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Cape Cod Abandon Ship!

If this thrilling cry had sounded throughout the Mayflower in the fury of some storm or even in the dark of a calm night at sea, what a predicament her people would have been in!

Had she been safely abandoned, all 102 passengers and her crew safely stowed in her small boats, at best they would have had little for food under such circumstances, they would have lacked anything but feeble torches or lanterns, they could have hoped for no rescue, but only, perhaps, to make shore somewhere. They could make no calls for help. The Mayflower was considered a large ship for her time, but lacked any of the safety equipment available to mariners today.

How different it is today! The lifeboats of every vessel carrying passengers are required, under internationally adopted standards and rules, to carry a bilge pump for bailing out water that comes over the sides or leaks in, a jack-knife, two buoyant smoke signals, red flare parachute signals, three quarts of water for each person aboard, and a pound of condensed milk for each person. American standards excel these world requirements.

If a vessel has no lifeboat with fixed radio installations, portable radio equipment must be carried for use in emergencies. Moreover, lifeboat “skates” to help get lifeboats overside safely are also required, and fire protection rules are extensive and strict. Compare these safeguards with the poor equipment the Pilgrims possessed.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 04/27/06
Categories: BoatingHistory
Keywords: history, pilgrims


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