Life Aboard R/V Sikuliaq



Orientation and Safety Briefing


Either before departure or soon after departure the Third Mate and ship's crew will give an extensive orientation and safety briefing to everyone in the science party. Many items discussed are critical to your safety and survival in the event of an emergency. Please pay close attention to the material presented and ask questions on any topics that you do not fully understand.

The following information is included in orientation regarding shipboard safety:

  • An explanation of the general alarm signals and where and how personnel should proceed to assigned stations.
  • An explanation of station bills and bunk cards.
  • How to don life jackets and survival suits.
  • What to do in case of man overboard, fire, and other emergencies.
  • Requirements for hard hats, shoes, exposure suits, work vests, harnesses, and safety lines.
  • Discussion of other matters of general safety.

A fire drill, man overboard drill and abandon ship drill will occur 24 hours after the ship's departure. All science party personnel must report to the Main Lab with their survival suit, life jacket(found in their state room) and proper clothing; consisting of a hat, long-sleeved shirt/jacket, long trousers, and enclosed toe/heel shoes. A "Ditch Bag" is something to consider putting together especially when sailing in remote or polar waters.

Fire and boat drills are required by the U.S. Coast Guard and will be held throughout the cruise. Drills can be expected not more than a week apart.

The following general policies should be kept in mind at all times:

  • Safety at Sea is paramount. Major medical services can be many days away. It is everyone's responsibility to be extra vigilant and to speak up if they feel they are in an unsafe situation or see something they feel is unsafe.
  • A ship is an unsteady platform. Always keep one hand free to hold onto a railing when using stairs or hallways.
  • Rough seas can arrive quickly. All science gear must be secured before you leave port and always kept secure while at sea.
  • Do not climb aloft or atop the pilothouse without receiving permission from the ship's officer on watch or the bridge.
  • Get permission from the ship's officer on watch or the bridge before putting anything over the side of the ship.
  • A person should not go out on deck alone at night or in rough weather. If you must, first alert the the ship's officer on watch or the bridge, assign someone to watch you from inside the ship, and if conditions warrant, use a tether. The Captain will determine if weather decks should be secured, in which case no one is allowed outside the ship.
  • Hard hats, life vests and closed toe/heel shoes are required when working on deck.
  • Most fires can be prevented. Smoking is not allowed inside the ship. Learn the location of fire extinguishers and fire alarm pull stations in your areas. Sound the alarm and notify the Watch Officer immediately if you are the first on the scene of a fire.
  • Ship's crew, marine technicians and science party members can be sleeping at anytime. Be respectful and be quiet in the 01, 02 and 03 hallways.

The Captain and Chief Scientist

The Captain (Master) of the Sikuliaq is a licensed mariner in ultimate command of the vessel. The captain is responsible for its safe and efficient operation, including cargo operations, navigation, science operations, crew management and ensuring that the vessel complies with local and international laws, as well as University and state policies. All persons on board, including officers, crew, science party and crew, guests and pilots, are under the captain's authority and are her/his ultimate responsibility.

The Chief Scientist has overall charge of the scientific objectives of the cruise, is responsible for assigning duties to members of the scientific party and for ensuring that all members of the scientific party obey shipboard rules of behavior.

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Items Provided for You

Bedding

  • Two bed sheets- one fitted and one flat
  • One pillow/pillow case
  • One blanket or Duvet(comforter)

Towels

  • One bath towel
  • One washcloth
  • One hand towel

Please contact the galley crew if any items are missing in your room or if any maintenance issues/damage needs their attention.

Miscellaneous

  • Extras of all the above, along with extra toilet paper and trash bags can be found in the linen locker on the 01 deck across from the sauna.
  • Hotel size bars of hand soap, hand lotion, tooth paste, and tooth brushes may also be available in the linen lockers.
  • Foam ear plugs/ear muffs, safety glasses, hard hats, work lifejackets, mustang jackets/suits are available for the science party.

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What You Should Bring

Personal Items

  • Prescription medications
  • Sea-sickness pills or patches
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen (depending on season and location)
  • Books/Movies (There is a small library/lounge with these items but the selection is limited.)

Clothing Items

Bring about a week's work of clothes so a full load of laundry can be done at a time to conserve water.

