SailNet Community - View Single Post - Liferafts! VERY Important Thread for all Cruisers
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post #143 of Old 04-26-2010
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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Paul, in the interest of beating dead bloated horses that are floating around the ocean after being ejected from their life rafts, let me give you my take on that comment, and why I agree with it in principle.

In the middle of a F9 storm, my Swan is holed by the stiff hoof of said dead horse 250 miles offshore. On board are myself, my 105 lb wife, and our 2 kids (both under 11). We are going down. We deploy the LR (after having done everything else flawlessly prior to abandoning our sinking ship) - which we'll say is a 6-man raft (based on the occupancy of a 40' boat). Into that raft go a total of maybe 320 pounds plus some gear. So 400 lbs of ballast for a 6-man raft.

We are not wearing gumby suits - just foulies and pfds. We were cruising to Bermuda from Florida (whatever). And what cruisers on this forum actually have gumby suits for their crew? Seriously.

Anyway, once the Swan goes under we are inside the raft in 41-47 knots of wind 23'-32' waves when it flips. Now what? Do we try to keep the wife and kids inside the inverted raft while I go out and try to flip it? Do we all exit the raft into the rough seas where my wife tries to hold onto each kid as they get hit by these waves AND stay close to the raft while I struggle to flip it. Then when it does right, how much energy do we all have left to have the wife swim the kids to the raft which has drifted like crazy in the F9 conditions, or me go get them and drag them back? Then, when we all get back to the raft how much energy do we have left to get the kids, then ourselves back into that empty raft - which hopefully has not flipped again by the time we get to this point?

Now, let's say I was injured either before or during the flip. What then? The wife is doing all the above?

Again, to me, this scenario illustrates to me very clearly that "if the raft flips we're dead".

And it definitely makes you think about A LOT of things.
Yes, Smackdaddy you and your family would probably be dead. For all the other cases where people have actually taken to liferafts in serious weather and have been flipped multiple times and were able to right the craft, they would would probably be alive.

Paul L
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