An integral attribute of safety on board is a life raft. However, some yachtsmen neglect to buy it. We explain why this is happening.
Life raft as an important safety feature
In principle, on board, almost always, all things have some specific purpose and just do not take up space. Life jackets and a raft are some of those things. Availability of rescue equipment will be checked Coast security, and besides, its presence is often the key to successful yacht insurance. so-called. Fire fighting and safety equipment warranty is part of the insurance contract that obliges the yachtsman to have a complete set of all necessary life-saving equipment in order for the insurance to be considered active. Otherwise, the insurance company may refuse to pay for the insured event.
If we refer to the definition in ColReg 72 (COLREG-72), then: “A life-saving device is a set of fundsdesigned to rescue passengers and crew in an emergency. The rescue equipment includes lifeboats, life rafts, floating instruments and life saving equipment for personal use".
And although there are many examples of how a life raft and / or boat saved the lives of sailors, many neglect the purchase of such equipment.
When exactly do you need a raft?
Firstly, if you are going on a long journey, even if you are not far from the coast. It will probably be very close to the nearest shelter, but the weather sometimes likes to throw an unpleasant surprise. Better be prepared for trouble.
Secondly, a raft is absolutely needed when crossing the sea or ocean. A recent case with whale that sank a yacht in the Pacific Ocean perfectly demonstrates that the raft is the most important life-saving equipment.
Thirdly, a raft will come in handy if you do not know how long your cruise will be and how far you will go. You probably live on board a boat and your whole life is in constant motion. Then the availability of the entire set of safety equipment, including life jackets, individual lighthouses, rafts, etc. is critical.
In addition, if you take a boat on a charter, then the entire set of rescue equipment, regardless of the distance of your route, should already be.
Now let's talk about those cases when yachtsmen take a conscious risk and do not take life rafts with them. The first likely case is the ownership of a boat, the dimensions of which simply do not allow you to take a raft with you.
Miniature day-sellers, small sailboats and motor boats only a few meters long - the list goes on and on. It is sometimes impossible to cram anything into such boats except a life jacket and a backpack with things. And, by and large, this is the only option in which the absence of a life raft is really justified.
Why do some yachtsmen not buy life rafts for boats, the dimensions of which allow them to take all the necessary life equipment with them?
The main reason is that some yachtsmen, owning a 7-12 meter yacht, simply travel very close to the coast and / or inland waters. Usually these places are well known to yachtsmen, but there is always a walkie-talkie, EPIRB and life jackets at the ready.
A certain number of yachtsmen even risk going to sea without a life raft. Again, we are talking about crossings no more than a few hours, provided the weather is good and close to the coast.
If you do not have a life raft on board and you belong to one of the above groups of yachtsmen, then it is extremely important to monitor the weather. Even if the forecast shows a low probability of a storm or conditions of poor visibility, it is better to wait in the marina.
In any case, you must follow the safety rules, because yachting is about safe rest. Availability complete set life-saving equipment on board will help you avoid unpleasant situations and feel more confident.
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