  • Flip-flops for use in the shower
  • Rain gear
  • Rubber boots
  • Closed toed shoes (required to wear outside of your stateroom)
  • Work boots or safety shoes (highly recommended)
  • Climate appropriate clothing.
  • Lots of extra socks

Additional Recommended Items

  • Snacks or food for those with special dietary needs
  • Bedding for those who prefer to use their own
  • Sunglasses (polarized lenses work well on the water)

Polar Operations:

General rule of thumb is to dress in layers when working in Polar Regions.

Base Layer - Choose a light/mid weight layer of polypropylene, wool or silk to form the base layer next to the skin. These materials wick moisture away from the body.

Intermediate Layer - Choose fleece, down or wool to form the intermediate layer. Fleece top with a hood is a good choice.

Outer Layer/Foul weather Gear – Choose a wind and waterproof outer layer. Please note that it is not polite to wear foul weather gear in the living areas of the vessel.

Boots – Choose a waterproof safety boot that is insulated and has a steel/fiberglass toe required for deck operations. XTRATUF's Insulated Safety Boot and Muck Boot's Arctic Sport Insulated Safety Boot are two of many suitable deck boots. It is considered rude to wear deck boots in the living areas of the vessel. Please bring a practical, enclosed toe/heal shoe for the vessel's living areas.

Sunglasses – Choose a polarized pair of sunglasses. Glare off snow, ice and water can be intense and harmful to the eyes.

Head Gear – Hats are essential. Choose a simple, hardhat friendly, beanie or Peruvian style hat made from wool or fleece. In addition to a hat, it is advised that you bring a balaclava.

Socks – Several good pairs of wool socks are recommended. A thin or medium wool sock combined with a thin polypropylene sock or Bama Sokkets work well with insulated neoprene deck boots. Bama Sokkets wick water away from the feet.

Gloves/Mittens – Hand gear depends on what operations you will be tasked with. Thin polypropylene liners followed by dishwashing gloves or medical exam gloves work well for keeping fingers dry and maintaining dexterity for operations such as drawing water from the CTD. Atlas Therma Fit and Ninja ICE HPT are good deck gloves. Ninja Ice Fully Coated HPT and Glacier Glove Ice Bay are good waterproof deck gloves. Atlas 495 PVC with liner and Atlas 460 Insulated are good general wet work gloves. Multiple pairs of gloves are recommended. Operations on the sea-ice may require gloves/mittens with greater thermal value than those listed above.

A multi-pair boot/glove dryer is available in the Wet Lab.

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Meals

If you have dietary restrictions(vegetarian, vegan, etc.) or food allergies, inform your Chief Scientist so she/he can pass that information along to the Science Operations Manager before your cruise begins. The Sikuliaq's mess deck is cafeteria style. All members of the science and crew will bus their own dishes. Meals consist of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meal schedules are fixed and times are posted aboard the vessel. Persons on watch or relieving the watch have priority in the serving line. Seating arrangements are informal, with crew and scientists sharing the mess area. As in all shared areas of the vessel it is expected that science and crew clean up after themselves. The mess deck is open 24/7, except during scheduled cleaning. There is a glass-doored refrigerator by the serving line where left-overs are available 24/7, along with lunch meats, cheese, condiments, milk, and non-dairy milks. Drinks, coffee, teas, assorted fruits, breads and dry cereals are also available 24/7. Fresh baked goods will occasionally be available too.

During 24-hour science operations, personnel working the night shift can request that meals be plated and placed in the left-overs fridge.

Sikuliaq galley

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Shipboard Amenities

Science Staterooms

See a drawing and photos of the science staterooms HERE

Stateroom Televisions

Small TVs are in each stateroom. The TVs broadcast video feeds from cameras on the ship and from the ship's data computers displaying info such as our route/location, CTD casts, meteorological data, the Board of Lies, etc.

Laundry

Washers and Dryers are located all the way forward on the main deck. Laundry soap, bleach and drier sheets are provided. Be considerate and do not leave laundry in the washer or dryer after their cycles are complete. Because freshwater is a precious commodity on ships, only wash full loads when possible. During rough weather the laundry may be secured to protect the machines. Clean the lint trap in the dryer after removing your clothes.

