As demonstrated at Zeebrugge and Harwich, modern ro-ro ferries are prone to almost instant capsize. This makes it impossible to launch lifeboats, but also makes it extremely difficult to get out of something the size of Selfridges lying on its side, so that none of the stairs can be used in the normal way.
If you are in a position simply to jump into the sea, and the fall from the boat deck doesn't incapacitate you, survival time will be limited in winter or with a heavy sea. The sea may in any case be covered in burning liquid, as in the tanker collision of a few months ago.
It is to be hoped that the Government will, in time, require the ferry companies to reach the same safety level insisted upon for the new Eurostar and Le Shuttle
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