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Offshore safety

 
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smed19



Joined: 04 Mar 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject: Offshore safety Reply with quote

In light of the recent incident involving four football players whose boat capsized 50 miles out, I have begun investigating in investing in a life raft package. I have been a fisherman all my life, but I only have a few trips off shore under my belt.

Knowing anything can happen at any time, I want to purchase a life raft package that will sustain survival four 1-5 days. I've looked them up on several web sites, but I can't find the following info.

Are there packages that automatically inflate if the boat were to capsize?
If so, how does it work? If not, what is involve in manual deployment of the package?

Simply put...what is the best package for 4 people that can be quickly deployed and includes other survival necessities?[/b][/list]
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Captain Walker
Site Admin


Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:49 pm    Post subject: Offshore Safety and Life Rafts Reply with quote

I am just writing up an article on this exact subject!

The main considerations are these...

Approval – USCG, SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea), ORC (Offshore Racing Council)

Coastal vs offshore
Tubes - 1 or 2
Single vs Double floor, foam insulated
Canopy
Ridged vs Inflatable
Cradle, Valise, Davits packaging and release

Abandon ship bag - this is where additional water, GPS, EPIRB/PLB and other gear maybe.

Inspection and Repack costs and interval

NOW - to answer your questions

A 4-6 person Valise packed life raft with double tubes and a canopy are where I would start.
http://www.go2marine.com/productcenters/liferafts/

about the minimum life raft I would use…

http://www.go2marine.com/product.do?no=194898F

Lastly, the four men in the boat would have increased their survival chances substantially with a life raft AND increased their ability to be found with an EPIRB. Because of their 'mass', a 6 man life raft would have done them well.

I pondered on this incident after I read it. Because of the warm water, PFD's, with leashes and an EPIRB would have made all the difference - even a PLB like:
http://www.go2marine.com/product.do?no=198430F
would assist in location in the time they were looking at - and would have allowed them to be found in the dark.


Are there packages that automatically inflate if the boat were to capsize? YES
If so, how does it work? HYDROSTATIC RELEASE
If not, what is involved in manual deployment of the package? SEE THE ATTACHED VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBT-k-yvX4Q

That demonstrates a valise packaged life raft (6 person) - note that all that opens them is the tether that you tie to the boat (to board close)


Hope that helps!
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Captain David Walker

Moderator, Boaters Line Moderator
dwalker@go2marine
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