Library/Lounge

The ship's library/lounge is located on the 01 deck, just forward of the galley. In the library you will find a collection of books, a TV with DVD player, DVD movies and video games. Ask a crew member to show you how to use the TV/DVD player. There is no satellite TV available. When in port there may be over-the-air stations available.
There is a small selection of board games and playing cards. Books and DVDs should always be returned to where they were found at the end of the cruise. As with all common spaces, cleanliness is appreciated. The library/lounge is not to be used for sleeping.

Sikuliaq lounge

Gym/Workout Area

A treadmill is located on the main deck across the hallway from the laundry. A small workout area is available all the way forward on the 1st Platform(one deck below the main deck). The workout area has a selection of free weights, yoga mats, a rowing machine, a heavy bag, a speed bag and two exercise bikes. Closed toe/heel shoes must be worn in the gym.

Sikuliaq gym

Sauna

A sauna is located on the 01 deck. It is available for use 24/7. Users must use a towel when sitting on the benches. Users must clean up after themselves.

Sikuliaq sauna

Elevator

An elevator services the 1st Platform, Main Deck and 01 deck and is available to everyone. The elevator may be secured in heavy seas.

Sikuliaq elevator

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HouseKeeping

The scientific party is responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of their staterooms, heads/showers, and laboratory spaces. Ask crew members where to find cleaning equipment. Vacuums for your staterooms are in the closet by the door that leads to the mess deck serving line.
We request that you wash your linens during the cruise. The ship's laundry on the Main Deck is available to the science party. Wash full loads of laundry when possible.
Instructions on cleaning your stateroom and lab spaces at the end of your cruise can be found on the Disembarkation page.

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Trash

All food waste must be disposed of in the galley/mess deck. Absolutely no spray cans or batteries are to be placed in trash cans. Ask the ship's crew where to dispose of spray cans and batteries. Place your small stateroom garbage bags into larger garbage cans found through out the ship. Ask the ship's crew where to place large full trash bags.
Sikulilaq is required to follow Annex V of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
Plastic is never to be discharged into the ocean. Science members must keep the decks clean of their used zip-ties, vinyl tape, and other items during science operations. UAF strongly encourages science parties to refrain from using plastic peanuts and Styrofoam inner packing. If you do have plastic peanut packing, please prevent them from escaping, especially if opening boxes outside the shell of the ship.

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Phone Communications at Sea

A VOIP(Voice-Over_Internet_Protocol) phone is available in the Science Office and Library/Lounge to make calls home. If satellite comms are poor this phone will not work. For emergencies and critical science operations, there is an Iridium and Fleet Broad Band satellite phone available. Ask the marine science techs or bridge personnel for help making calls to shore.
It is possible for the ship to go without internet access for days. In case of a shore-side emergency it is a good idea to pass along the Marine Superintendent's contact info to family members. The Marine Superintendent will pass along phone numbers to call the ship.

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Safety at Sea

Science Party members are responsible for reading Chapter 1 of the UNOLS RVOC Safety Training Manual and be familiar with the UNOLS Research Vessel Safety Standards (RVSS) .

General Shipboard Safety

  • Safety at Sea is paramount. Major medical services can be many days away. It is everyone's responsibility to speak up if they feel they are in an unsafe situation or see something they feel is unsafe.
  • A ship is an unsteady platform. Always keep one hand free to hold onto a railing when using stairs or hallways.
  • Rough seas can arrive quickly. All science gear must be secured before you leave port and always kept secure while at sea.
  • Be aware of watertight doors. These doors are very heavy and will swing from the ship's motion and can cause injury. Doors are never to be allowed to swing freely with the motion of the ship. Always keep at least one hand on the door until it is closed or secured.
  • Do not climb aloft or atop the pilothouse without receiving permission from the ship's officer on watch or the bridge.
  • Get permission from the bridge/ship's officer on watch before putting anything over the side.
  • A person should not go out on deck alone at night or in rough weather. If you must, first alert the bridge, take someone with you or assign someone to watch you from inside the ship, and if conditions warrant, use a tether. The Captain will determine if weather decks should be secured, in which case no one is allowed outside the ship.
  • Hard hats, life vests and closed toe/heel shoes are required when working on deck.
  • When participating in overboard operations avoid loose fitting clothing that can catch on equipment and cause injury or pull you overboard.
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunblock if you are working long hours outside. The levels of harmful UV radiation are much higher at high latitudes and at sea than elsewhere.
  • Most fires can be prevented. Smoking is not allowed inside the ship. Learn the location of fire extinguishers and fire alarm pull stations in your areas. Sound the alarm and notify the bridge immediately if you are the first on the scene of a fire.

