We had a drill tonight on board the ferry, and the scenario was that all the basic crew were killed in a collision , so the ship had to be evacuated by the safety crew alone.
To clarify things a bit:
The basic crew are those of us who are actually sailing the boat and not directly handling the passengers normally i.e Captain, chief engineer, chief officer, 1st engineer and 3 able bodied seamen.
The Safety crew are those crew members who have direct contact with the passengers normally: i.e. catering staff and the head of their department (food and beverage manager).
Normally an evacuation is ordered and led by the captain, and each crew member has got specific duties. But this time the "head" was missing, so they had to figure out how to do it by themselves. It all went very well, and upon debriefing they all expressed that it had been an interesting and challenging drill.
We agreed that the scenario was a bit far out since it required that we would smash directly into the side of a large ship, but you never know what can happen. On this ship the bridge is at the very front of the ship, and our service speed is around 35 knots. Furthermore the ship is made out of aluminium which is kind of soft so theoretically it would probably be the sad result
We felt obliged to tell them that sometimes these things actually do happen. That people who are not trained in leading evacuations sometimes have to do so because of improper behavior of those who were responsible.
We therefore showed the following small film from Youtube:
The sinking of the Oceanos
My deepest respect goes out to the people who led this evacuation and made sure that all passengers were saved.