Length: 28 Min.
Liferaft Operation and Survival Practices
Next to lifeboats, the liferaft can be your second best choice of escape in a marine disaster. However, if you are unfamiliar with the different methods of boarding, launching and maintaining with both davit and throw-over launched liferafts, they won't do you any good in an emergency. Techniques such as working the painter to inflate the raft, righting the raft, patching leaks, use of pyrotechnics to signal help, setting the sea anchor, closing down the exits to maintain seaworthiness, passing out seasickness pills and provisions, and bolstering morale are all demonstrated. (20 Minutes)
...The period immediately following an evacuation to the liferaft is crucial. Personnel are going to be cold, exhausted, wet, and suffering from varying degrees of shock. Physical and mental let down are probable, at a time when you will be faced with multiple problems. You must use your resolve to maintain and encourage the will to live in yourself and others, in order to get through this ordeal.
The first person aboard the liferaft is to take immediate charge of all safety procedures. Later an election is held to pick the most experienced, able bodied raft commander.
The raft commander is now responsible for his own survival as well as his crew. A positive attitude coupled with a sense of calm and a touch of humor will increase morale and increase everyone's will to survive.
Immediately assign watch and other duties, no matter how trivial, to all except the severely injured. Routine activities will ease boredom and help morale. The watch keeper should look for other survival craft, persons in the water, passing ships, aircraft, and changes in the weather.
Close down the raft entrances once everyone is inside to keep the cold out and keep in the warmth generated by the occupants. A system of straps, Velcro or tabs is provided with instructions found printed on the canopy or in the survival bag. Leave a small hole for ventilation which the posted look-out person can utilize.
With cold being the biggest killer every attempt should be made to raise the body temperature of the raft's inhabitants by pumping or bailing out any water and drying the interior with sponges or clothing...