Deck Safety

  • Prior to complex operations, a gathering of ship's personnel and science members will commence to discuss all aspects of the operation(s). A risk assessment following the Green-Amber-Red (GAR) Model will be conducted. All in attendance are encouraged to bring up any safety concerns.

  • Non-essential personnel are to stay clear of all deck operations. During high-load operations, all personnel must vacate the decks in the vicinity of the wire under load and the winch being used for the operation.

  • Be aware that lines and wires can part under tension. Do not stand under or near a line or wire while it is under a load. Never stand in the bight of a line or under a load that is being hoisted.

  • Clear lines of communication must be followed during deck operations. The designated deck leader shall give directions to winch, crane, A-frame operators, line handlers and anyone else involved in the operation. If you see something un-safe, bring it to the attention of the deck leader or the ship's safety officer.

Emergency Procedures

Fire and Emergency

Fires and Emergencies are announced by continuous sounding of alarm bells and ship's whistle for ten seconds. All science members must immediately gather their survival suits and life preservers from their staterooms and proceed to the Main Lab to be accounted for. The Baltic Room is the alternative location. For dismissal from fire stations, there are three short blasts of the whistle and three short rings on the general alarm.

Abandon Ship

The Abandon Ship signal is seven short and one long blast on alarm bells and ship's whistle. All science members must immediately gather their survival suits and life preservers from their staterooms and proceed to their assigned muster stations. Do not break out survival suits until so instructed. Never don a survival suit inside the skin of the ship.

Man Overboard
YELL!!!

Upon observing a person going over board, yell: “MAN OVERBOARD STARBOARD/PORT SIDE!”

Throw Floating Material

Throw a life ring or other floating material (This acts as a visual marker).

Pass Word to the Bridge

Pass the word to the Bridge using the best means available.

Keep Victim in Sight

Keep the victim in sight at all times if possible.

Port Departure and Arrival

Whenever the ship is docking or casting off, all non-essential personnel are to stay clear of the Bridge, the aft working deck, the bow area, and anywhere lines are being secured. Non-essential personnel are to stay clear of small boat operations as well.

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Title IX and Sexual Harassment Topics


University of Alaska Fairbanks Anti-harassment statement


We expect respect

The University of Alaska Fairbanks supports and promotes an environment where all community members are treated with common courtesy, compassion, dignity and respect. Every member of the university community has a right to a working and learning environment free of sex discrimination, including sexual and gender-based harassment, assault and violence. Protection from sex discrimination is extended to all students, employees and third parties, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Harassment is discrimination

Discriminatory harassment that violates regents' policy and university regulation includes verbal or physical conduct that degrades, and/or shows hostility or aversion to an individual because of his or her race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, genetic information, marital status, changes in marital status, pregnancy, parenthood, sexual orientation, gender, nonconformance to sexual stereotypes, veteran status, citizenship or mental/physical disability, or because of these characteristics among a person's friends, relatives or associates.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where:

  • submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person's job, pay, career or educational opportunity, or;
  • submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment or educational decisions affecting that individual, or;
  • such conduct has the purpose or necessary effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or creating a hostile, intimidating or offensive working or learning environment.

Sexual misconduct is an egregious form of sexual harassment. Examples include but are not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, cyber-bullying, bullying, hazing, sexual exploitation, nonconsensual sexual contact and nonconsensual sexual intercourse.

Create a healthy community

While not all acts of harassing behavior may be sufficiently severe or pervasive to trigger a violation of policy, all harassing behavior can negatively impact the organization and adversely affect our educational mission. All community members are responsible for creating a positive environment and play a role in preventing discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct.

If you see something, say something, do something.

