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Old 05-07-2014, 05:16   #1
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Location: East Coast of America and Keys
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Life Raft Certification Training

Has anyone here been through a training course? Where? Any other details?


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Old 27-09-2017, 05:37   #2
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Re: Life Raft Certification Training

Originally Posted by SilentOption View Post
Has anyone here been through a training course? Where? Any other details?


I apologize for digging this post up from the depths of forgotten posts. As a new member, I was reading through some of the posts and getting quite an education. The topic of life raft certification is something I can speak about and offer some advice on.

The only life raft certification I know of is for technicians that service life rafts. Where I work, it takes about a year to get certified, and isn't easy. There are very strict rules and standards that must be followed.

For a boat owner, I don't know of any formal training for life rafts. The company I work for encourages Captains and crew to visit our facility to witness the service of your raft and answer any of your questions. We're always happy to show you what we do and explain everything. It is a huge expense to maintain a life raft and we want you to know how your money is spent and more importantly, how to operate your raft if needed. We never charge anything for this informal training. We believe there's more value in building trust with our customers.

Whether you come to our facility or somewhere else, I encourage everyone to ask if they can watch their raft being serviced. Most places will allow you to watch and answer any of your questions. For those with SOLAS packs in their rafts, the expired items are usually thrown out and replaced with new stuff. This includes pyro, food, water, first aid kits and a few other items. These belong to you. There is nothing wrong in asking for the expired items back. The food and water expire because the USCG says water only lasts for five years. The food loses some nutritional value after five years but it still tastes horrible. The water is perfectly fine and might be worth saving to augment what's in the raft...or donate it to someone in need. The rest of the stuff is great to train your crew with. When is the last time someone lit off a flare? I know a lot of people who have never lit one off. The first aid kits have aspirin in them that expires. The rest of the stuff is perfectly good and can be saved for a home or car first aid kit. If you don't take them, I will. My daughter just donated a bunch of first aid supplies to Hurricane Irma shelters.

Bottom line, I highly recommend spending a couple of hours watching your raft get serviced. Most places will take the time to answer your questions and show you how your raft works and all its features. Look me up if you're ever in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. Whether we service your raft or not, you're always welcome in our facility. We'd love to show you what we do and maybe deploy a raft.

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