Survival on Flight 1549

Watching 4 survivors of the US Airways flight 1549 on Larry King Live (Feb. 5) heightened my awareness of survival–a topic I know very well. Although I didn’t survive an air calamity, I survived a shipwreck on the Atlantic Ocean. What do US Airways flight 1549 and voyage 101 of the Andrea Doria have in common? Survival on water.

We don’t think much about needing life rafts when we hear the flight attendant explain how to use the flotation device under our seat; there are very few air crashes on water in the history of aviation. But flight 1549 gives us something serious to ponder: besides our seat cushion, are there enough water rafts on board?

While listening to NPR recently, it was reported that American Airlines did not have sufficient water rafts on board one model of their planes. This sent a chill up my spine. Didn’t the engineers remember the Titanic’s dilemma? And what about the Andrea Doria? Although we had enough lifeboats, only half of them were functional.  This posed a threat to our survival.

Thank God the cruise industry has got this issue under control. From the Andrea Doria catastrophe it was learned that there should be more than the minimum requirement of lifeboats available.

It’s time to question the airline industries position on this very serious safety concern.

I hope this topic is addressed on Larry King Live, on February 10 when King interviews the crew of flight 1549.

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