Life Rafts

by SEAGO Life Rafts / ISO 9650-2
Product image of SEATEC by SEAGO Life Rafts / ISO 9650-2
Product image of SEATEC OFFSHORE Life Raft
EVERSAFE Life Raft / Offshore
Product image of ZODIAC EVERSAFE Life Raft / Offshore
Product image of PLASTIMO TRANSOCEAN ISAF Life Raft
TRANSOCEAN Life Raft ISO 9650-1
Product image of PLASTIMO TRANSOCEAN Life Raft ISO 9650-1
CRUISER Life Raft / coastal waters
Product image of PLASTIMO CRUISER Life Raft / coastal waters
SEA CRUISER 9650-2 Life Raft
Product image of SEAGO SEA CRUISER 9650-2 Life Raft
SEA MASTER ISO9650-1 Liferaft
Product image of SEAGO SEA MASTER ISO9650-1 Liferaft
MOB Rescue Platform
Product image of SEAGO MOB Rescue Platform
SEAGO MOB Rescue Platform
499.95 EUR only €499.95
Universal Life Raft Holder
Product image of SEAGO Universal Life Raft Holder
Universal Life Raft Mountings
Product image of Universal Life Raft Mountings
Mounting for life raft canister and tanks / webbing / pair
Product image of CAN PLASTIC Mounting for life raft canister and tanks / webbing / pair
Hydrostatic Inflator for Life Rafts / without Solas approval
Product image of Hydrostatic Inflator for Life Rafts / without Solas approval
Hydrostatic Inflator for Life Rafts / with Solas approval
Product image of Hydrostatic Inflator for Life Rafts / with Solas approval

Life Rafts

What is a life raft actually?
A life raft is your only chance to be saved in an emergency, when no other ships are in your vicinity. It provides the entire crew with protection. You should always choose your life raft according to your specific sailing area and plans.
If you want to go on a cruise around the world, the life raft should be equipped with drinking water (1.5 liters per person) and emergency provisions. In coastal areas, where you can expect to be rescued within a very short time, you do not need this equipment. The carrying capacity of life rafts varies widely from 4 to about 150 people. (SVB offers life rafts with a capacity of 4 to 10 people). Life rafts consist of weather-resistant, soft and flame-resistant plastic (usually PVC). They are typically located in a pannier or a sturdy container on the ship.

How does a life raft work?
The life raft must be stored in an area where a grab rope can be installed (this is the line that comes out of the bag/container) and firmly connected (a 6 person life raft can have a tensile force of up to 750 kg). Bags/containers must remain as you bought them, and the straps around the containers are not to be removed. In an emergency, one must first check whether the grab rope on the life raft is connected to the vessel. Afterwards, the life raft is to be thrown into the water. The grab rope is pulled out of the bag/container and the bag/container floats in the water. The grab rope is now hauled from the deck until you notice that it cannot be hauled any further. This spot is marked on most life rafts. Now you have reached the rip cord. As the name suggests you must pull hard on the rope. The inflation mechanism of the life raft is now activated and the life raft is fully inflated. The grab rope is now on the ship's side (on sailboats this means it's on the winch). The life raft should always be pulled toward the ship's side and never be pulled toward the stern. The stern of a ship in a swell is like a guillotine, it destroys everything in its path.

The fittest crew member should climb into the life raft first. Ideally, one can enter the raft while still dry. If this is not possible (debris blocking direct access to the raft), there are ladders or entry ramps to facilitate entry from the water. Only when all the crew members are in the raft and the ship begins to really sink (usually many hours later), the securing line to the ship is seperated. All life rafts come equipped with a knife. If a crew member is in urgent need of certain medication, a maintenance station can add these in advance to the life raft. When you buy a life raft make sure to seek out proper advice, so that you know exactly what equipment is included in your life raft.

Types of liferafts:
  • Life rafts for coastal areas, such as cruiser life rafts (only basic equipment, no drinking water or signalling gear).
  • Life rafts for high seas, such as offshore life rafts (usually without or with less water and torches)
  • Around the world: ISO life rafts a) up to 24 hours (rescue can be assumed within 24 hours; North, Baltic and Mediterranean Sea. Life raft is equipped with torches and rockets, but not equipped with drinking water, food or ISO-floors.
  • Around the world: ISO life rafts b) over 24 h life raft is equipped with torches and rockets and drinking water (1.5 liters per person), food and ISO floors.
For more information, contact us or the manufacturer.

SVB maintenance service for life rafts:

Distress life rafts can only function in an emergency when all of the safety features are in perfect working order. Regular maintenance requires special, product-specific attention. Each life raft has its own manufacturer's maintenance interval, which should be strictly adhered to (usually every 3 years). SVB's service station for life rafts covers the following companies: PLASTIMO, XM, ZODIAC, SEAGO, SEATEC and PLASTIMAR. SVB is regularly trained and the quality inspected by these companies as well. These brands are serviced directly at our location. The maintenance performed by us is accurately recorded in a log book. Other manufacturers send their units to us to be repaired and maintained as well.

Our maintenance check mainly includes:
  • A precise check of the general condition of the life raft
  • The replacement of parts, such as seals, masking tape, food, water, signalling gear, etc.
  • The proper packaging of the raft in a vacuum bag and in its original packaging (container or bag)
  • Testing the function of the ignition head
  •  Pressure test and leak test of the individual air buoyancy chambers
  •  Review of emergency equipment for damage and expiration dates
  •  Testing of the regular opening and closing of the intake and pressure relief valves

Why is having a life raft on board so important?
In 2013, the two-man crew of the Sweden 45 yacht “Ciao” were sailing from Indonesia to the Coco Islands when just before coming into eyesight of the coast, they collided with an object below the surface.
The impact tore off the rudder, immobilizing the vessel and causing it to take on water. The crew sent out an emergency distress call and tried their best to save the vessel. The “J’Sea” received the distress call and arrived to help along with two other ships.
Despite all of their efforts, the crew of the “Ciao” still had to abandon ship and seek refuge in their life raft. Their vessel sank shortly after.
The video linked below was taken from on board the “Spirit of Alcides,” a Challenger 39 owned by Australians, Gus and Linda Pallot.

The history of the life raft
In 1914, the idea of ​​a legal regulation for the application of life rafts and other safety equipment was created, as a result of the sinking of the Titanic. In 1960, the legally recognized convention of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) was formed. This means that commercial shipping vessels, pleasure crafts, charter boats (if they are chartered with a crew or skipper) and traditional ships, must be equipped with life rafts.

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