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The Importance of Liferaft Servicing

An emergency liferaft can dramatically improve your odds of survival in an emergency, but in order for this to happen, it must be maintained regularly and correctly.

Compliance with servicing procedures is of utmost importance in order to maintain functional and reliable liferaft operation in even the harshest sea environments. Below are the most essential aspects of liferaft servicing.

Safety

Life raft inspection and servicing must place safety as the highest priority, so the process must adhere to OEM instructions for inspection and repacking. You can click the link: https://www.gov.uk/owning-a-boat to learn more. Furthermore, sea anchors, ballast pockets, and all materials comprising the life raft should also be thoroughly inspected to ensure it satisfies operational standards.

Service technicians must make certain the air inflation hoses are up-to-date and free of cracks or holes before reinflating a raft, inspect floor seams for damage or degradation that could compromise buoyancy and stability, verify all perishable equipment such as flares, food, water, batteries and first aid kits as necessary and replace as necessary.

Repacking liferafts must include a pressure test to verify their functionality during activation, especially given its importance as a quick solution in an emergency situation.

Shipowners need to ensure their liferaft servicing procedures adhere to the highest industry standards, have them serviced by licensed professionals and maintain detailed records to safeguard crew and passenger lives in an emergency. By adhering to industry best practices and keeping an inventory record for each liferaft serviced, they can safeguard these vital life-saving assets and keep everyone on board safe from danger.

Reliability

Liferaft servicing may seem like a waste of money to many sailors; after all, they’re spending hard-earned cash on something they may never use again. Yet servicing it now will increase your odds of survival in an emergency situation considerably.

Apart from conducting a visual inspection of the entire raft, technicians inspect air inflation hoses which have a limited life span and replace them accordingly. Furthermore, they check that all of its various components such as sea anchor and ballast pockets are functioning as intended and inspect perishable equipment such as flares and first aid kits when necessary.

ISO rafts undergo stringent functional tests. Compressed air is used to inflate them and ensure that all buoyancy tubes and gas inflation devices work as intended. You can click here to learn more about buoyancy. Furthermore, 60 minutes working pressure tests are conducted; arch chamber and floor seam testing at double that pressure are also completed.

Additionally, technicians ensure all lanyards and activation systems are in full working condition; they verify the raft’s operating manual is fully comprehensive; and create statistical records regarding which rafts have been serviced, including those found defective or taken out of service.

Durability

As with other items of safety equipment, your liferaft may never come in handy, but its primary function should still work efficiently if and when needed. Therefore, regular service and testing is recommended to ensure its reliability when needed.

As with any piece of safety equipment, our rescue gear undergoes rigorous tests in real-life scenarios to ensure it can withstand stress and fatigue and meet our highest standards in an emergency rescue situation.

Each type and model of liferaft comes with its own servicing schedule according to manufacturer recommendations, with only accredited service stations authorized to carry it out. Inspection and repacking follow exactly these OEM specs by fully trained & certified technicians.

Equipment stored in the raft must also be monitored for its expiration date, such as gas cylinders used to inflate it. This helps ensure its reliability as well as that of other instruments and gadgets which may be useful in an emergency. Re-folding protocols set forth by its manufacturer must also be observed so as to maintain perfect condition of the liferaft.

Maintenance

Liferafts are essential survival equipment that can save lives in emergencies. To ensure its proper working condition at all times, regular liferaft maintenance should be undertaken. This ensures it will work when most needed and allows inspection and monitoring processes to spot issues before they become serious issues.

Professionals involved in servicing rafts will conduct a careful examination of both its container or valise and the raft itself. They will inspect every aspect, from appearance to valise or container itself; and inspect seams and fabric seams, seams and fabric to make sure there are no holes or damage. Once this process has concluded, professionals will refold the raft according to manufacturer protocol, taking note of how many cylinders or components make up its assembly.

Professional raft service professionals also take great care to protect the gas inflation system of a raft, which includes an annual inspection and servicing. Experienced service personnel should perform this service, to ensure high levels of transparency and careful record-keeping during this process.

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