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Old 11-04-2016, 14:00   #16
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Re: Flares in Life Raft Safety Pack?

I only repacked the raft every 3 years, but I didn't quibble with putting new everything in with the repacking. I suspect that the repacking companies I dealt with would insist on new contents for liability reasons. My view is that is just a cost of doing business on the ocean.

I never had the repacking companies tell me that my Avon raft had a problem after 3 years, but I did try the MOM-8 out one day and it had completely disintegrated.
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Old 11-04-2016, 15:02   #17
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Re: Flares in Life Raft Safety Pack?

Maybe I'm way off base here, but if Dockhead's still a lawyer, ought he not, for professional reasons to follow the letter of the law? He's in print here as proposing non-compliance with known regulations.

I agree with him that he is unlikely to need to use the liferaft, but in his situation, where he carries varying crews, would the suggested non-compliance have the downside of making him extremely vulnerable to lawsuit following an abandon ship maneuver?

You might want to add sick bags, Dockhead, and the Stugeron should be taken before you abandon ship, it's not fast acting at all, takes about 45 minutes to work in my body, but might make you more comfortable if taken in time. Or, carry compazine suppositories, for when by mouth meds are not going to stay down. Think, cold, wet, miserable, and terrified, and your need to be rescued while the crew's trying to figure out how to deal with the situation. Especially for a night time abandonment, anything you can do to make yourselves more visible is important, you're just a wee shadow on the surface of the water.

Ann
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Old 11-04-2016, 15:32   #18
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Re: Flares in Life Raft Safety Pack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Maybe I'm way off base here, but if Dockhead's still a lawyer, ought he not, for professional reasons to follow the letter of the law? He's in print here as proposing non-compliance with known regulations.

I agree with him that he is unlikely to need to use the liferaft, but in his situation, where he carries varying crews, would the suggested non-compliance have the downside of making him extremely vulnerable to lawsuit following an abandon ship maneuver?

You might want to add sick bags, Dockhead, and the Stugeron should be taken before you abandon ship, it's not fast acting at all, takes about 45 minutes to work in my body, but might make you more comfortable if taken in time. Or, carry compazine suppositories, for when by mouth meds are not going to stay down. Think, cold, wet, miserable, and terrified, and your need to be rescued while the crew's trying to figure out how to deal with the situation. Especially for a night time abandonment, anything you can do to make yourselves more visible is important, you're just a wee shadow on the surface of the water.

Ann
I haven't practiced law in 25 years, so I'm as free as others to bend the law when it's reasonable to do so

I'm not bending in this case, however. I will carry definitely all the required.gear, just some of it in the grab bag instead of in the rafts themselves.

And the rafts will be serviced by an official Avon station.

This answers someone else's question: my rafts are done professionally, with a certificate in the end. But - IN MY PRESENCE. I always witness the whole process. The guys - in Universal Marina, on the Hamble, are great.

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Old 11-04-2016, 15:50   #19
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Re: Flares in Life Raft Safety Pack?

You know what just went through my mind, being cold, wet, tired, and horribly sick, in the dark.
Trying to get a suppository inserted / installed?
True definition of a friend I suppose cause the one time I was truly sick, all I wanted to do was lay there and die, suppository?
Now way could I have done that.



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Old 12-04-2016, 08:33   #20
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Re: Flares in Life Raft Safety Pack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
dockhead-
You touch on a number of good points. As to "why pack" consider this:
You, the captain and master, get clocked on the head by the mast or boom as it is coming down to deck level and anyone else on board has to decide how to abandon ship. Do you really think they will know, or remember, where to grab the extra abandon ship bag? Versus, if you are lucky, grabbing you and getting a life raft launched?


......
When getting out of sight of land, our SOP is to have the grab-bag in a conspicuous place in the boat (e.g. by the navigation table).
And - one of the crew (not the skipper!) is assigned a responsibility for the bag - this person knows what is inside and is responsible to take it with him when abandoning ship.
This allows for two persons at least that know what is going on with the bag.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:14   #21
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Re: Flares in Life Raft Safety Pack?

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When getting out of sight of land, our SOP is to have the grab-bag in a conspicuous place in the boat (e.g. by the navigation table).
And - one of the crew (not the skipper!) is assigned a responsibility for the bag - this person knows what is inside and is responsible to take it with him when abandoning ship.
This allows for two persons at least that know what is going on with the bag.
We do the same, but the point is well taken --

anything in the grab bag is higher risk of not making into the life raft.

You have to balance that against the cost and inconvenience of carrying perishable items inside the raft.

Even worse for me since I have TWO rafts (2x four man rafts).

But I was convinced by this argument, in this thread, to buy four new rocket flares ($$$!) and vacuum pack them with dessicants and oxygen absorbers. I'll put two into each raft.

The idea being is that if the S really HTF, and you end up in the raft after some horrible disaster with no VHF, no PLB, no AIS beacon, nothing, then at least you've a couple of rocket flares, stored inside the raft. Which are really effective in these waters. In the Channel and North Sea, a rocket flare would have a rescue helicopter at your location possibly faster than by popping the PLB.

I will carry the legally required red hand flares (and some smoke flares) in the grab bag, but will acquire a couple of the Ocean Safety LED flares, which look excellent, as "Plan A".
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:30   #22
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Re: Flares in Life Raft Safety Pack?

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I keep waffling on what to do with my life rafts this year. I was thinking to sell the Avon 4 man, buy a good 6 man raft, and use my second, Seago 4 man for training.

But then I discovered what I thought was a Seago is actually another Avon -- a first class raft which ought to have some life left in it.

So maybe I'll just have both rafts serviced and leave it at that.
I am curious why do you carry 2 liferafts instead of one.
Is it some legacy issue with costs in mind or something else?
If cost is not an issue, I would personally prefer one unit large enough for the whole of the crew and dispose of the two smaller units.
I would not like the hassle involved in having to launch two rafts, having the crew being split between the two and the danger of the rafts being separated.
Then - do you carry 2 epirbs, 2 grab-bags, etc?
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Old 12-04-2016, 14:47   #23
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Re: Flares in Life Raft Safety Pack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by meirriba View Post
I am curious why do you carry 2 liferafts instead of one.
Is it some legacy issue with costs in mind or something else?
If cost is not an issue, I would personally prefer one unit large enough for the whole of the crew and dispose of the two smaller units.
I would not like the hassle involved in having to launch two rafts, having the crew being split between the two and the danger of the rafts being separated.
Then - do you carry 2 epirbs, 2 grab-bags, etc?
It's a good question!

The reason is that I sail with varying crews, from single handed to six or seven people. But mostly four or less on longer passages.

One or two people in an eight man raft is a recipe for disaster, plus it's very difficult to handle and launch.

So I have two. One of them lives in a special locker in my after deck, in a canister. The other in a valise in the laz. In most cases, only the one would be needed, but if there are five or more people on board, then the procedure is to launch both and tie them together.

A significant downside is the risk of the two rafts being separated. There is only one grab bag. Another is cost -- two inspections instead of one.

But there are different advantages. Besides a more easily handled and safer raft for four or less people, the second raft is a backup if there are four or less people.

I thought seriously about getting rid of both of them and buying a new six man raft, but then I could not go out with more than six people on board. Plus the other disadvantages. So I've decided to keep it as it is, at least for the next three year cycle.

The water here may approach 0C in the winter time, so the life raft is a very serious safety issue -- maybe life and death.
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