>Royal Caribbean International Fire Drill Procedures

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Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise Information Notice 01-2011:


Royal Caribbean International (RCI) has adopted new (temporary) fleet-wide fire drill procedures for all RCCL and Celebrity brand vessels. Effective immediately, and until further notice, the vessel crews will not outfit their SCBA’s with the associated Draeger cylinder oxygen bottles during training drills.  This is due to a potential safety concern (explained below).  The bottles will continue to be maintained on board and available in the event of an emergency. US Coast Guard Foreign Passenger Vessel Examiners should be aware of this new policy when witnessing vessel drills.

During a regular scheduled drill, the flow valve K800-502, manufactured by Draeger, sheared off.  The cylinder became a projectile and resulted in two crew members with serious injuries, one of which was fatal.  The company is researching safety devices which could prevent this type of accident from occurring in the future. 

Until the company is satisfied with the safety of the cylinders, vessel crews have been directed not to use the bottles for drills, but maintain and make the cylinders available in the event of a real emergency.  Though this incident occurred in a foreign port and is not a reportable casualty to the USCG, RCI felt the CG should be kept in the loop with their safety protocols.  

CG-5451 is being kept apprised of information as it is provided by the company.