Enter your search request


Sinking ship – how to be prepared?

Posted by Nicky Smol on December 29, 2021 in Other news

Sinking ship situation

Every year millions of cargo ships, cruises and ferries make their way across the sea. Unfortunately, sometimes an emergency occurs on board of a vessel, causing a sinking ship situation. Between 2011 and 2020, 876 vessels were lost at sea. The majority of ships lost during this period, around 348, were cargo ships (Statista Research Department).

While cruise ships are only a small percentage of the sea vessels, there are usually much more people aboard. You probably remember the disaster sinking of the Costa Concordia? On January 13, 2012, the Costa Concordia wrecked just off the coast of an Italian island. Even though the water was shallow and the ship was close to shore, many people were killed or injured.

Fortunately, disasters like these are rare and cruise ships operate under a number of international rules. Vessels worldwide need a variety of safety procedures and appropriate emergency equipment on board. In this case, when an emergency occurs, they are able to handle unusual situations quickly and safely.

At T-ISS, we provide SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Maritime Safety Products for all kinds of vessels. We want to help you make your ship safer by providing you with the best products and by being an expert in all the required rules and regulations.


IMO escape route signs


When a ship starts sinking, all people on board must be evacuated to safety. The standard evacuation signal used for a sinking ship is seven short horn blasts, followed by one long horn blast. But how do you know what to do during an evacuation? Especially on cruise ships, most passengers will not know what to do or where to go. That is where escape route signs come in.

Escape route signs are provided to guide people to safety when an emergency occurs. Escape route signs on board a vessel direct people to the nearest assembly point.  From the assembly point, passengers will be guided into the life rafts by crew members of the ship.

At T-ISS we offer environmentally friendly, back-printed photoluminescent PETX signage products. These signs, under the brand name SafeSign, are photoluminescent in case of a power out.


Rescue boat hook PX03

When the ship is being evacuated, rescue boats and life rafts have to be released into the water. No matter the type of lifeboat, the most important consideration is to make sure it releases quickly and safely. This way people in distress can be evacuated as fast as possible.

The lifeboats can be quickly deployed from ships with the help of a rescue boat hook. The T-ISS Rescue boat hook PX03 is a manual release hook. The release hook can handle a safe working load of 15 kN. The hook is easy to operate/maintain and comes with a 5-year service life. It is designed to be opened manually and can be operated by one person. By pushing the release handle in an upward position, the hook will open, releasing the lifeboat into the water.


Hydrostatic Release Unit for a sinking ship


Once certain compartments of a ship are filled with water, the ship can sink faster. In some cases, this means that there is no time to unhook all the liferafts manually. That is why many vessels use a Hydrostatic Release Unit (or HRU).

An HRU is activated by water pressure. This means that the HRU will activate itself underwater. The water pressure causes the knife in the HRU to cut through the rope. This then automatically releases the life raft into the water.

The T-ISS SeaMate Ve-1 hydrostatic release unit is designed to operate in all conditions. From extreme heat to the polar environment. Our HRU also fits on remote release systems. This enables you to release life rafts remotely.




Solasflex Retro-reflective tape


The Solasflex Retro-reflective tapes are used to increase visibility on liferafts, lifeboats, and life jackets. The reflective tape reflects any light and amplifies it to provide enhanced night-time reflected visible brightness in dark areas, especially poorly lit areas.

All our reflective tapes consist of an encapsulated optical design with a high reflective value that is clearly visible from every angle, both in dry and wet conditions. This very high reflectivity allows the tape to see thousands of feet instead of hundreds. In search and rescue operations, the extremely high reflectivity tape can mean the difference between life and death.

TISS Solasflex Retro Reflective tape


Life jackets + life jacket lights


In a sinking ship situation, lifejackets can mean the difference between life and death. The water at sea can be very rough and cold, making it very hard to keep your head above the water. Even when you are an excellent swimmer. That is why wearing an inflatable life jacket can make an enormous difference between life and death.

The Besto 300 Newton inflatable twin chamber lifejacket is an automatically operated jacket. It can be easily worn on top of the crew’s gear. When an emergency occurs, the life jacket can be inflated. The Besto 300 Newton inflatable twin chamber lifejacket is specifically designed for use on the open sea. It is suitable for the most extreme weather conditions. In addition, it is designed in accordance with the latest SOLAS/MED requirements.


Besto lifejackets T-ISS


A lifejacket will increase the chances of survival tremendously. But it can be hard to spot a man overboard in the rough waters, especially when the ship sinks at night. Therefore a lifejacket light will make it easier for the crew to find the missing crewmember.

The automatically water-activated LED lifejacket light is unique in its brightness and duration. This is possible because it uses Alkaline batteries instead of standard Lithium batteries. The compact and thin design is equipped with a light bubble/dome while maintaining the integrity of inflatable lifejackets. It is delivered with a clip that fits almost any life jacket.

The light is deactivated by pressing the power button on the front side. If the light after disruption is brought back to automatic mode, and the water contacts are dry, splash water on the contacts, and the light goes on again.



T-ISS is one of the leading players in the Marine Industry. We are specialized in safety on board vessels. Want to know more about the products or services we offer? Check out the new 2023-2024 catalog here.

You may also be interested in our articles:
Man Overboard
Fire on board

If you have any questions regarding our Fire Fighting products, please feel free to contact us.