Lifeboat Equipments – Essentials for Safety

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When you wish to spend your time on water, then boating can be the best option to cradle in the middle of a lake, river or sea with access to various modern amenities right on board. Although your boat can be your floating abode that offers you with unlimited access to the beauty of water while making you feel comfortable, outfitting your boat with most essential equipments can make your ride even more luxurious and safe.

  • Why Lifeboat Equipments are Important?

The main objective of having all lifeboat equipment intact is to provide safety. It is essential to have certain boating equipments on board such as fire extinguishers, life jackets, a first aid kit, working lights on the boat, several flashlights with extra batteries and distress signals including a ring that you can throw or a cushion to reach out to someone who has fallen overboard. It is also essential to have a GPS or compass onboard for navigation purposes. A radio should also be there for open communication. It is also important to have a bilge pump in case of emergency to control any water the boat has taken on it.

  • Lifeboat Equipments to Carry

Boating for saving lives is an adventurous and enjoyable experience for most of the lifesavers but it should be accompanied with essential boating equipments on board. Apart from this, you can also have some non-essential boating equipment to have fun when it is not work time. List us see in brief the list of equipments that are required in the lifeboat.

  • Oars – The oars used should be free from any short grains or other defects. They should be made from homegrown Australian, European or American ash or hickory. You can also use oars with laminated construction, which are made from the mentioned timbers.
  • Crutches – Galvanized wrought iron crutches should be used and should be attached to the lifeboat by means of a lanyard or a chain that is secured to the neck of each crutch. It should be positioned in such a way that at least one crutch is ready for use at each crutch hole. In case of a damaged crutch, the complete fitting should be replaced with the spare crutch that is available in the lifeboat.
  • Boat hooks – There should be at least two boat hooks in every lifeboat. The shaft of the boat hooks should be of a good quality ash or hickory.
  • Drains – Automatic drain valves that are approved by MCA should be used. When an automatic plug is attached, a safety plug or a screwed plug attached to a chain should be provided.
  • Buoyant lifelines – A line must be becketed around the outside of the lifeboat and it should be clear of the propeller and the rudder. On fire protected lifeboats, the lines must be made of flexible stainless wire rope covered with PVC and passed through hardwood handgrips.
  • Lights – Internal and external lights that comply with the MSM standard should be provided. The lights should have their own power supply.
  • Compasses – An operational compass should be present in the lifeboat. This helps to determine the direction in which the lifeboat is travelling.
  • Sea Anchors – These are used to anchor the lifeboats in the sea away from the ship or used when the boat is being towed.
  • Pyrotechnic Distress Signal – All pyrotechnic distress signal (parachute type and handheld) used in the lifeboat must be of acceptable standard as specified by MSM. The components, ingredients and the composition used in the signals are such that they remain stable for a period of three years from the date of manufacture when stored under normal conditions.
  • First Aid Kit – A first aid kit with some basic medicines should be available in the lifeboats. The first box should be of the specified quality and should be packed in a watertight heavy-duty plastic container.
  • Electric Torch – An electric torch of acceptable quality, which can also be used in Morse signaling should be available in the lifeboat along with a spare set of additional batteries as well as one spare bulb in a watertight box.
  • Lifeboat boarding ladders – Rope or wire rope ladder can be used in the lifeboats. The ladders used should be off sufficient length, which will help to reach the bow or stern to at least 0.4 metres below the water surface when the boat is in light condition. The lowest rung should be made of iron or any other heavy material so that the ladder hangs vertically.
  • Fire extinguisher – Lifeboats must be provided with fire extinguishing appliances which meets the regulations. A dual seal type should be used for fire extinguishers with foam type.
  • Survival Manual – A waterproof survival manual should be included in the lifeboat equipment.
  • Bucket and bailer – Two buckets with a capacity of 9 liters each and a buoyant bailer with a diameter not less than 200 mm should be available in the lifeboat.
  • Hatchet – The lifeboats should have two hatchets, one at each end. They should be single edged, have good cutting edges, attached to the lifeboat by a lanyard should be readily available.
  • Bow line: The length should not be less than 2 times of distance between the stow position of lifeboat to the waterline. The quantity is 2 pieces.
  • Daylight signaling mirror – A daylight signaling mirror of acceptable quality should be available in the lifeboat.
  • Jack-knife – A jack-knife fitted a tin opener must be available and should be attached to the lifeboat with the help of a lanyard.
  • Whistles – A good quality whistle which should work efficiently even after immersion should be available in the lifeboat. It should be fitted with a lanyard.
  • Manual pumps – A manual pump as per the approved requirement should be present. The hoses used should be of rubber. The suctions hoses should be provided with a suitable strainer. Both the suction and the discharge hoses should be adequate length. The arrangements should be able to keep the lifeboat clear of any water.
  • Buoyant rescue quoits – Two buoyant rescue quoits attached to not less than 30 meters of buoyant line must be provided. They should be capable of floating in water even after 6 hours of submersion. They should be pliable when wet or dry.
  • Thermal protective aids – Stowage of thermal protective aids available in the lifeboats should be maintained in such a way that they will not be damaged.
  • Rescue signal tables – Rescue signal tables available in the lifeboats should be approved type and must be sealed appropriately to avoid any damage by water.
  • Radar reflector – The reflectors should be of the approved type and ensured that appropriate fittings are available to fix the radar reflector in the lifeboat.
  • Search light – Search lights must be available in the lifeboats and should be of the approved standard.
  • Fishing line and hook – Fishing line and hooks should be available in the lifeboat and should be provided with a rot-proofed fishing line of about 12 meters with two traces. Each trace should have three mackerel sized hooks spaced at 300 to 460 meters.
  • Tools – Tool kit should be available in the lifeboat and should be sufficient enough to make minor adjustments to the engine of the lifeboat and its accessories.
  • Water-proof container – Water proof container with a capacity to fill freshwater up to 3 kg per person should be present in the lifeboat.
  • Ration – No less than 10000 kg for each person packed in gastight package and stored in water-proof container should be available in the lifeboat.

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