When abaord a ship, there is always the threat of faling overboard so ship carry alot of survival equipment to deal with the problem.
Ready Lifeboat: A boat rigged and ready for lowering in the event of a man overboard. A boat crew consists of seven crewmembers; a boat officer, coxswain, signalman, corpsman, engineman, gunners mate, and boatswains mate (bow hook).
CO2 Inflatable Life Rafts: Provided to keep personnel out of the water and to provide shelter from the elements in the event of abandon ship. Constructed of neoprene coated fabric (cotton or nylon). Life rafts can be released one of three ways:
- Trip manual release.
- Cut retaining straps.
- Water pressure, in excess of 5 ft. lbs., will trip the automatic release. (Approx. 10-40 ft. deep in water)
Raft equipment includes:
- Survival Gear: Gear is packed in a nylon bag with food and water for 25 people for 5 days. It includes an air pump, dye marker, first aid kit, flashlight, knife, paddles, sea anchor, signaling gear, water desalting kit, and a whistle.
- Hydrostatic Release: It is secured by two nylon bands, one end of each secured to the outboard section of the rack and the other to a hydrostatic release. It is released by pushing the pin located on the backside or by water pressure automatically when the ship sinks.
- Sea Anchor: A canvas, cone shaped object that open at one or both ends that is designed to keep the bow of the life raft heading into the seas. It is equipped with a towline at the large end and a tripping line at the other.
- Medical Kit: It contains emergency supplies, such as seasick pills, bandages, splints, etc.
- Signaling Equipment: It has a mirror which can be seen from a distance of 8 to 10 miles, whistles, dye markers, and pyrotechnics. Distress flares are for day and night use. One end of the signal tube produces an orange smoke for day use and the other end produces a red flare for night use. The flares burn for approximately 18 seconds. The night flare can be identified in the dark by a series of small bead-like projectiles embossed around it.
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