Escape from the Engine Room

Just watched Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s latest movie, Escape Plan. Stallone is some expert in maximum security prison – a breakout artist –
and he gets to test out the latest “alphabet soup” secret super max prison. I
had to laugh at the irony of it all, because as it turns out, the prison is
actually a ship, or more correctly, on a ship.
What do you think being a seafarer is all about?
Despite Stallone and Arnold, the biggest star of the show is the “fictitious” ship, MV
Rican. The movie ship looks like a tanker, probably is a bulker, but is used as a
“passenger ship”. 
Vale’s got nothing on Hollywood
I did some sleuthing and I found that the “ship set”, as determined by the IMO number
seen in the engine room fight scene – (IMO 7621932) – is the MV Rican. In the movie, the ship has been heavily, and
ridiculously transformed by the special effects people. The story is as equally
laughable. 
The Rican, is a Comoros flagged bulk carrier, built in 1979, and is actually listed as “broken up”. The 61,400 DWT bulker bore many names including, MV Americana, as she was pictured back in early 2012, when she was in New Orleans, where I imagine they did the filming.
 
If Hollywood really knew how many regulations an
internationally trading ship must conform too, they would never put a prison on
it, never mind wast money and energy putting bars on it – no need, its already a prison. 
Two wheelhouses, cool
The denouement of the story occurs, where else, in the dimly
lit, eerily quiet, dungeon like engine room. There, the meanest of the guards,
played by Vinnie Jones, gets to rumble with Stallone, bouncing his head off the
main engine, before “taking a tumble” down the ladder. 
Stallone then proceed to the control room, to “dispatch” the
duty engineer who confidently wields a 14 inch pipe wrench. Our protagonist then pecks at
the computer, turns a few knobs, and voila, the ship suffers a total blackout,
releasing all the magnetic locks, and gains an honorary STCW engineering license.
 
No artistic license needed
Of course, anyone with any sense of ships would laugh at the
situation, well, a nervous laugh anyways. Ships and prison after all, have an
intertwine culture don’t they. Well one thing is for sure, Hollywood keeps
reinforcing the stereotypes of commercial shipping. One thing is for certain,
it does the seafarer recruiting department no favours.  

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