serve as a Command Post with communications already within it airframe. I very much doubt that any Polar Cruise Ship venturing alone into Pack Ice would foolishly do so without some kind of Worst Case Scenario Survival Plans and/or Provisions already inplace before even having left embarkation dock for the cruise. I could be wrong, only because its within human nature to be stupid in not planning for an emergency if it should somehow happen…
The Coast Guard has the power to mandate survival equipment for vessels operating from US ports, if I remember correctly.