The National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, just published a safety alert advising that “good preparation and proper use of safety equipment is key” to improving your chances of survival when abandoning ship. I have said this for a long time, you need to understand your safety systems, plan on how you are going to use them and if possible train with/on them.
You can download the full safety alert to read the full document. The NTSB is an independent agency tasked with reducing the loss of life in all modes of transportation. Mostly we hear about them with aircraft accidents but they also deal with vehicles, vessels and pipelines. If you are ever in Washington, D.C. and can figure out a way to get a tour of the NTSB lab, take it. They do amazing things to analyze disasters, looking at gauges to see where the indicator needle dented the face when an aircraft impacted a mountain was one of the things I was show. That and learning why John Denver crashed, he was too short to reach the fuel switch.