Why is it important?
Survival and rescue equipment is inspected for an extremely important reason: to ensure that it works properly when needed. That is why your liferaft must always be serviced and certified so that it is guaranteed to work when you really need it.
We know that the best fabrics, accessories and even the most expert hands cannot compete against the weather and conditions at sea, where temperature changes occur throughout the year, from low temperatures in winter to very high in summer, and with salt and moisture permanently present.
Inside its outer container –either a valise or container– the ISO liferaft is protected in a watertight vacuum bag which, among other things, helps compact the raft and protect it from the damp by acting as second barrier (after the valise or container).
However, this extremely compact package means that, in time and because of the temperature changes occurring at sea, the materials used in the raft may deteriorate and may not be in optimal condition for use unless they have been serviced every year to keep the fabric flexible enough to withstand a sudden charge of CO2. Something similar can happen to certain other materials, such as lithium batteries, power cells, and the like.
Verification and service of the rest of the materials is also essential; therefore the condition and expiration date of each and every material composing the liferaft is checked on a regular basis.
The Sea AnchorThe sea anchor prevents the raft from drifting uncontrollably, as well as helping the ballast pockets keep the raft in position and weather the storm.
The sea anchor consists of a long painter made fast at four points to the rigid anchor ring. This ring simultaneously serves to fasten the high-strength fabric, sewn into a cone shape, that provides the necessary drag to stop the movement of the raft as much as possible. This facilitates the search for the raft and the rescue of the crew who remain near to their last communicated position.
First aid kitA shipwreck is always a time of uncertainty and sometimes people suffer accidents before boarding the raft, resulting in bruises, burns, wounds or just general malaise.
Therefore all Duarry liferafts are equipped with the completest possible first-aid kits. They are made in Spain and carry the CE mark.
Similarly, if we consider the time the crew may spend inside the raft before being rescued and receiving medical attention, the kit is equipped with pills to prevent seasickness, bandages and other useful equipment.
Inflation MechanismThe inflation trigger mechanism must be in perfect condition and perfectly adjusted so that when the trigger painter (connected to the firing pin and cable) is pulled it hits the sealing diaphragm, thus letting out the gas that inflates our life raft.
Servicing this mechanism will make the difference between your raft inflating...or not.
The knifeThis is the first thing we see when we board the raft and it will be the first thing we use to release the raft from the boat once it has inflated and when at least one of the crew is aboard it.
Stainless steel knife with floating handle and rounded tip to prevent damaging or puncturing the raft. Sharp blade protected with plastic sheath of rigid rubber. This knife is made fast to the raft by a thin lanyard to prevent it getting lost in the sea. The lanyard is long enough for the knife to reach anywhere where it might be needed in the raft.
Repair kitComposed of patches, hole cones or plugs, sealants, glue, round-nosed scissors, spatula and brush among other things, such as instructions, the repair kit enables us to repair any small damage to the raft while we are aboard.
The lightThe lights on Duarry liferafts provide clear visibility thanks to their powerful flashing LEDs that pinpoint our location and aid rescue. Moreover, their ingenious design makes the battery and interior light into one compact assembly, saving on weight, wiring and avoiding possible connection problems. With this light, the crew can deal with critical situations that occur in darkness and that would otherwise be impossible to resolve.
PyrotechnicsThe condition of your flares can mean the difference between being sighted by a ship or aircraft or not. To this end, annually each product is checked to ensure it is in perfect condition so when it becomes necessary to launch a rocket, light a flare or activate a smoke canister, the only thing the crew needs to be concerned about is being picked up by the rescuer.
Duarry ISO liferaft always carry three flares, two rockets with parachutes and a smoke cannister (six, four and two respectively in the SOLAS A package). These must always be used to leeward and following the manufacturer's instructions. The smoke canister is for use during daylight and the flares and rockets are more visible at night. The rocket can give the rescuers an idea of the raft’s position and direction from a long distance away. The flare gives the rescuers the exact position of the raft.
Water collecting and pouring systemA simple, extremely effective solution. Rain and moisture flow over the surface of the raft’s waterproof fabric to the receiving channel; then all the water collected passes through a hole to the inside of the raft where it is stored in the water storage system. This system is removable to make drinking as easy as possible.
Radar reflectorThe radar reflector is essential for helping rescuers to locate us. All we need to do is to unfold it, inflate it and make it fast to the raft by its lanyard.
The ingenious method of inserting the metallic reflector tissue inside a watertight rubber ball means we do not have to worry about it being damaged or collapsing and allows us to be located in all weather conditions and at any time.
Flexible fabricThe importance of a good flexible fabric is vital to ensure that the raft inflates perfectly and remains so during the time needed for rescue.
Using the best natural rubbers is not enough to ensure that our fabrics are sufficiently flexible; we must inflate the raft at least once a year to check that changes in temperature and vacuum packaging have not caused wrinkles that can become cracks or holes. Such defects can be fatal at the decisive moment of abandoning ship and inflating the raft.
TPAThe TPA or Thermal Protection Assistance system provides thermal protection and thermal stability required during times of darkness and at night, or in bad weather situations, thus preventing hypothermia.
It is an aluminiumised bag that reflects the heat radiated by the human body. To fulfil its function properly it must be in perfect condition.