As one or two of you might know, I work
in the life raft business here in Miami
. Last week, two rafts came in to our shop for service
and I couldn't believe the condition these rafts were in. They were serviced a year ago in Thailand
and I'm sure the owner got a good deal. However, these rafts would not have functioned if they were deployed. The painter line was wrapped around the life raft inside the container, preventing anyone from activating the gas cylinder. The pyro was packed in the food/water bags, the wrong knots were used to secure different things in the raft, the certificates were fraudulent, the cylinder was packed inside the raft, the lights were disconnected, and the list goes on.
department is involved now. Who knows what will come of it but one thing you can do is check for station approval certificates from the manufacturer at your favorite service
station. The service station in Thailand
was not approved by the manufacturer to service these rafts. This is a common problem in South America
as well. I know of two other ongoing investigations concerning unauthorized and fraudulent life raft service in South America
. A reputable service station won't have any problems, and will be happy, to show you their certificate of approval from the manufacturer.