UAF Title IX Contacts:

UNOLS Policies


RVSS, Chapter 6.3.3, PERSONAL BEHAVIOR AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT

In accordance with federal statutes, discrimination, which includes harassment, of protected classes is a violation of section 703 of title VII. The principles involved here apply to gender, race, color, religion or national origin. Because research cruises often involve educational activities, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, also apply. Ship Operators must adhere to Federal requirements in conjunction with operator’s institutional policies and the UNOLS RVSS. Vessel operators shall consult with the appropriate persons at their institution to ensure they are complying with crew training, posting of information, and the proper procedures to follow in the event a harassment situation arises on board during all phases of a science mission.

Each UNOLS vessel must:

  • Ensure that all aspects of the institution’s harassment prevention policy are incorporated in the vessel’s regulations and operating procedures.
  • Post the institution’s harassment prevention policy aboard the vessel in a location easily accessible to all members of the crew and science party.
  • Conduct harassment prevention training for all members of the science party before or immediately after getting underway for a science cruise. This training must include viewing of the first two modules of the videos developed for the Federal research vessel fleet. Crew members must view the harassment prevention training videos at least once per year.
  • Clear reporting procedures for a person experiencing or witnessing an instance of harassment must be available to all persons onboard; these can be provided in the posted policy and pre-cruise training. Appendix E contains amplifying information.
  • In addition to establishing procedures for reporting incidents to authorities aboard the vessel, a point of contact ashore must be provided. Access must be available by telephone, text or email. An institution’s established harassment “hotline” or designated point of contact would satisfy this requirement. Note: the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) maintains a national sexual assault hotline that may be an asset for UNOLS institutions.

UNOLS RVSS APPENDIX E, Harassment Prevention

Appendix E provides a discussion of what constitutes harassment and recommended procedures for anyone experiencing or witnessing a harassment incident. While recognizing operator institutions have their own internal policies, this appendix builds on these and reemphasizes the unique nature of being at sea. Please read it HERE .

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Alcohol and Drugs

Sikuliaq holds a Zero-Tolerance stance on Alcohol/Drug use and possession aboard the vessel. Narcotics and other "controlled substances" are not allowed aboard. Laws on this matter are severe, and discovery of narcotics aboard can lead to the seizure of the ship. If necessary searches will be made to determine if any controlled substances and/or alcohol have been brought aboard, and measures taken against offenders which may include termination of the cruise.

Sikuliaq follows the UNOLS directives found in the RVSS:

6.1.1 DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING

All UNOLS vessels will comply with U.S. Coast Guard regulations related to nonprescription drug and alcohol testing specified in 46 CFR 16 and 49 CFR 40 in order to eliminate the use of intoxicants and to promote a drug free and safe work environment. Persons embarked in research vessels, including science parties, should be aware that “all persons directly involved in a serious marine incident are chemically tested for evidence of dangerous drugs and alcohol” (46 CFR 16.240).

6.3.1 ALCOHOL & MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE ON UNOLS VESSELS

It is the policy of UNOLS, as approved by the UNOLS Council, that all UNOLS vessel operators shall ban the consumption of alcoholic beverages on board UNOLS vessels RVSS Edition 10 – July 2015 6-2 Chapter Six by crew-members or embarked members of the scientific party, except as provided below.
Certain exceptions can be approved in writing by institutional management for the purpose of allowing the possession and consumption of alcohol on board UNOLS vessels while in port for receptions, special occasions and entertainment of visiting dignitaries. Participation by ship’s crew in these events shall take into consideration scheduled time of sailing and the need for full sobriety at the time of departure.
Possession of alcohol on board UNOLS vessels by crew-members or embarked members of the scientific party is prohibited, with the exception of transport in bond under the control of the Master as allowed by institutional policies and at the discretion of the Master.
It is the UNOLS policy to follow the US Coast Guard directive, “Marine Safety Information Bulletin, MSIB # 01-14” which addresses the use of marijuana. The Coast Guard has continued to prohibit the use of marijuana, (which includes medical marijuana) by those serving in safety-sensitive positions in the maritime transportation industry. Marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and is subject to drug testing under Department of Transportation regulations.

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Smoking

Smoking is not allowed inside the Sikuliaq for reasons of safety, fire prevention, personal health and comfort. In general, smoking is allowed on open (weather) decks. There is a smoking area aft of the 01 Deck. Smoking is not allowed in the Baltic Room unless approved by the Captain. By law, smoking is never allowed while the ship is fueling or loading explosives. Cigarette butts are never to be thrown overboard. Only use proper receptacles for cigarette butts.

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