Join Date: Apr 2010
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I do think that maybe you have all been very lucky or under exposed, as opposed to under read. I sank off Bermuda 120NM 1984, 3 minutes is all it took. If the vessel had not been fitted with a good set of liferafts, I would not be typing this now. I will not go to sea unless the vessel is fitted with recently serviced (in date) liferafts, hydrostatic release mechs, and preferably more than one. the failure rate is in the region of 20%, and like parachute packers you rarely hear of failures, or recieve complaints. You may personally take what ever risks you wish, but have no rights to endanger others, family, freinds, and never clients. I had my raft come UP to me, it was capsised and managed to right it, there were 8 of us in a 20 man raft, capsise nearly occurred and we had to deploy evenly to avoid it, 40-50kts 4-6m seas wave driven breakers on top.
Rafts fail for many reasons, it would be interesting to know if the Rip-painter was cut or snapped or if it had a cage hanging below.
The better the life raft the bigger the cannister, and greater the cost. Economics and aesthetics dictate the quality and quantity. Economics and absent mindedness dictate wheather that cheap/expensive raft might work when you need it.
Trust the service station, but insist on seing the raft inflated and left for 24 hrs to ensure no slow leaks, ask for all replaced items to be given to you to dispose of yourself.