Saturday, August 6, 2016

Build your Lifeboat now before it's too late

Some interesting facts on the Unsinkable RMS TITANIC Passengers and Crew:
  • All 30 engineer and electrical engineers perished. They were true heroes who stayed down below until almost the end trying to keep the ship afloat and the electrical system working.
  • Testimony has made it clear that Captain Smith and the chief officers of the Titanic knew before the first lifeboat was launched that the Titanic would sink.
  • Especially early on, when only the First Class passengers had the option to board, most believed that boarding a lifeboat was not wise or necessary. 
      Source: http://www.icyousee.org/titanic.html

Reading the above facts on RMS Titanic reminds me of a Titanic I was once on. My entire lively hood depended on the Titanic. Even though, I mostly worked in the engine room with other engineers, I often made it to the upper decks of the ship from where I could see what lied ahead of us. I also had access to the ship's map and its compass.


Ship was constantly changing its direction as if it has lost in the big ocean. At several occasions, I asked senior staff members where we were heading. I got no satisfactory response other than being told to keep the engine room running. Occasionally, the captain and his senior staff would come down to the engine room and give a pep talk to the junior crew members and engineers.

It seemed the ship was lost, but the captain and his senior staff were either too arrogant or were simply blinded by the power and size of their ship. They did not want to admit that we were lost in a big ocean; instead they wanted us to constantly change direction as if there were better places to go.

We were losing precious time and resources including the gold, as the engineers and the rest of the crew had to be paid for the ship to keep moving. Captain did not want them to panic. The cost of running the ship was increasing by the day, as without reaching a good destination, we couldn't replenish ship's fuel and gold reserves.

One day while on the upper deck of the ship and looking at the ship's compass and map, I realized that we were lost and likely heading towards an area of the ocean that is full of big icebergs which could potentially sink the ship.

The icebergs were still many seasons away, but the trajectory of our ship was pointing right towards the iceberg area. I told my friends in the engine room about ship being lost and potential of hitting an iceberg. However, nobody would listen to me. They didn't want to worry about it and had full confidence in the captain and his senior staff.  

The engineers were being paid well with pots of gold, and a promise for more gold in future if they finish their tasks ahead of schedule. They also loved their large homes that were tied to the ship's deck with chains. If the ship were to sink, everything tied to the ship would also be lost.

I had my mind set that I would build my own lifeboat as there weren't enough lifeboats on the ship, besides having my own lifeboat would allow me to get off the ship way before it hits the iceberg and avoid getting sucked into the sinking ship's vortex.

While the icebergs were still seven seasons away, I started planning to build my own lifeboat. Each day after working in the engine room all day, and after dinner, I would go to the library and read books and articles on how to build a lifeboat for my family. I would also read other people's stories, in a journal named SeekingLifeBoat, who had built their own lifeboats and have successfully survived and sailed away from a sinking ship. Most of these people have later upgraded their lifeboats into comfortable Yacht where they now live free and happy.

Building a lifeboat required that we had to cut our spending and save our pots of gold to pay for raw material. Both my wife and I decided to pay-off the mortgage on our cabin with our savings so that we can take the cabin with us on our lifeboat. We also had few other possessions, but we didn't owe any money on them, and could take them with us on the lifeboat.

After researching and reviewing several blueprints of existing lifeboats, I was able to put together one that would serve our needs and can eventually expand into a comfortable Yacht with time and minimum future effort.

I spent seven long seasons on the construction of our lifeboat and when it was finally ready, it was everything that I wanted. It was strong enough to weather a big storm while fast enough to escape a sinking ship. My wife and I could jump on it at moment's notice and take-off, if I needed to.

All I had to do now was wait and see whether captain and his senior staff can find a good destination for our ship and steer it away from the iceberg area. As the days went by, I was becoming more and more discontent with the captain and the decisions he and his senior staff were making.

I continued to tell my friends that they should build their own lifeboats and I can guide them as I have already built one for myself. However, most of them either didn't have the motivation or willingness to accept the fact that Titanic is going down or if they will ever be booted off the ship. They continued their lives as if everything was fine and were happy to get their pots of gold every season.

Only two seasons after I built my lifeboat, the Titanic hit the iceberg and started to take water. The captain and senior crew wanted to lighten the load, so the ship can stay afloat for a bit longer, just enough so they can cash out their chips at the ship's casino and load it into their luxury lifeboats or yachts.

As the ship was slowly taking water, and to lighten the load off the ship, the captain suddenly decided to off-load the crew members that were either old or not able to work as hard as the young guys. The captain didn't want to come across as heartless, so he called upon his new first officer (who recently boarded our ship from another sinking ship) to execute the task of getting rid of these old and expensive crew members and engineers. These old and expensive crew members were also the most experienced and knowledgeable in running the ship's multiple engines, but the new first officer had no attachment to the crew or cared for the loss of knowledge that would result from his actions.

Within days and upon the orders of the new first officer, a list of names was put together of these old and experienced engineers. The engineers and the crew members whose names were on this list were to be taken off the ship and sent off in the open ocean. They were to be sent off with only an extra bag of gold and a medical kit to survive, and with the hope they would find a new ship that would take them or maybe they will find a small island somewhere and retire there.

The actions of the captain and his first officer came across as a shock to the remaining engineers and the crew in the engine room. Most of them could now see that they cannot trust the captain or his new first officer. There were still some engineers who had their heads buried in ship's engine room and fumes were affecting their ability to think for themselves. Some of them were also turning into zombie engineers who you could see walking purposelessly at night in ship's hallways. They would be the next ones to go as the captain and his first officer prepare a second list.

I also studied other big ships that have sunk in the past and the cause of their sinking. The more I read, the more I was getting worried that our ship will eventually sink, as we didn't have a captain or first officer that we could trust. A ship no matter how big and strong maybe, without a good captain will get lost in the ocean and will eventually sink. The captain, the first officer, and the senior crew members will be fine as they all have their own First Class lifeboats to safely take them away to their homes built on exotic islands.

Shortly after, I escaped the Titanic using my lifeboat and I am happy that I did. However, I am worried about my friends who still remain in the engine room and are now being told to work even harder while the captain and senior staff members know that ship is lost and is slowly sinking.

Are you on a similar Titanic? Are you working in the engine room? If yes, then I strongly encourage you to start building your own lifeboat and plan your escape before it is too late.

2 comments:

  1. Why didn't you all just jump ship to another ship, perhaps a later model, more maneuverable with a visionary captain and endless pots of gold, rather than waiting around for the iceberg?

    Tech culture up there seems different from the one in the Valley.

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  2. Not everyone in the engine room was aware or realized we were lost and heading towards an iceberg. They were all heads down working hard as they were told to. Pots of gold and promise for more gold impacted their long-term thinking. Besides, some of them worked on the ship since they graduated from shipping college. This ship is all they knew, and couldn't imagine moving to another ship.

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