Code Oscar is a form of ship emergency code which is mainly used in the cruising industry. The vessel emergency code, Code Oscar, is rung in case there a person falls overboard from the vessel.
The distress signal is euphemistic in nature, so as to prevent the potentiality of chaos occurring following the emergency.
Just like various shipping operators coming up with their own independent emergency distress codes, the ship emergency code Oscar is unique to the Royal Caribbean cruise conglomerate and is utilised by the corporation’s various ancillary cruise companies.
Distress Signal Peculiarities
- The code is required to be specified thrice in quick successions as – ‘Code Oscar Code Oscar Code Oscar’
- The code is followed by appropriate directions pinpointing the location of the person’s fall in the water, along with the side of the vessel from where the person took the fall
- The code is first raised over the radio system or in case a passenger notices the accident, through word of mouth calling out
- The vessel’s loudspeaker then broadcasts the distress signal in the stipulated fashion, which helps to alert the crew personnel of the accident and keep a steady lookout for the person fallen into the waters
- Following the code signal, the vessel’s speed needs to be reduced so that all necessary immediate rescue measures are enabled to be fruitfully deployed
After all immediate rescue systems have been deployed; the vessel skipper and steersmen are required to re-route the vessel’s course to successfully bring the person back onboard. Since the re-routing operations take a longer time-duration, monitoring the physical condition of the person in the water becomes the responsibility of the crew, or passenger bystanders.
If in case such an emergency occurs during night hours, flash lights are required to be pinpointed to bring into focus the position of the person fallen into the water so as the required help is able to be directed without any loss of visual contact or monitoring.
In case of inclement weather conditions, if the vessel is unable to be suitably re-routed, then course co-ordinates need to be passed to naval and maritime officials so that rescue operations don’t encounter any delay and are assisted by the nearest located coastal guards and patrolmen.
The ship emergency Code, Code Oscar, is one of the important maritime codes. Considering the diverse nature of the water geography in the world, at times, the immediate coding of the distress signal is all that separates life from an unexpected and accidental death.