Six Steps to Improve Liferaft Success

Published on November 2nd, 2015

Many of us are familiar with the one-line wisdom, ‘always step up into a liferaft’ – but do you know the details of abandoning ship?

If your vessel is sinking, a liferaft dramatically increases your chance of survival. It helps to prevent cold water shock (when entered dry) and hypothermia, and it keeps you and your crew together.

“As a lifeboat crew member, there’s nothing more worrying than rescuing someone from the water, only to discover there are others out there,” says Kevin Rahill, from the RNLI’s Community Safety Team.

Liferafts prove their value time and again. In May alone, Hunstanton lifeboat crew rescued two sailors saved by their raft, and five fishermen were brought to safety 74 miles west of the Isles of Scilly, thanks to the EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon) and raft they deployed as their ship was sinking.

When it comes to abandoning ship, be aware most of the preparation comes long before an emergency. If your liferaft is stowed under lots of kit and padlocked on deck – or you’re not familiar with its functions – all you’ve got onboard is extra weight and bulk. But if you know how to deploy your raft, have it serviced regularly and are familiar with the kit it carries, you could very well become your own lifesaver.

Here are six steps to improve your chance at success… click here.

Source: Royal National Lifeboat Institution Offshore magazine

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