We have discussed all the essentials you should have on your boating survival checklist. You should get several items like emergency gear and a first aid kit to ensure smooth sailing.
One thing often overlooked is a life raft, which is a major part of survival on the sea. Having an inflatable boat gives you peace of mind. If you need to jump ship, you will know what to do.
Let’s look at how to inflate a life raft and what you should have on it with you:
If you have a small boat, having a life raft makes more sense than a yacht lifeboat. The former consumes less space, is cheaper in comparison, and can be deployed easily in an emergency. Some yachts come equipped with a lifeboat, whereas smaller ones need to be outfitted with a practical model.
A life raft functions the same way as a lifeboat. It provides buoyant shelter when the unthinkable happens. Thanks to their inflatable nature, they take up less space.
You and your crew members need to maintain the raft’s self-inflatable mechanism. According to the ISO 9650 Standard, life rafts are separated into two categories based on their geographic usage and size:
- Type A: This life raft offers better insulation and can hold extreme temperatures from 15C° to 65C°.
- Type B: This life raft is for warmed climates, from 0C° and above.
Inflatable Life Raft – Inflation
Following are the steps on how to use the life raft:
- Inspect the operating cord and make sure it does not have U rot
- Secure the cord to the boat before throwing it overboard
- Pull the cord and give it a hard tug to begin inflation (Make sure the boat is out of reach to avoid any injuries from the explosion)
- Raft should inflate within seconds (If it doesn’t, do not get onboard)
Boarding the Raft
- The strongest passenger should get onboard first
- If the life raft inverts, stand on the bottom and hold straps to set it right
- The person in the life raft should help others get onboard to maintain balance
- Make sure the passengers are facing outward when they are pulled on the life raft
- Secure the gear with lanyards and cut the operating cord with a knife
The Grab Bag (For Life Rafts)
In an accident, you will be forced to jump ship. At a time like this, you won’t be able to grab any essential gear or food. This is where the grab bag comes in. Here’s what it should include:
- Whistle and flares
- Personal medication
- Additional food items
- A transmitter for signaling
- Glasses, sunscreen, and sunglasses
- Important documents like your boating license, passport, and ID
- A satellite telephone and handheld radio, and spare batteries
And there you have it ― an extensive list of all the essential gear you need to keep on board.