Originally Posted by carstenb
Here's and interesting article from Yachting Monthly. They tested what it is like to abandon ship and be in a liferaft in force 6-7 conditions in the Biscay bay.
Life in a liferaft
Here's my story:
I have abandoned a boat into a liferaft with five friends, after our boat took water
and sank within something like 10 minutes in the entrance to the Gulf of Akaba (AKA Eilat Gulf).
The raft was in a s/s rail on top of the cabin
and brought back by two of the crew and deployed over the stern (there was no bathing platform).
Luckily we have spent only short time in the raft as there were friendly boats nearby. Several points might be of interest:
dismantled the grab-bag on the morning of the accident
, thinking that as we are closing home (in Eilat, hundred miles to the north) the grab-bag is not needed anymore - obvious mistake.
6 persons on board: 3 (skipper and two persons with considerable blue water
experience) operated fast and efficiently, deploying the raft, collecting stuff from the boat like pyrotechnics, handheld VHF
, personal documents, etc.
1 - no previous sea experience, remained totally calm and followed directions of the skipper
1 - some sea experience, was in partial shock, but still operated as instructed.
1 - some sea experience, went hysterical, but turned to apathetic after some harsh comment, did not help but stopped interfering.
Nobody got seasick in the raft (6pax raft - very cosy for six survivors, no room to move) - the sea was around 8-10 feet with about 30kn wind. Not a storm but not calm sea either.
We were taken aboard a yacht - not an easy exercise, as the yacht is going up and down and the raft dances alongside. It could be easier if the rescue
boat had a bathing platform where you can bring the raft close. As it happened, we had to climb the topsides. It may be very difficult for an exhausted crew. It is much easier to transfer into a RIB
(I know from experience - did it during STCW survival course).